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L. Burke

Escape and Evade

DISCLAIMER: The characters belong to Marvel, and are
used without permission for entertainment purposes only.

I remember once Scott and I were playing one of those stupid little games that are made for couples to play together.  The question that Scott drew was “Off the top of your head, state two words that would best describe your life.”  Did he fire out words like, happily married?  Oh no.  The two words that Scott chose after thinking about it were  “Escape and Evade.”  Sometimes, I think about those words.  I damn Charles Xavier for them.  I damn myself for them.  Most times I just damn Scott for them.

            The horrible thing is I can’t complain.  Scott’s skill’s at escape and evade, has managed to bring him home.  Has managed to bring me home, and bring my dearest friends home on more than a handful of occasions.  It just saddens me sometimes to realize that Scott’s considered his whole life a war.  It can also really irritate me when Scott turns his finely sharpened skills of escape and evade towards me, or worse that Scott feels he needs to sometimes.

            Warfare and tactics is something Scott just eats and breaths.  Scott has this deep understanding of tactics like no one I have ever met.  Not even Charles compares.  When it comes to tactics Scott is brilliant.  I have little doubt the Summers family fed him some in the cradle, but most of what he learned about tactics came from the school of hard knocks.  I played tag and hopscotch with my friends growing up.  Scott played and I’m quoting him here “escape and evade the bullies”.  Yes, that’s the game that Scott played growing up in the orphanage, escape and evade the bullies.  Scott told me once that he learned in at a very young age, when faced with a stronger opponent, escape and evade are the best tactics to use.

            Scott sharpened those skills of escape and evade to a fine edge on the streets.   Scott never talks about his time on the streets.  I what little I do know I got by glimpses in his nightmares.  Sometimes I wonder exactly what Scott had to do to survive out there.  Escape and Evade, such simple words such complex meanings.  Scott’s whole life on the streets could be summed up with those words.  Escape and evade; the people who want to beat your face in because you scammed them, so you could eat.  Escape and evade, the perverts and the pimps.  Escape and evade; the people who want to hurt you.

            By the time I finally arrived at the school, Scott was a wild thing.  Scott wild? You ask? When people think of wild they think of Logan, but that’s not true.  Scott is just as wild but in a very different way.  Cage Logan and Logan will take your hand off.  Cage Scott and Scott will chew his own foot off to get away.  Scott in his own way hates cages as much as Logan does and Scott reacts just as badly to them.  Scott was wild and very skittish when I first met him.  Escape and evade was usually his first response.  He would circle someone cautiously and then bolt if someone made a move too get to close.  I think Charles managed to make Scott stay with us, by letting Scott make the first move.  That and Charles never tried to cage him.

            I eventually either ran him down, tamed him to a point, or Scott finally let me catch him.  I remember that old saying “If you love something let if go free”.  I came to understand that saying very well.  It was funny our relationship back then.  I gave Scott plenty of space to roam.  To be who he needed to be, and Scott always came back to me.    Scott gave me the room to date anyone I wanted, to play the field, and I always came back to him too.  Even with Logan, Scott backed off and let me make my own choices.  It’s something I will always love him for.  From Scott, I learned that freedom is a very precious gift to give.  It takes a lot of trust, and for Scott, trust is not a very easy thing to give.

            There’s where Maddie made her big mistake.  She caged Scott.  First she took him away from the X-men.  Then later she had Nathan to trap Scott in to staying with her.  I have little doubt that Scott came to realize and resent her for it.  Like I said cage Scott and he will chew his own foot off to get away and that’s what Scott did.  Escape and Evade essentially became the words the described his first marriage.  Not that I blame him, Maddie could be a very unpleasant person.  The more she tried to corner and cage Scott the harder he tried to escape.  The more Scott tried to escape, the more unpleasant Maddie became and the harder she tried to cage him.  It was a horrible awful cycle.  So awful that Scott still doesn’t talk about it.

            What makes me angry; some people never stopped to question what would push Scott to the point of walking out on Maddie.  At his core Scott is a very loyal person.  When you’re his friend he goes to the mat for you.  When he gives his word, he sticks to it.  Like Logan, loyalty is going to be the sword that Scott falls on someday.  The irony is Logan of all the X-men is the one who wondered why Scott left Maddie?   Scott and Logan are not close, have never been close, but they understand each other better than we think they do.  Logan knew there had to be a good reason.   I know Nate these days’ looks at his father and wonders what drove him to the point of leaving his mother.   Nate has stopped judging and started questioning.

            Twelve years of marriage and Scott never used escape and evade with me.  I just let him run, be who he needed to be, never tried to cage him and he always came home to me.  He could be gone for weeks, leading rebel raids.  I never doubted he would come home even when we were fighting about something.  Hell, he never even looked in another woman’s direction those twelve years.  I’m not saying that those twelve years were a rose garden.  That’s the furthest thing from the truth.  Life was tough, we scraped by barely most times, and Scott and me did fight like hell sometimes.  Put together my temper and Scott’s stubborn streak and it adds up to fights.  Money and Children are always an area of disagreement in a marriage.  Parenting styles clash, Nate did things we would disagree on how to punish.  I would get mad, lose my temper and start yelling.   Scott would get pissed at me, and sulk off somewhere to cool off.  The funny think is I never doubted, not once, he would come home to me.

            In the future, Scott taught the people you could wage a war against a superior force and win, by escape and evade. Before Scott, Apocalypse had made sure that the common people didn’t know how to fight.  Only the upper classes had access to education, much less military history.  In fact, knowing how to read and write was an offense punishable by death for the lower classes.  I still remember me being look out, as Scott dragged Nate to the table for his reading lessons.  Scott told me once, with that stubborn set to his jaw.   That if we left Nate no other gift we were going to teach him to use his mind and teach him how to think for himself.  That’s exactly what Scott did.  By the time we were forced to leave.  Nate could read and write.  I taught Nate to use his mind one-way and Scott thought him to use his mind another.  I wonder if Nate realizes today, exactly what a precious gift his father gave him. 

The skills of escape and evade, came in quite handy when we were yanked in to the future to raise Nate.  Scott taught the common people that it was possible to fight and to win.  Scott introduced the common people to military history and tactics and they learned them well.  Scott gave the common people back their pride.  That was one of the reasons no matter how much of a bounty Apocalypse put on Scott’s head; no one took advantage of it.  Scott understood people with nothing left; just want a chance to fight for something better.  Show them away to fight for something better and they will leap at it.  Scott took a rag tag bunch of rebels, put them up against Apocalypse’s elite troops and won time and again.  Scott would come out of nowhere, hit hard and fast with a raid, and then vanish just as quickly.  I almost pitied Apocalypses’ men trying to catch Scott.   Having spent a few years trying to catch Scott myself, I really could sympathize with their plight.  The old fox can be very hard to corner much less trap.

I almost made the same mistake that Maddie did years later.  After we pulled that bomb out of his chest, I bullied him in to going up to Alaska to recover.  I was shaken down to my boots; someone almost got my old fox.  I almost lost him.  Scott hadn’t been able to escape much less evade that time and someone got a lucky shot in.  That started the doubt bubbling in my brain of; next time I might not be so lucky.  So I tried to bully him in to staying up there in Alaska with me, where I knew it was safe.  Scott did try it for me, and he was completely miserable the whole time. 

I realized now my old fox still needs space to run, even today.  He needs the room to be able to escape and evade.  He needs room to maneuver.  Escape and evade, the simplest and most basic of tactics.  Escape and evade, the most complex of meanings when you apply them to my husband.


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