Storm opened the door to Scott's new room and carried one of his bags in. As she laid it down she turned to Scott, who'd walked in behind her.
"I must say, Cyclops, I never expected you to come back, let alone stay."
"Yeah." He sighed. "I know."
"It must be quite uncomfortable for you."
Storm looked at him, her eyebrows raised.
"Yeah, okay, okay, Jean."
"Yeah, it's uncomfortable." He sat down on the bed. "I won't lie to you. Storm -- it's going to be difficult, especially with Logan around and seeing the two of them together. It hurt a hell of a lot eight years ago; this is just going to open up old wounds... What?" Scott asked as he noticed Storm looking at him with a strange look.
She walked over towards him and sat down on the bed next to him. "Uh, Jean and Logan aren't together."
"No, they are not. Haven't been since the day you saw them together."
"But I thought...???"
"You thought wrong, Scott. You stormed out of here so fast, no one had a chance to talk to you!"
"What are you saying?"
"I am saying that Jean loves you and always has. That thing with Logan was a once-off. She was confused and didn't know what to do! She never meant for it to happen!"
"But it did happen," he interrupted.
"Yes, it did, but it was nothing -- I mean it meant nothing to her. She loves you and always has. Her and Logan are nothing but good friends now. He even feels guilty. He walked around with his tail between his legs for months. I swear!"
Scott hid a small smile as he envisioned Logan as a little fluffy wolf cub walking around with his tail tucked in behind him.
"So what happens now?" Storm asked.
"I don't know. I honestly don't know."
A few hours later.
Come in, Jean.
Jean Grey walked towards the Professor's office. As she entered she thought Would this become Scott's now?
"No," the Professor answered with a grin. "It won't. Please sit," he invited her.
As Jean sat down she opened her mouth to speak, but the Professor cut her off.
"Jean, before you start, let me. I know you are angry and hurt and confused and about a million other emotions. I know because I can feel every one of them," he said with a smile before continuing. "The thing is, I didn't want to tell you that Scott was coming back because he asked me not to."
"Why would he do that?"
"He is under the impression that you and Logan are still together."
"I know -- he barreled ahead so I didn't have a chance to tell him. He didn't want to have to face you and Logan playing happy couples as the first thing he did when he got back."
"Right." Jean understood where he was coming from. "But it still wasn't a very nice thing to do. I mean, I thought I was going to faint when I saw him walk in."
"I know -- by the way, make sure you never use that kind of profanity around the students. I don't want them scarred for life."
Jean turned pink. "Right. Can I go now?"
"Yes, you may."
As Jean walked to the door she asked, "Are you going to be okay? You don't need anything, do you?"
"No, I'm fine."
"Well, I am going to check up on the kids. I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Of course, Jean. Good night."
Jean closed the door quietly behind her. Her mind was racing. It was too much. She'd hated it but she had finally accepted the fact that Scott was not going to come back...and now here he was.
This is going to be awkward, she thought as she headed towards the girls' dorms.
She spotted a pretty young woman coming out of one of the rooms, an armful of books under her arms.
"Hello, Rogue -- you have a class?"
"Sure do, should be fun!" She rolled her eyes playfully. "Any news?"
"Yes actually, Scott is back."
"What!!!??? When, how, why??"
"I'll explain all later."
"Umm, okay...you be sure to do that. Bye Jean." Rogue hurried down the corridor, murmuring "Why am I always the last to know?"
I feel the exact same way Rogue I do, Jean thought before walking away, not noticing Rogue staring after her.
Scott walked down the halls, his hands in his pockets. He was home. He'd missed this place. It was familiar, safe, and nice. At least it was until the door to the kitchen swung open. Scott came face to face with a man he had cursed for eight years.
"Jesus! When the hell did you get back?"
"Nice to see you, Logan."
Wolverine walked up to Scott and circled him warily as if expecting him to change into a monster -- Mystique, for example. "Jeez, I thought we had seen the last of you, One-Eye." He smiled. "Well, this sure is a surprise."
"Yeah." Scott pushed past Logan and walked down the hall towards the kitchen.
"Well. After all these years we still can't be civil to each other? At least I tried."
Scott turned and scoffed. "Civil! You expect me to be civil! To YOU! You! You have got to be kidding."
"Scott, if this is about Jean, well..."
"Shut up. Do not say her name."
Logan snarled. "Grow up, Scott. She still loves you. Leave it at that. I'm willing to try and be...I won't say 'friends,' 'cos that just makes me wanna vomit. But at least be...civil," he said with a wry smile.
"Right." Scott walked away and just as he entered the kitchen he was sure that he distinctly heard the word "asshole" be uttered.
Jean, having checked in with all the students, decided to take it easy. Especially after the day she'd just had. She decided to head to her room for a nap when her stomach grumbled loudly.
Food, she thought and made a beeline for the kitchen. As she walked in she froze as her eyes locked on to those ruby red lenses once more.
Scott had been rooting through the cupboards looking for something right to eat. He found a pack of Oreos and Milk Duds in the back hidden away and chose them.
He smiled slightly as he remembered one of his first dates with Jean. They had gone to the movies and he asked her what she wanted as a snack. As he reached for the regulation Milk Duds she'd grabbed Oreos. He didn't even know they sold Oreos at the concession stand in the movie theater. He had looked at her, his eyebrows raised.
"What?" she'd questioned. "I like them."
Scott was still smiling when he looked up just as the object of his thoughts walked into the room.
Jean stared at Scott's face and watched as his smile faded. Just as it vanished from his face, she got a flash of the memory in his mind. She looked at the candy in his hands and smiled inwardly.
"You know, sometime soon we will have to utter words to each other that are more than one syllable."
Jean gave a small smile. "Sorry."
"Don't be. You hungry?"
He held up the candy and walked over to the table and sat down, pulling a chair out for Jean. She walked over and took her seat. He broke the bar in half and divided the cookies and passed them over to her. She took a bite of an Oreo when she noticed Scott looking at her. "What?"
"Nothing -- it's nice to see you again Jean."
"You too. How have you been?"
"Good, I guess."
"Where did you go?"
"Everywhere but here." He smiled ruefully. "I went around the country -- California, Boston, all over."
"Why did you go?"
"You know why."
"I mean, you didn't give me a chance to explain myself."
"What was there to explain?? You chose another guy. You didn't care about me anymore."
"That is not true!!! I loved you -- you never gave me a chance."
"A chance to do what?"
"Scott, I made a mistake but you never even let me talk to you about it. You are the one that walked away."
"Don't make this out to be my fault," Scott said as he stood up.
"I'm not trying to make it your fault. God, why won't you let me finish!"
"Finish. Finish what!!!?"
"Look..." Jean stopped abruptly as she found herself looking into the eyes of Rogue and ten of her students.
"Umm...we heard voices, raised voices," she said pointedly. "We need the kitchen. The kids want to make fairy cakes as a surprise for Sarah's birthday," she said, naming one of the students.
"Right. Sorry," Jean and Scott said, shamefaced.
They walked away quickly. Scott heard one of the kids, a young boy, whisper to his friend, "Who's that guy?" His friend shrugged.
"Leave it, Jean..."
"We need to talk!"
"Yeah, we do," he said, turning to face her. "But not now!"
Jean sighed as she watched him walk away. Well, that went well. I can't wait for the next talk, she thought before she headed to her room.
Other Stories By Danielle Kerins