(no subject)

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45

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He slowly blinked his eyes open. He was lying in a fetal position on the cold ground. 

Looking around he saw an unfamiliar surrounding – like a glade, lit mainly by the high flames around him. The stench of smoke clung to the cold air and made it impossible to breathe. Where am I?...

The last thing he could remember was the Phoenix chasing Scott, but his adopted son was faster - he disappeared into the woods, then there was nothing but darkness.

“Hello, Charles.” She said in a sweet voice that made the professor tense from the waist up. He tried reading her mind, but it turned around to bite him-

Pain exploded in his head and he gasped.

“What’s the matter? Dysfunction problems?” She purred, leering down at him.

Against his will, Professor Charles Xavier could feel his face heat up. She kneeled next to him – the heat unbearable, and whispered in his ear “Maybe you shouldn’t have pushed Eric away, mm?”

Flashes of his most intimate moments exploded in his mind - his greatest desires and worst weaknesses enumerated in a twisted power display. She read his mind like an open book, leaving no doubt as to who was the greater telepath among them.

“You miss him, don’t you?”

Her lips touched his ear, tracing it idly, and in a spastic move, he jerked his body away and stumbled backwards, landing supine on his back.

“Why, I’m hurt,” she said laughing, “didn’t your mother ever tell you not to play with a woman’s heart?”

She hovered up and away, and at the same time something hovered closer. Charles looked up-

A dead tree trunk, massive enough to crush one of the mansion’s walls, was floating above him unsteadily. 

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” She laughed, “I’ve been waiting to do this for years!”

His eyes locked with hers, but no trace of Jean was seen. There was no one to appeal to.

“Good night, Professor!” She said, blowing a kiss his way and at the same time releasing the log.

My X-Men! I didn’t get to say goodbye- - Was Charles’ last pained thought, as he closed his eyes and took the blow.

 

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46

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Kurt’s eyes snapped open and his heart began beating alarmingly fast. Something was horribly wrong, he knew.

His team needed him. He slowly rose to a sitting position. Something was wrong with Herr Logan and Herr Rasputin, he knew without asking, and made his way out of bed.

 

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47

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Pain. All over.

But something was wrong. This was not the all-consuming pain that would send a man to the other world, not the all-consuming pain that being crushed to death guaranteed.

He opened his eyes – the trunk was still above him – touching and not touching, quivering erratically, before rolling over him and crushing into the frozen ground next to his head.

Surprise was written on her face - ugly and dark, and she turned-

“Here you are,” she spat, “for a moment you had me thinking you were trying to avoid me! And I see you brought the little hussy with you…”

 

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48

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They didn’t need Logan’s special abilities to track her down. A trail of ash and smoke pinpointed them in the right direction. It led to the clearing by the lake.

The sight revealed before them had them petrified.

Professor Charles Xavier was cast in the thicket by a large trunk, body randomly distorted like a rag doll, but he was still alive, and relief made the team giddy.

In the centre of the glade, Doctor Jean Grey stood in her X-Men uniform. She faced Scott Summers; the young man was bruised and beaten, still wearing his jeans and black long sleeved shirt from their earlier evening at the movies. An evening that now seemed light years away. The only change in Scott’s appearance was his visor.

He used the said visor against anything but his ex-beau, blasting away at rocks, branches and trunks that were sent his way.

She was obviously just toying with him, testing the waters, but it was easy to see who had the upper hand. With every attack she came closer to him, and something in Logan’s mind clicked-

“She needs to get close to deliver her stroke of death!” he exclaimed, and Marie, who shared his nightmare immediately understood.

“If he can’t ward her off, then we must!” she called. The Phoenix seemed so engaged with Summers that she didn’t even turn to acknowledge them.

“Agreed,” Hank watched the scenario before them, “But first we must get the professor out of danger’s way-”

“Keinem problem,” came the German reply, and they didn’t even get to see Kurt before he ‘bamfed’ in and out of the clearing, bringing Charles back with him.

(no subject)

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49

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For a moment the reunited team members just stared at each other. Months worth of trainings had them understanding one another wordlessly. The Phoenix had to be defeated. She tried killing Kurt, the professor and now Scott.

“Jean’s no longer there.” Logan said, conforming what they all had been thinking.

“No, she’s not.” Came Xavier’s now unsteady voice. “She’s not there, she’s with Scott. They are both fighting the Phoenix.”

They looked up to see Scott stopping a rock thrown at him in mid-air, blasting it then letting a cascade of rubble spill to the ground.

“Jeannie…” Logan whispered apprehensively, and Scott turned to face them. They could feel her, could feel Jean’s presence, warm and gentle. Tears ran down Logan’s face.

But the moment was short-lived. The flames around the Phoenix rose high and a downpour of objects went flying Scott’s way.

Ice and lightning hit the Phoenix as hard as possible. Red beams intercepted rocks and trees.

With a horrifying scream she turned to the professor -

“Stay out of my head!!!”

A force field was hitting them hard, sending them flying back while the Phoenix retreated some – deeper into the forest, in the direction of the lake.

They were already on their feet, Colossus helping the professor, and they made their way to the lake. Logan froze, turned back-

“Cyke?”

Scott was sitting on the dry grass where he landed. Blood ran from a cut down his forehead then trickled down his cheeks where it mingled with his tears.

“I… I can’t do this Logan…”

Just a kid, Logan thought, a kid that lost his family and his lover, and lived to see the rerun. But this wasn’t the time. They needed him. They would go under his command or not at all.

“Call me Wolverine during missions, Cyclops. It keeps things straight,” He said, extending an arm to his comrade.

After a long moment, in which no X-Men moved – indicating more than words that his team members wouldn’t go into battle without him, Scott reached up and grasped Logan’s extended arm.

He shot Ororo an enduring look.

“You will have to take the lead.” He finally said.

She understood. She wanted it for years, but never like that. A firm nod of her head was her only reply.

“After me-“

Cyclops said, and the X-Men followed Scott Summers into battle for the very last time.

 

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50

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The lake was frozen, which was pretty early considering the time of year. In the middle sat the Phoenix, using the late doctor Jean Grey’s body.

His team members followed him, their face reflecting nothing but trust.

//You know there’s no other way, Scott//

//Jean? No… I can’t lose you again!//

//You already have Scott. This isn’t me. You know it, and you know what needs to be done. I love you.//

//I love you too-// He said, tears running down his face. He turned his back on the Phoenix to face his team-

“Charge!”

 

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51

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They ran forward, Storm filled the air with mist and Bobby iced up, sliding toward her fast. Implementing their last Danger Room fire scenario, Kitty and Marie removed their gloves.

“Drop her temperature!” Scott called.

Both Bobby and Ororo attacked her with long-range shots.

“OUT OF MY HEAD!!!” she screamed at the professor, tried melting the ice around her, but Piotr and Hank were faster.

Kitty and Marie phased out of a torrent of dripstones that went flying their way then kept running, distracting her.

She tried flying up, but Scott-Jean held her down. She howled with rage.

//I have to go back – she’s weak now, I can stop her//

“JEAN!”

Scott cried, but she was already gone. The look in the Phoenix eyes changed-

It was softer, and she looked at the professor with compassion and regret.

“I told you that I know what I’m doing” The Phoenix spoke, but it was Jean’s voice. Her control over the beast within seemed interim and she shook with effort.

“This is the only way. I guess it always was-”

At the same time, Scott’s legs left the ground much like in Logan’s dream, and the visor went drifting away. It flew in Logan’s direction and he automatically caught it, kept it.

//Take care of him//

“NO!!! NO!!! NOOOO!” Scott begged.

Ororo dropped to her knees, Kurt buried his face into Hank’s shoulder hiding his eyes. Kitty turned her back on them, Piotr wiped her tears, and Bobby’s arms closed around Rogue.

Logan couldn’t take his eyes off of Scott as the deadly eyelids were forced open, his scream tore Logan’s heart-

“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

 

 

A red blast of light surged forward with uncontrollable force, lasting a couple of eternal seconds, before Scott fell to the ground, blind and broken.

Logan heard a mixture of sounds – broken screams and heartbreaking sobs from all around him.

He blinked his eyes a couple of times, she wasn’t there, only Scott. The optic blast had fried, it seemed, miles into the forest in the direction of his lethal gaze.

He ran, landed on the ice by Scott.

“Kid?! You alright?!- - ”

“Jesus, Logan” Scott sobbed, reaching forward blindly. From the distance he heard Kurt’s murmured pray.

 “…The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; …Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil…”

For the second time that day, the team felt as one, consumed by their grief, and for the second time, the two men cried in each other’s arms after her death.

 

 

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52

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Once they got the fire under control, the firemen helped in searching for the body, though no one dared refer to her as such. Ororo’s exact phrase was ‘a missing teacher during the fire’.

For long hours, Hank was moving mountains to make sure the media wouldn’t get hold of any information regarding the strange avenue of burnt trees Scott had created. There was no connection in DC he didn’t turn to, before he could finally take a seat by Charles’ side in the rec. room where all team members, except Kurt who was inpatient, sat around a table and waited for any kind of news.

Two hours ago, the first rays of light shone and the infantryman search was replaced by authorities’ helicopters searching from the air.

When the phone rang, it was to inform them nothing was found, and that they would report a missing person and see what might come up.

Scott snorted, knowing exactly what would come up – that Jean Grey had died half a year ago, and he doubted any of Hank’s connections could clear up that mess.

He got up, moved to the door-

“Scott-“ Charles still sounded shaken, they all were in shock. It all happened so fast.

“Don’t talk to me!”

It wasn’t enough.

“I don’t want to hear you - this is all your fault! You might as well have killed her with your bare hands!”

“Scott!” Hank called. Ororo gasped. Logan only stared. The young team members wisely took their leave.

“Who do you think you are? Playing god with our lives, playing god with her powers! With people’s goddamned memory! Tell me – who the fuck do you think you are?! Huh?!” The ash-tray wobbled as Scott’s fist hit the desk, “Huh?!” He demanded again from the pale mentor, shivering with grief and rage.

Tears ran down Charles Xavier’s oval face and it still wasn’t enough, his fury was still eating him up, and what enraged him the most was that even now, even right after all that happened, he knew it wasn’t true. Not all of it was the professor’s fault.

God damn him!

He swore and exited the room, slamming the door hard enough to crack the old wooden threshold.

(no subject)

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53

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The rest of the day was a blur. 

The only thing Scott was certain of was Logan. The other man was always there. He was there when Hank insisted he stay awake in case of concussion.

He was there when Scott collapsed to the floor, sobbing in the elevator, he was there while Scott fought his filthy clothes off, and then insisted he take a shower that he couldn’t care less for, and even then, he was there, touching and not touching, but watching over him.

It’d be Logan he’d miss the most, he realized with a bitter smile. Who would have guessed? The same man who wouldn’t shake his hand the first day they met, was now the only reason he hadn’t started the engine yet.

He leaned against his blue Mazda, his bags already inside.

Less than twenty-four hours ago, he held Logan’s hand outside the theatre and everything felt so… normal. Later that night, his world turned upside down. His mentor, Jean’s life – it was all a deception. Then he got a taste of his repetitive nightmares – the ones in which he was attacking Jean under Stryker’s control, only this was real, and this time he killed her directly and not collaterally.

In a sense he knew he had lost her long ago. He knew that this monster was not Jean, and that she was beyond saving, and yet - his powers killed her, his lack of control…

He closed his eyes letting the tears fall.

He couldn’t possibly stay in the mansion now. If he felt haunted before… if he thought coping was hard enough six months ago…

“Hey.”

Scott’s eyes snapped open; his arm went to his face, wiping the tears with his sleeve. Faint scent of tobacco tickled his nostrils and the garage filled with Logan’s reassuring presence. He knew why he fell apart against the other man in Alkali Lake. On times like these the Canadian felt like a beacon of strength. A comfort I can no longer afford.

“When did you plan on telling them?” There was justifiable accusation in Logan’s voice that made him gulp.

“Or didn’t you?” He asked, picking up on Scott’s guilty expression.

“I left a note.”

“Oh?”

“Look Logan, I don’t want to hear it!”

“Hear what?”

“I know school starts tomorrow, I know all that happened today is gonna be a hell of a mess to clean – but I just don’t care! Can’t I do that? Just for once?”

He wished he could feel as certain as he sounded. Guilt was eating away at him to such an extent that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to leave the mansion grounds.

“I’m not saying anything,” Logan stated flatly. “That’s Chucks’ mess to deal with.”

He knew Logan didn’t mean anything by that, and yet Scott could feel himself squirming.

As if in appeasement, Logan quickly added-

“He already got back-up. Two new teachers are coming in today.”

“Oh?”

Scott felt a little pained - a combination of hurt from being so quickly replaced and also of being the last to know. He used to be at the centre of things.

Logan looked down at the grease dirty floor. For a moment neither spoke.

“When did you plan on telling me?” He finally asked, brown eyes, partly covered by bangs, darting up to meet his.

“When?...” Scott stammered, “I don’t know. But I was going to tell you.”

Logan gave him a doubtful look.

“I was! That’s why I’m…” Scott looked up at Logan, took a deep breath, “Why I’m still here...” He gestured at the garage.

“When?” Logan asked again, looking sideways. The lack of eye contact hurt, and Scott knew why he was putting it off – looking at Logan made the idea of leaving unbearably painful. He was burning to press into the other man, to be held by him, but he was leaving. He could not afford to be weak, could not indulge in what he soon wouldn’t have.

“When did I plan on telling you?” Scott echoed, biding his time, “Now?” he offered.

“Now?” Logan’s eyes narrowed into slits, his nostrils flared. For a long moment there was no sound but their breathing. When he began stepping forward, Scott stood his ground. He made no sound as Logan trapped him between the car and his body, didn’t flinch when jeans clad thighs pressed against his own. Logan leaned forward, efficiently pinning him to the cold surface of his car. His words were warm vibrations of air, carrying the scent of his cigar.

“That doesn’t leave me a lot of time to pack, does it?”

To pack?... Scott blinked.

“What?... Logan, no.”

His palms landed flat on Logan’s chest. He intended to shove him back, but couldn’t get past the point of touching him.

“Where are we going?”

If anything, Logan got closer still.

“No Logan, seriously. They need you here.” Scott was sure he was shoving the other man away, but maybe he was pulling him closer.

“And you?”

“Me? They’d have to deal with it. I’m not staying here no matter what.”

“No, that’s not what I asked.”

Scott just swallowed, waiting for him to go on. The light footsteps of children echoed from above. Life at the school went on.

“You say they need me. How about you?” Logan asked, standing so close they breathed the same air.

“Me? Of course I do, but…” Momentarily, Scott closed his eyes. So tired. He wished Logan would just shut up and hold him. He didn’t.

“…But what?” Brown eyes searched his ruby covered ones.

Scott sighed heavily.

Of course he wanted for Logan to join him! Only, it would make his departure even more selfish. “I can’t ask you to come. The mansion’s security system-“

“Furball is gonna take over for a while.”

 “No, that’s wrong-“ He did try shoving Logan away this time, glad the other man stood his ground. He never felt like this before – torn, split right down the middle. The gap between his needs and his sense of duty was unbridgeable.

”Scott…”

Warm hands came up to cup his cheeks, “This isn’t about the mansion anymore. This is about you. What do you need?”

Logan was doing a much better job at wiping his tears, thumbs tracing his cheeks back and forth. Over the last twenty-four hours, the concept of ‘personal space’ seized to exist between them. Logan was always there. And if he were honest with himself – that was exactly where he wanted him.

There was something so sincere in the Canadian’s eyes that Scott couldn’t possibly lie to him, no more than he could push him away.

“You.” He whispered through his tears. “I need you.“

The kiss was gentle. It tasted of tears. It wasn’t about lust. It was about compassion, about comradeship and condolence. They held each other, right there, against Scott’s car, for a long tender moment, before parting.

When they did, Logan looked contemplative. A shadow fell across his face

 “About… earlier.” He cleared his throat looking uneasy. Scott waited for him to continue, though he knew where it was headed. “Jeez kid, I’m… I’m sorry.”

“Why?” Scott asked, sardonically almost, “What would you say happened?”

“We were forced to have sex?” Logan offered, picking up on the jab. He ducked his head and smirked bitterly at the resemblance the exchange held to one of their past conversations.

“Well that’s just great … ” Scott stated dryly, wanting to end the awkward silence between them. 

True remorse was written on Logan’s face. “My fault kid. I should have fought her harder. I should have…” he sighed.  “I fucked up. I’m sorry.”

“No, Logan.” Scott considered his words carefully.

“I shouldn’t have kept you waiting.” He finally said while closing his eyes, shutting out everything but the sound of Logan breathing and his scent. He remembered the moment in which the ‘Phoenix’, as the rest referred to her, took over him.

He couldn’t move, but he could still think and he could still feel everything. He felt the energy that surged through his body, understanding how strong the Phoenix really was; he felt how badly she wanted Logan and how badly she wanted him dead. He felt Logan’s touch, felt pain and pleasure. Felt the moment in which she forced herself into the feral man’s mind, and he was there with her as she read him. He’d never forget the way she gloated when she saw how badly Logan needed him, how long he had kept him waiting…

“I’m sorry Logan.” He whispered with a shudder, opening his eyes. Logan stood closer to him when he did. He was slowly nodding and Scott moved to wrap his arms around the other man’s waist, holding on to him a couple minutes more.

 



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54

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She didn’t knock.

Alaska?”

He looked up. Even after she showered, Marie still emitted a hint of smoke that mingled with her shampoo.

“Is it true? Are you leaving? Are you going to Alaska with Mr. Summers?” The tears that ran down her face told him she already knew the answer. His silence confirmed her fears.

“You don’t even like him!” She accused with despair.

Logan closed his eyes with a bitter smile. He liked Summers just fine, but Marie couldn’t have known that, and he was reminded of Scott’s fuming words. Chuck really did allow himself to play god around here. He wondered whether he would have done the same under the circumstances.

“When?” She asked with obvious dread.

He zipped his bag and got up. On many occasions before he had yearned to make his duffel bag serviceable once more, but this is not how he’d imagined it.

“Soon.”

“How soon?”

“Today.”

She was crying and Logan could feel his chest tightening in response. He moved to hold her, realizing that oddly – he didn’t want to leave.

“For how long?” She murmured between sniffs.

“I don’t know yet.” Which was true. He had no idea.

“But will you come back?”

“Of course I will kid. How else would I make sure you’re filling your visitors lists?”

She giggled, which was already good.

“I’m going to miss you.” She whispered.

That reminded him. He pulled a note out of his pocket and gave it to her.

“What’s that?” she asked, unfolding the paper. A cell phone number was scribbled on the white folio.

 “Whose is it?”

 “What do you think kid?” he growled.

“A cell phone? You?”

“Yeah. So what?” he couldn’t even fake the menace in light of her laughter. He sighed then confessed.  “Chuck insisted.”

After Hank gave him the detailed explanation regarding each of the medicines he was supplied with, came Wheels’ turn to give him a departure briefing which included him carrying a mobile.

Both men knew better than to take it to Scott.

“So we could talk at least?”

“Anytime.” Logan said, risking a quick kiss to her forehead.

“Take care,”

“Promise.”

Heavy wooden doors closed behind her as she left his room.

Marie stood in the hall a minute longer.

“Goodbye Logan.” She whispered, knowing he could hear her.

 

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55

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Scott was watching the golden sunset. Red and black. The burnt and torn-apart grounds of the mansion surrounded him – a lone testament to everything that took place.

The uprooted trees were gone, young saplings had told him what ‘Ro had been up to that day. He wasn’t surprised this was how the weather witch chose to cope. Without checking, he knew Hank was drowning himself in his work, and that poor Wagner must be fussed over endlessly. The professor was, no doubt, the one responsible to how innocent the ‘scene’ appeared to be. If he hadn’t known better himself, he could easily be swayed to believe a fire broke out, which wasn’t farfetched considering how dry the other day was, and how several fires had broken out at approximately the same hour yesterday. 

“You ready?”

He turned his head to see Logan joining him at the small balcony. He knew the professor intended to keep their room untouched, and while he didn’t know about Logan, he wasn’t planning to return. This was a one-way trip.

He nodded his reply, gaze drifting back to what remained of the sun.

“Scott-”

“No.”

He knew what Logan wanted, was pretty sure the professor had set him up to it. He wasn’t saying goodbye. He couldn’t bear staying in the mansion a minute longer, and he wasn’t going to face all of the people who stood there watching him kill her.

“You sure?”

“Yes. Lets go.” He turned to face Logan. “…Please…”

He didn’t have to ask twice.

 

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56

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The burnt garden below him was empty. What used to be golden was now covered with ash. In less than a day, kids would be returning to their school to find it like this. The smell of smoke carried in the wind.

Charles Xavier sat by the ledge. It was usually his favourite spot – he could watch over the mansion grounds, watch his dream as it was slowly realized. Today however, he did not enjoy the stay at his office balcony. He was waiting for two things to happen. Both Miss Braddock and Mr. Madrox were to arrive, and his adopted son was to leave.

Scott

How did things ever deteriorate to this?  He was sure his first student would be the one to carry his dream through.

In a way he was still convinced of it. Powers or intuition, but he simply knew Scott would be there, that some day he’d return home.

With a pang, he heard a car start below.

 

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57

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 “Summers?”

Scott firmly nodded his head and Logan started the engine.

He insisted on driving. They both didn’t get any sleep, but Summers looked as bad as he felt, pale and bruised. He didn’t plan on getting far that day. He wanted to crash at the first motel they’d find, just as long as he would get Scott away from Xavier’s School for the Gifted.

He reviewed the detectors on his way out, most survived the fire, and the rest were Hank’s to take care of.

He hated leaving things like that, and he knew that deep inside Scott felt the same, but the kid’s pain was too raw, his rage too fresh…  The wound was yet to heal before it reopened, and the kid finally broke.

He brought the car to a stop and waited as the heavy gates before him slowly slid open.

He watched Scott’s slim jacketed body. The kid wore his goggles and leaned heavily against the passenger’s seat door. He stared out of the window, but Logan doubted he paid any attention to the view. If anything the kid still seemed shocked. He was shivering and Logan automatically reached back to grab a blanket. Single-handedly, he draped it over Scott, and then absentmindedly threaded his fingers through Scott’s hair.

The gates came to a stop on their rails, and Logan shifted into gear. Scott wasn’t looking back, but Logan couldn’t help but risking a look at the rearview mirror.

Chuck watched after them, a small figure by the balcony rail.

//Take care of him//

He was asked, and for the second time that day, he promised he would.

He would.

 

Last Night PG-13

Title:  Last night.
Author:
SG –
Scogan.
Rating
:
PG-13
Status:
Complete

Pairing
:
Logan/Scott
Warnings:
None.

Sequel:
  Nope.

Category:  Movie
Timeline
:
Post x-2. (x-3 didn’t happen)
Summary:
New Year’s Eve at the Xavier school for the gifted. Scott’s POV.
Disclaimer
:
No copyright infringement is intended or implied, all characters belong to Marvel/ Fox.
Notes:
As usual, a million thanks to cyndrarae for the amazing beta read! Thanks dear!

Collapse )

Heat Wave 1-2

Title: Heat Wave
Author: SG -
scogan 
Rating: NC-17
Status: Complete

Pairing:
Logan/Scott
Warnings: Non-con; contains manips, some are grafic - (up to R)
Sequel: Retribution. (previous 25 entries)
Category: Movie
Timeline: Post x-2. (spoilers for x-1 and x-2)
Summary: The turn of events over one hot weekend.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended or implied, all characters belong to Marvel/ Fox.
Notes: A million thanks to cyndrarae for the amazing beta read!
All possible typos are me ruining her hard work, and for that I apologize.

Also, regarding all of the medical issues in the story – if I knew a dead doctor he'd be turning in his grave… You've been warned :p

 

Heat Wave

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1

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The mid August sun was already heating the air, regardless of the early hour. The bus air-conditioning was barely cooling the hot stuffy space, and Piotr was already missing the 59 °F he left behind him in Moscow. The driver turned the radio on-

"...The State Attorney has yet to file a single charge against FBI's second most wanted man, General William Stryker, who was captured four days ago in the state of Massachusetts. The Attorney is still reviewing all supporting documents, and is expected to press charges by Thursday. The multitude of charges might include corruption against the government, releasing and abusing sensitive information, attempted murder and conspiracy against the president, and in the extreme case - attempted genocide and crimes against humanity.

On to other news, the third day of unusual heat got weather forecasters warning the government against a second heat wave. For the third day in a row, very high temperatures spread across most of the United States and Canada with a lot of countries already reaching 92°F or above. While officials say it is too early to declare an emergency state, hot lines are already open to receive distress calls and to inform citizens regarding prevention and first aid. The lines will stay open during the weekend which is expected to stay just as hot if not hotter. The weather today is without change, clear and dry, with a high: 107°F and west winds of up to 8 mph..."

"-Damn government!" the driver turned the radio off.

After the two hours drive from the airport, Piotr was more than happy to see the familiar landscape of Westchester through the windows. He rang the bell for his stop. He had two more lines to catch before reaching the mansion and the day wasn't getting any cooler. Much to his relief, a car was revealed as the bus exit the curve. By the car stood three teenagers, waving their hands in excitement.

"Piotr!" It was Marie who hugged him the moment he stepped onto the sidewalk, with his suitcases still in his hands. He couldn't help but to feel sorry for the girl, who had to wear gloves in one of the hottest days of the year.

"How are you doing bro?" Bobby shook his hand, and Piotr felt the temperatures blissfully drop a few degrees.

"Hello, Piotr." Kitty said smiling. Standing on the tip of her toes, she kissed his cheek lightly.

"So all of you stayed at school?"

"Yep." Rogue said. "And spending the summer vacation at school isn't as bad as it sounds."

They helped Piotr with his suitcases and entered the car. "So what did I miss?"

"They took us on a mission last week!"

"Shto takoye?! Where? When?"

"In Canada, four days ago."

"Really? Tell me all about it!"

 


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2

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"Bobby NO!!!-"

"Rogue, he's dead! We got to get out of here-" Piotr was tugging her arm with force.

"Colossus! We can't leave him behind-"

"Alright. Shadowcat- I'll take him, you'll get Rogue out of here. Storm some cover!"

The air above them filled with mist. Kitty phased herself and Marie through a car that was thrown at them.

"Colossus, you're dead." Scott's voice rang through the speakers.

"What? Why?"

"-Piotr..."

"Okay, okay." he sat down on the ground, next to Bobby's 'dead' body.

"That sucks." Bobby smiled at him. Piotr only sulked. He took the sessions very seriously ('As he should', Bobby could almost hear Mr. Summers say from the control room above them.)

The three X-men who were still 'alive' made their way to the armored car. It was beginning to crush as the crane pressed it to the ground. "Storm! We can't make it in time!-"

*bamf-*

The dummy in the passenger seat was gone.

*-bamf*

The dummy and Nightcrawler appeared behind the three girls.

"Exercise over X-men." The speakers announced.

Up in the control room Charles turned to Scott. "What do you think?"

"Mm, we had better drills."

With his left foot still healing (though it was much better), Scott couldn't take part in the Danger Room session. He joined the professor at the control room instead. It was the first time he ran a session since Alkali Lake. He realized he’d missed that.

Minutes later the group sat in the briefing room, waiting for Scott and the professor to join them.

"Why did I die?!" Piotr asked before Scott could close the door behind them.

"Magneto is a dangerous enemy Piotr," Professor Charles Xavier turned to his class. "You were paired with Kitty on this mission for a reason. Not leaving the casualties behind was right and noble. You made the right decision X-men, and for that I commend you, but Piotr cannot stay alone while his entire body is transmuted into organic steel. Not with Magneto around - Erik can sense the smallest amount of metal from a distance. By leaving Colossus without Shadowcat's backup you have doomed him."

Piotr ducked his head. The professor continued, "However, By staying in small groups like you had planned - and not attempting to reach the president alone by using an ice slide which Magneto can easily collapse in a junkyard full of metal - " Bobby smiled embarrassed, "You could have prevented losing two team members during this mission."

Scott saw the silhouette passing outside the door and got up from the professor's side. He could hear Xavier saying, "Good job at saving the president, Kurt. However with two casualties the mission had failed. We will repeat this exercise at 5:30 p.m. Until then I ask you-"

Once in the hall, the professor's voice faded.

"Where the hell where you?"

"At the gym."

Logan slowly exhaled, blowing out smoke. "Didn't know I was supposed to report to you every time I go there, Cyke."

"You can't smoke in here Logan."

The other man just tilted his head and narrowed his eyes, challenging Scott to do something about it.

"You need to attend sessions Logan, you need to learn how to work in a team-"

"And you're going to teach me?" Logan's eyes scrutinized him from head to toe and Scott squirmed.

This wasn't fair! The balance between him and Logan was broken four days ago, and Logan was using that against him.

"You said you will show! Why didn't you show?" Scott hated the way his voice hitched up, surrendering his inner turmoil.

Logan took the cigar out of his mouth, leaning against the wall. "Why did you leave?"

Scott ducked his head, but before he could reply the door opened behind him as the professor dismissed his class.

-"We'll get it right the second time" Piotr told Kitty as they walked out.

-"Thanks for not leaving me to the vultures." Bobby kissed Marie fast enough for nothing to happen but for her to breathe out frost.

-"Logan!" Ororo cheerfully called. "Are we still on for tonight, or are you going to ditch me the way you did the Danger Room session?"

"We're on for tonight, darlin'."

Scott swallowed against the lump in his throat. Logan and Ororo started walking away. "Logan!" she rested her hand on his forearm, "Can't you put that horrid thing away?"

"Only 'cause you asked." Logan stubbed his cigar in the nearest ash tray.

Scott felt the taste of ashes in his mouth.




3-4

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3

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"Home sweet home!" Hank placed his baggage down, taking his hat off. The heat outside was unbearable for a guy with fur, and he blessed the air- conditioned mansion.

"How was Washington D.C, Hank?" Ororo asked as she embraced him.

"Didn't Charles tell you? It hasn't changed much," Hank smiled, "However, my travel was not in vain. Worthington's 'cure' status has been changed from 'pending' to 'illegal'. I expect them to appeal any time soon, but when they do - I'll be there. I already have key congress members objecting to the cure, which is more than I could have said four days ago." 

"That's excellent!" Ororo smiled brightly.

Logan passed through the living room. "Nice going, Furball."

"You overheard us?" Hank looked at him quizzically.

Logan stopped and looked at him suspiciously. "Yeah. What of it, Bub?"

"From what distance? It could be interesting to experiment on-"

"I don't do experiments, Bub." Logan turned his back on them, walking away, body tense.

When Logan was almost outside the room, Ororo saw Hank’s lips moving, but she couldn't hear any sound. From the other side of the hall, Logan turned his head.

"Loud and clear Doc."

He exited the room.

"Hmmm...That's interesting..." the doctor mused.

"So," Hank gestured toward her uniform, "What did I miss?"

Storm groaned. "A Danger Room session not worth mentioning. We're doing it over again this evening if you're interested."

"Oh?" Hank raised one blue eyebrow.



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4

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A few minutes later, Hank walked into the kitchen. He wasn't surprised to see that's where Logan had gone to. Charles was there as well, staring out of the window. When the mansion was originally designed, the kitchen was supposed to have the view of an interior garden on the lower level. However, when Xavier bought the mansion, in order to customize it for his special... requirements, he turned the Japanese garden into an Olympic size swimming pool. It was used for training at first, and on occasions Hank used it in one of his experiments. Nowadays it opened to the students as well, for two daily hours with Hank serving as a lifeguard.

Joining Charles by the window Hank saw what caught the professor's eye. His fist hit the window ledge.

"I'm going to kill him!"

"Well he did say it was getting better," Charles smiled.

Logan approached them to see what they were fussing over.

"-I told him to stay off that foot!"

"Well, technically he is off the foot..."

In the large swimming pool someone was swimming laps. He was swimming front-crawl and breaststroke alternatingly, but he was fast. Using flip turn whenever he reached a wall, he didn't stop swimming. He looked professional. He looked...

"Summers?!"

Both man looked at him, amused.

"Don't underestimate Scott, Logan", the professor said with a smile.

"Yeah, Slim won his share of competitions back in the day." Hank agreed. He laughed at the look on Logan's face.

"Nothing big Logan. Local 25 yards swimming competition for youth between the ages of 6 and 18, but they thought he'd go pro. Won a scholarship as well."

"Why did he quit?"

Hank's smile faded as he reminisced. "Well, his powers first broke out when he was fourteen. I'm afraid it ended his short swimming career." Hank smiled, but his smile was a sad one.

However Summers' powers 'broke out', Logan could tell the story didn't end well. The man before him seemed genuinely concerned about Scott, and Logan couldn't help but remember how devastated he looked at the memorial held for Jean.

"Isn't fourteen early?"

"Well... yes. Usually. Unless..."

Logan could feel his grin becoming wolfish. He could smell dirt from a mile, and here- he smelled a whole pile of it.

"Unless what?" he asked and Hank stammered.

"Well... usually you'd be right. Mutation manifests somewhere between the ages of 16-21. There are exceptions, of course... But in some cases... when catalysts are involved..."

"Catalysts?" Logan was in Hank's face by then, "What sort of catalysts?"

Hank looked trapped. It was the professor who answered Logan's question.

"He smoked cannabis." Xavier's precise voice rang in the kitchen and Logan almost choked.

"Summers? I don't think so Bub-" Logan couldn't help his laughter but the professor cut him sharply.

"He smoked a joint at a school dance, blowing off the wall between the boys room and the gym. Two girls were severely injured."

Logan's smile was gone. There was an uncomfortable silence in which they could have easily cut the air with a knife. Hank turned to leave, and Logan had a feeling the doctor was asked to.

Once they were alone Xavier turned back to the window overlooking the pool. Logan took the cue and joined his side.

"Soon after that, Scott lost both his parents and complete control over his powers. I took him in." Logan was squirming in discomfort. Below them the kid took a flip turn diving forward fast, kicking the water.

"I'm not telling you this to make you feel uneasy, Logan. I want you to understand why above all Scott cherishes control, and why it was so hard for him to be robbed of it." It wasn't said out loud, but Logan knew who was it who deprived Scott of control and how.

//It wasn't your fault Logan. What's done is done, but don't use that against him.//

Logan's head snapped up-

"No, he didn't say anything, he didn't have to. When he's troubled, Scott's mind is like an open book." Xavier turned away from the window, "Look Logan, I can't tell you what to do, I can only ask you. He needs you right now. I don't think he slept in the last couple of nights. I know he's a little hard sometimes-"

Logan snorted. "Now there's an understatement-"

"But-" Xavier was cutting him sharply again, authoritative as always. "-he's only a kid."

Charles said, and no longer stood before him the dominant headmaster of the 'The Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters'. All that was left was a troubled man, concerned for his adopted son.

"Yeah. I know." Logan said. Seeing Charles like that was overwhelming. "I have to go Chuck... Got a date with Ro' in the garden."

"Of course. The new arrival of White Ash trees she needs help planting?"

"That's the one." Logan said as he left the room.




5-6

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5

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He couldn't sleep. He walked the dim corridors of the mansion with no idea what to do. So tired. That was all he could think of. So freaking tired, that there was nothing he could do but sleep, but he couldn't fall asleep. Does that make sense? Scott closed his eyes and leaned against the wall. Almost comfortable enough to fall asleep- just like that. But only almost.

 

Did he really have to throw his sleeping goggles against that wall? In the puzzled state of mind he was in, he couldn't remember why he did that.

 

Hank said it would take about two weeks until his new pair of sleeping goggles arrives. (The professor wouldn't let him pay -and he knew ruby doesn't come cheap) So what now? He wouldn't sleep for two weeks?

 

He tried using the sleeping mask, but when he was all alone in his room, and not in a strong embrace keeping him safe, he couldn't bear the eye cover. Hysteria much worse than any sleepless night quickly built in him at the forced blind state. He couldn't imagine living like that - how on earth did he survive his childhood? He had no idea.

 

He was hoping tonight might be better - he swam until his entire body ached - he should have been exhausted! Yet, as he wore the sleeping mask to secure his closed eyes, he panicked. He tried lying down on his stomach, telling himself to calm down, to fall asleep, but the mask - the blindness - it was too much!

Too much.

 

He pressed the side of his face to the wall, eyes still closed, and the room spun around him. He wanted to sleep! Then you know what to do, he told himself.

 

Yeah, he knew. After four sleepless nights, in which he dozed on and off in his office chair with his glasses on, he tried approaching Logan twice, but couldn't bring himself to knock on his door. What would he say? 'Hey Logan, I can't sleep without you, so- can I use your bed tonight?' he laughed at the thought, though what he really felt like was crying.

 

Four days ago, he woke from the last decent sleep he had. It was 4:00 A.M, he was held in a tight embrace, pressed down to a hard body - and he freaked. He left the room in haste while Logan still slept. Back in his room, Scott took the time cleaning up the mess he made there, while his nerves slowly calmed. Even now he had no idea what made him bolt out of Logan's bed like that, but he regretted it in every sleepless night that followed.

 

He was going to ask him to sleep over that morning, but instead of Scott asking Logan for help - he got Cyclops and Wolverine bickering over cigars, Danger Room sessions, and who knows what else, if ‘Ro hadn't showed up.

 

On the bright side, in his hazy state of mind caused by the lack of sleep, he finally dared to leave his room and face the students three days ago. Not using his crutches, he slowly limped down the steps for dinner.

 


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"Mr. Summers!" Marie was the first to notice his arrival, and before he knew it he was in the middle of a pile of kids asking him questions and examining his injured foot like it was the first time they ever saw bandages. Only after he spoke to the professor, did he understand the innocence in which the kids asked him what happened after he was taken out of the cell by Stryker.

He finally took a seat by Ororo and Hank. Storm smiled at him while Hank only scowled, eyes searching for the crutches. "You're going to make it worse, putting pressure on that foot." Hank eyed him closely. "You look pale. When did you last eat Slim?"

Scott couldn't recall being that hungry in a while. The mansion was getting catering services three times a day, and the food was usually good, but that evening it was beyond good. Then again, he was always hungry after -

He blushed hotly, almost choking on his orange juice, as he realized the reason for his hunger. He was never much of an eater, but he was always starving after sex... He looked up from his plate, his eyes searching the room. The dining room was rather crowded, most of the students were already gone, but the reconstruction workers were still on a break, chatting lazily over their empty plates.

"He grabbed an early dinner." Hank told him knowingly, "He's out on his evening run."

Scott blushed - was he that transparent? Hank patted his back fondly as he got up to take a second helping.




7-8

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But that was three days ago. Right now he didn't care for food, didn't care for anything but sleep. 

 

"-Ah!" he almost jumped out of his skin as a hand was placed on his hip from behind.

 

"It's only me, kid." the deep voice rumbled in his ear. A second hand came around him, holding him in a loose embrace around his waist. Scott leaned back into the blessed heat. "Come to bed." Logan whispered, and Scott's heart missed a beat. "C'mon." Logan tugged him toward his room, "Maybe finally we'll both get some rest. I can't sleep with you stomping back and forth all night."

 

Logan's room being pleasantly cool was Scott's first observation. The second was that Logan felt pleasantly warm. The man pressed behind him, and lightly kissed the back of his neck. "Get into bed." Scott felt dizzy - the tiredness, Logan's warmth, the soft lips on his neck... But then came the same fear, the same breathless sensation that got him running out of Logan's room four nights ago...

"No Logan - I can't!"

"Can't what kid?" wrapping one arm around Scott's chest, he inhaled the boy deeply. He could smell lust and fear on him, both as strong, both as equal. He caught a faint trace of chlorine as well, and was reminded of his talk with Chuck earlier.

"I'm not gonna do anything you don't want kid. Just gonna hold ya."

He was still mad at Summers for sneaking out of his room the way he did. Logan had woken up the minute Scott's breathing changed indicating that he was awake. He smelled the fear, yet he was sure Summers was only getting up to take a leak. He didn't expect to hear the door to his room open and close, then the kid's footsteps down the hall. At that point he was nothing but pissed. Did the kid really think he could leave unnoticed? Even without Logan's heightened sense of hearing, the kid's blind search for his glasses could have woken the dead.

He heard those tentative footsteps by his door twice since, knowing that Scott was standing there- hesitating then faltering, but he was too pissed to help him make his move. Only after three nights in which the kid barely slept, Logan realized it was up to him to reach out for Scott. Needing to get it out of his system, he took out his anger on Summers when the kid rebuked him for skipping a session, and now he could move on.  It was weird, but even before his conversation with Chuck, he felt responsible for Scott after sleeping with him. Never felt obliged to any of the women he slept with, but with Scott...

"C'mon- Get into bed."

Scott obeyed this time, pulling out the hated sleeping mask from his pyjamas pocket. He really didn't feel like wearing it. It was Logan who finally took the eye cover out of his hands and helped him wear it. He rolled Scott on to his side, and then spooned behind him, pressing close to him. It was the last thing Scott could remember when sleep took him.




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He moaned.

"Shhh"

Logan whispered in his ear, as his hand slipped into his pants, under his briefs, taking hold of his morning erection. Logan pressed a thigh between Scott's legs, nudging them apart, and Scott pressed down to him, wanting to increase the pressure on his groin. He turned his head and stared into Logan's eyes, the early morning sun was playing on his bronzed skin, glittering in his brown eyes. Wait- bronze? brown? He wasn't wearing his glasses yet he could see? He thrashed as hot wetness engulfed him -

Then he woke. He reached for his glasses- the world was a monotonous mixture of dark red and black.

Logan wasn't touching him. He was lying on his back beside him, sleeping. The only similarity to his erotic dream was his painful hard on. Scott glanced at the clock- 4:32 A.M. He needed to get out of there. Logan might wake up... Scott knew the other man could sense these sorts of things, detect lust. Part of his mutation.

Scott's breathless fear was back - what the hell was wrong with him? He clearly wanted Logan, but the idea of implementing his desires...

For the second time, he got up and crept back to his room like a thief.


 

11-12

 

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"Didn't know Mr. Summers could swim like that." Marie said as she added milk to her cereal. Bobby joined her by the window "Wow, not bad at all!"

"Good morning!" Ororo entered the kitchen.

"Morning Ro'." Hank raised his eyes from the newspaper he was reading.

"Bacon and eggs anyone?" she asked as she walked from the refrigerator and back, setting the ingredients on the counter.

"No thanks." Marie said quickly - she looked appalled just thinking of it, "It's way too hot for that."

"Not for me." Bobby smiled. "I'd love some."

Saturday and Sunday mornings were the only meals not served at the school, simply because no one showed up that early.

"Kurt! Morning! Bacon and eggs?"

"Guten morgen! Und nicht, danke schon."

Ororo shook her head. Sometimes Kurt's German sounded like English. Or was it the other way around?

"Logan! Someone I know won't refuse my food-"

But Logan walked past her. He walked straight to the window. Ororo joined him, looking out.

"Oh. Didn't know Scott is back to swimming." She looked at Logan watching Scott and her face darkened.

Beneath them, Scott climbed out of the water, momentarily massaging a sore shoulder before moving to dry himself.

 



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Scott picked up his towel. His workout was shorter this time - his left foot ached. Hank would go ballistic if he turned to him about it though. He was drying himself as slowly as he could - wanting to postpone his meeting with Logan as long as possible after bailing out of his bed for the second time in a row. He had walked to his room, knowing he wouldn’t sleep there, and by 6:00 A.M he felt he was going insane, so he went swimming. He didn't swim in years up until yesterday. He was happy to find he still had all the moves. He was a little nervous about his ruby quartz swim goggles, but they were in the Ready Room, right where he left them years ago.

He liked swimming again, and for all the wrong reasons - It helped him feel closer to her.

With no grave to go to, being engulfed in the cold water made him feel like he was with her in a sense. It was silly, he knew, but it helped. He could almost hear her voice underwater. At times he was sure he saw something too... the same fire like energy that surrounded her in his dream, the same heat...

He didn't care if it was the lack of sleep, the grief, or if he was simply losing his mind - just as long as it went on. Just as long as he got to spend some time with her... even if that underwater 'Jean' was nothing but a figment of his imagination.

Throwing the towel over his shoulder, he headed to the showers. He picked up his sports bag, taking out soap, when a piece of paper fell out to the ground. He didn't notice it at first and almost stepped on it, then it caught his eye. The paper had a dark shade of red - it must have been grey or yellow. Scott picked it up and began reading it.

He left the water in the shower running, and the soap untouched.

 

9-10



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"No splashing!" Jubilee yelled. She was lying on a pool float, drinking lemonade while reading a book.

"...That was 'a thing about you' by Roxette, and for those of you who had just joined us at WNYU 89.1 FM, on this sunny Sunday afternoon - we are trying to chill down as this now-official heat wave is hitting. But we New Yorkers can't feel too bad for ourselves- as in Phoenix, Arizona the mercury soared to 118 degrees today, setting a new record of being the hottest since July 1995-"

"Mr. McCoy, can you turn the radio down please? Thanks! I couldn't read like that..."

"Ah!" Marie cried as the water around her became cold "Bobby!-" her boyfriend just smiled at her amused.

The younger kids were playing and splashing in the shallow water while Piotr was swimming laps in the lanes. Kitty was sitting on the ledge, legs dipping in the water, bored. "What's the point of going to the pool if you can't catch a little sun?"

"Ah!" she yelped pulling her legs out of the water, "Bobby!!!" she raised her fist "One of these days..."

Hank looked at them, laughing. With the temperature rising, the pool opened longer and Hank spent most of the weekend there. Not that he was complaining, it was too hot outside to do anything else. The only brave soul who had risked going outside was Ro', summoning rain clouds above her new planted trees to keep them from dying.

"No pushing Mike!"

Hank got up, walking toward the shallow water.

"I wasn't pushing, Mr. McCoy."

"That's good Mike. Keep it that way-" Hank said as something caught his eye...

By the showers laid a discarded Nike sports bag. Scott's sports bag. He came closer -

By the bag laid a bottle of liquid soap, most of his content spilled to the floor. He heard the sound of running water...

"Slim?"

Nothing. The showers were empty, and Hank felt ill at ease. Something had to be very wrong for Scott to leave things as they were.

He turned back to the pool. "Okay, Sports. The pool is now closed."

 



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He went to the faculty's living room in search of Scott. Only Ro' and Kurt sat there, sipping cold drinks and watching TV. "Did you see Scott by any chance?"

"Nope." Ororo replied, "Didn't see 'fearless' since this morning" she said, and Hank told himself he imagined the bitterness in her voice.

He went to the kitchen, remembering the kid didn't have breakfast nor did he show up for lunch. He passed by the dining room on his way - the sun was about to set, the air dropped a few degrees, and the catering service workers were moving in the hall, arranging the tables. The air filled with the smell of food.

Scott was in the kitchen, drinking coffee, staring out of the window at the pool.

"See anything interesting?" Hank asked, making Scott jump.

The hot beverage spilled on the floor and on Scott's hand.

"Ah! Damn." Scott placed the cup on the counter, then opened the water and stuck his hand under the tap.

"I'm sorry Slim. I didn't mean to startle you. Let me have a look at that-"

He pulled Scott's hand from under the tap, holding his wrist. The burn was a low grade one, nothing some local anaesthetic wouldn't help, but that wasn't what got Hank concerned. He was still holding his patient's wrist, and he didn't like how fast the pulse was racing under his fingers.

"I thought you didn't like to waste water, Slim." Scott looked at the running water cooling his skin, confused. But then he saw his bag, his Nike sports bag, discarded where Hank stood a moment ago.

Shit! The showers- he completely forgot about that!

"You want to tell me about it Scott?" Hank asked him gently.

"There's nothing to tell." Scott couldn't remember lying to another team member until then.

"Then what happened?" Hank asked. He noticed how tousled Scott's hair was, and how strongly he smelled of chlorine, realizing that in a very non-Summers-like fashion, the kid didn't shower at all.

"Nothing happened Hank. I just... I..."

"- I miss her." Scott said, feeling his chest tightening. He was lying about her. He was using her as an excuse!... I have no choice Jean. I'm so sorry...

A large hand settled on his shoulder. "You know you can trust me... with whatever it is. You can confide in me, Slim."

Scott couldn't hold that trusting gaze. He knew that if he would - he'd break.

"Slim?..."

Maybe he could tell Hank? Only to him... seek his advice and nothing more...

"I... today..." Scott forced the words out of his mouth, when the loud shattering blow was heard.

They ran to the dining room, Kurt bamfing there before them, soon followed by Logan and Ororo.

"So sorry, I'm so very sorry!" a talk skinny man walked out of the door. "We've lost a pile of plates - not a pretty sight." He laughed a short, nervous laugh under his moustache. "Dinner will be served on time." He said closing the door behind him. Some kids were beginning to show, and Ororo sent them back for 'a few minutes'. They had a Danger Room session planned before dinner, and was already in her uniform.

"You were saying, Slim?" Hank turned to him, but all Scott could see was Logan staring at him with anger. He could hear them, no doubt.

"Nothing Hank. I was saying nothing." he turned to leave, dinner being the last thing on his mind.

Hank looked back into the kitchen, where the sports bag was forgotten for the second time.