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Second Chances
Part 17

Disclaimer: Cyclops and X-Men are the property of Marvel Comics so donít sue please.

Cannon: Comic universe. My own little take on what would happen after 
the Scott and Jean break up.

Rating PG-13 for violence and language.

"You wanted to talk, so talk." Scott Summers said as he sat down on the over stuffed couch in the middle of Jackís ridiculously enormous living room.

Jean was about to sit down next to him when she thought better and opted for the chair a few feet away. She still wasnít sure what she was going to say so she just started out with whatever came to mind, "Scott, Iím sorry."

He stood up right then and there, "Look Jean if all youíre going to do is apologize then you can forget it. Coming here was a waste of yours and my time."

"I didnít come here just to apologize. Well, I did but I didnít. Just hear me out please?"

She said the last word so sincerely that Scott sat back down in the chair. He owed it to her and to himself to at least hear her out. "What I did was stupid, childish, and selfish."

"Youíll get now argument from me." There was that edge to his tone that contained pain, fear, and sorrow.

"Please Scott, just let me finish. Please," he nodded and she continued, "There are no words that I can say that can explain to you how sorry I am. I just, I needed someone who could show me that he loved me."

"I always loved you!" He shouted.

"Then why didnít you tell me? Why did you become so distant? God Scott, I felt like you were someone complete stranger." She shot back.

"Donít you dare make me out to be the bad guy in this Jean. Donít even try it." His teeth were clenched now, grinding tooth against tooth.

Jean bowed her head in her hands and began to cry, "I didnít mean to accuse you of anything Scott, Iím sorry. Itís just that I miss you so much. All I want is for you to come back to me."

Scott felt his own eyes begin to tear. He hated to see her cry, "Please donít cry Jean," she looked up at him, and he could see even through his shades that her eyes were bloodshot with tears. "Itís just that you hurt me more than anyone in my life. You stabbed me in the back Jean, you did. From anyone else I might have gotten past it. Ororo, Charles maybe even Alex, I might have been able to forgive them in time. But you not only betrayed me Jean; you did it more completely than any other person possibly could have.

"You promised yourself to me Jean. Just as I did you. Then you went and broke that promise. You didnít even stop when I walked in. You didnít even come after me when I left. You just kept going and... go... ing." Scott finally broke down into tears that had been waiting to be shed for three and a half years.

Jean resisted the urge to reach out and hold him. She hated seeing him in pain just as much as he did her. She knew that if she did, she risked losing any chance of ever getting him back. But eventually her heart won over reason and she reached out to hold him.

She was surprised when he didnít push her away. That made her lean in closer and hold his shaking body tighter. Then she placed her head on his shoulder like she had done so many times before. Out of the corner of her ear she heard the slightest noise. It was barely a whisper, "Why Jean? Why? I... I loved you so much. I still do. Why?"

She didnít answer him. She didnít know what she could say. All she could do was hold him and hope that everything could be okay. And Jean wondered how someone could feel so sad and so happy at the same time.

It was past ten when Jean finally left the Blackman mansion. She wasnít leaving with her husband but in her eyes that was okay. For now. Tonight she had done more than what she thought she would have done. But that wasnít the thing that put the biggest smile on her face when she got into her car and drove back to the X-mansion. The fact that Scott no longer radiated pain whenever he saw her was.

The two had held each other in that embrace for a long time. After it, they stood in silence just looking at each other. Then he had asked how things were going at home. Thatís exactly how he had put it, "At home." She had told him of all the happenings since he had gone, and he had actually smiled at some of them. That wondrous smile that she loved to see.

That wasnít to say that she didnít have to work to get him to talk, far from it. His replies were most of the time short and to the point. She hated being around him and not able to hear his thoughts, but she just kept thinking to herself, "Take it one step at a time Jean. Youíll be back inside his head eventually. You just have to take it slow."

He was distant, and she hated that. He answered every question that she asked him monotone. It was like she was talking to a computer. But towards the end of the day he started to put a little bit of emotion into his words. Her heart did loops when he did. It was like listening to a symphony orchestra to her. A tearjerker, but in a good way.

There was still hostility there, but it had dulled from the beginning almost to the point where she didnít know it was there. But she did. Still, in her book the day had been a major success. She had finally managed to talk to her husband for a length of time without it coming to a fight.

She had tried to talk to him about what had happened to him over the years but he avoided those questions like a pro. They still werenít even a shadow compared to the way they were back when they were together. But Jean believed with a lot of luck, effort and love, they would be. They had to be.

The entire day was a struggle, but she didnít give up and eventually, she got to the point when she felt for the first time in years that things might actually work out okay. That more than anything else was what brought the tears to her eyes. By the end of the day, she knew that she had a chance to make things right between Scott and herself.

Everyone noticed her mood when she came in the front door. She was hopping around the mansion like a little schoolgirl. Most of the new members of the team were wondering what was going on. For as long as they had been there, Jean had been this distant woman that only the oldest members of the team dared try to talk to her.

One of the new boys went so far as to say, "Either some guy just got laid by that woman, or she has gone completely over the bend."

She didnít care though, she was too happy to care. There wasnít the slightest hint that her mind was in control other then the fact that she was hopping around and not falling down. There was only one thought running through her mind all night. She was going to get her husband back. One way or the other, things were going to be all right.

Tiffany drove up to the Blackman mansion just as this crazy redhead who obviously should not have been on the road was driving away. Her car was all over the place and when Tiffany looked at her, she had this dazed look on her face and a smile that could only be described as running from ear to ear.

She thought the woman looked oddly familiar. She knew she had seen her somewhere before. Tiffany didnít care about that though, tonight was the night that she was going to get her friend out of that hore house.

She had no trouble getting in the front gate, she knew that she was always welcome in this house. Johnson greeted her at the door with a barely noticeable smile across his lips. Tiffany kissed him on the cheek as he let her pass. She couldnít tell but she thought she saw his cheeks turn a slight shade of red.

She walked up the stairs to the room that Scott had taken as his own for the past five months and knocked on the door. A few seconds later Scott opened it and let her inside. "Sheís left the apartment I take it?" he asked.

"Yep. As soon as she turned the corner I left."

"How long is she usually there for?" he questioned as he stepped into the adjoining room to change clothes.

"About seven hours at a time. I figure as soon as she gets there she gets high, then after that she goes to work."

Scott stepped out of the room. He had on his pants, boots, gloves and muscle shirt. He held the bulletproof shirt in his hand on across the room in a closet his trench coat hung. Tiffany did a quick glance at him and marveled. She could hardly believe that less then twenty-four hours earlier she had slept with this man.

"Judging from what I saw last night, I canít get in there without making some kind of noise. And since I took out three guards at the front door last night, there are bound to be more posted tonight as an insurance policy. I can expect even more inside the building. Itís going to be a long night, so I suggest you donít wait up." He told her as he finished dressing.

Tiffany finally remembered where she had seen that woman earlier. "Scott," she asked, "who was the redhead that was driving away from the house today?"

Scott looked at her a second as if trying to decide whether or not to answer her question. He finally shook his head and said, "Sheís my wife."

That caught Tiffany completely off guard, and she assumed her face showed it, "I... I thought you said you were divorced." she managed to say.

He sighed and said, "We never got a divorce. But we havenít spoken to each other in three and a half years. We broke up on rather bad terms and I stormed out. A divorce never crossed my mind because I never thought Iíd meet anyone again. So I didnít bother getting one."

"What about now?"

He took a deep breath before saying, "I donít know. A part of me still loves her. I always will. And reconciliation for the first time in years seems like an option now. Iíd consider it more if only I hadnít met Helen. The funny thing is, itís because of Helen that Iím thinking of it. If it hadnít been for her, I doubt that Iíd even have even talked to Jean."

"Oh," after a while she looked up to him and asked, "Does she know what happened between us last night?"

He turned to her and said, "No, she doesnít. Even if she did, you and I arenít an item and never will be. You still know that right?"

Tiffany looked down again. Scott thought he could hear slight sobs when she said, "Yes, I know."

Cyclops moved to the window and opened it. He placed one leg outside and then turned to her and said, "Iíd be a good idea for you to go home now. Iíll drop by with Helen later."

Then he was out the window and Tiffany was left in his room crying. Her head had known that she didnít have a chance with Scott. She had to accept that in her heart though, and that was a completely different matter all together. Still, she could always have her fantasies, and her memories.

After fifteen minutes, she picked herself up off his bed and walked out of the house with someone she as yet didnít know existed.

Cyclops once again took the 1972 Daytona 500 and parked it in the same place he had before. He then climbed up to the rooftops and began making his way to Brooklyn. It took him the better part of an hour to get there from the rooftops, but it was how he moved. He liked the freedom he felt and the power surge he got. Up there, he could see everything.

He landed with his right foot firmly planted on the roof. With the momentum that he had it would have been impossible to stop, so he went with it. He pitched his body forward and stretched out his arms. Placing his hands flat on the roof he threw himself into a somersault and came up on the other side of the roof looking down into the ally way where the entrance to the building was.

Like he had expected, there were more guards out front. Six men four of them armed. The other two were simply there for added effect. Cyclops calculated the angle and then jumped off. As he had done so many times before, he gripped his coat by the edges and positioned them so that they would catch air like a parachute and slow his fall.

It worked perfectly, as it always did. He came down hard on the first man knocking him to the ground. He then used his legs as a spring, and lifted off his shoulders. While still in the air kicked a man square in the face. "Two down, four to go," he thought to himself.

Cyclops placed both hands firmly on the ground and then using both legs kick the closest manís shins. As the guard fell to the ground Cyclops kicked him once again in the head. He was out cold.

Shifting his weight and extending his arms, Cyclops forced himself so that he was perpendicular to the street. He then clamped his legs on a man who had just started charging and then using his momentum, he chucked him head first into an adjacent building.

Cyclops then spun and brought his legs down onto solid ground again. Then twirling connected with a backhand to the fifth guards cheek then finished him off with a left punch to the stomach and a right uppercut. The man went down with a thud.

He turned to face the last man, whom he had originally thought to be unarmed. However, out of his jacket pocket he had drawn a knife. His stance was a classic fighterís stance; crouched, palm out. His right hand held the blade, which was pointing down past his hand. In this way if he was to swing and his punch was to miss, the blade would not. His eyes were locked with Cyclopsís in a stare down.

Cyclops stood up to his whole six foot three frame, extended his hand, and twitched his finger in a manner that said, "Come on."

The man dropped his knife and ran.

Cyclops turned his attention back to the matter at hand. To his surprise, no guards had come out of the building to join the fight. He figured it was either because they hadnít heard it, or they were waiting for to ambush him. Cyclops was opting for the latter.

He simply walked up to the door and kicked it as hard as he could. As he had been expecting, someone turned the corner and lunged at him with a knife. Cyclops merely grabbed the knife by the blade with his kevlar gloves and brought it and the man towards him.

The guard was obviously caught completely by surprise by the move as Cyclops could see it on his face. Which in turn was introduced to Cyclopsís fist in a very unfriendly manner. The man fell unconscious.

The next one up came at him in much the same manner. This time however, Cyclops merely kicked him in the gut, grabbed the back of his head and tossed him into the nearest wall. Cyclops walked into the building and was immediately assaulted from both sides by two more guards. This time he blocked their assaults with one hand for each and when he found his opening punched them as hard as he could. They both would have mild to major concussions.

His next challenge was an African man that was nearly seven feet tall. Cyclops gave him a low blow, which made him bend over. Cyclops proceeded in doing the same only he brought up his left leg into the manís face. He then made a small jump, as there was another guard charging him. Cyclops brought his left leg down on the manís right shoulder. He completed the full three hundred an sixty degree flip by landing his right heal on the guards head knocking him down. With his right leg still in the air he twirled and connected it with the final guard knocking him unconscious.

Thatís when he saw them. Selene and some man standing at the end of the hallway. They had obviously been there the whole time, watching him.

He just stood there for a few seconds and stared at them. Then he remembered what he had come there for and found the appropriate room. Cyclops kicked the door down, hit the man that was with Helen, picked her up and left the building all within fifteen seconds.

Traveling by the rooftops it took him longer to go back since he had to adjust to carrying Helen. Whenever he found the time he looked at her. She was obviously high, and he cursed whoever did this to her. There was only one consolation he could see from this and that was that he could pass this off to Helen as merely a hallucination. It didnít make up for the pain that she had been through though. Nothing could.

He didnít want to take Helen back to his motorcycle and go from there. He feared that he wouldnít be able to support her and she might fall off. He also couldnít go back to Helenís apartment that would be the first place they would look. He did the only thing he could do. He took her to the first abandoned building that he could find.

It took a while, about two hours, but it was worth it. As soon as he found one, he placed her down gently on the floor. Fortunately for him she had fallen unconscious. The next thing he did was take out his cell phone and dialed the number for Helenís apartment. If they were going to go there, he didnít want Tiffany anywhere near the area.

She answered on the seventh ring and he gave her the location of where he had Helen. She told him that she would be right down with blankets. It took her less time to get there then it took him, partly because he had to spend time finding the place. They set up the sheets in the best makeshift bed they could and then tucked Helen in.

It was a while before either of them spoke. Tiffany was the first one to do it, "What you did was the easy part you know that?"

He looked at her confused and curious, "Howís that?" he asked.

"Next, she has to go through detox."

"The bastard took Helen!" Nicholas Crone shouted at his guards when some of them woke up.

"Take it easy Nick, we did the best we could," one of them tried to reason. His reward was a hard punch to his temple. Though not as hard as the one he got from Cyclops, it still sent him to the ground.

"The best you could? It was just one man. ONE FUCKING MAN!" he shouted again. "I want him found, then I want him cut up into itty bitty pieces. No wait, I want him tortured first. I want his hands cut off followed by his feet, then his arms and legs, finished by his dick. I want him found brought to me and then I want to be left alone in a room with him for five minutes."

Selene had to hold back her laughter. Nicholas wouldnít stand five seconds alone in a room with Scott. Let alone five minutes.

Nicholas turned to Selene. He projected a calm exterior, which overshadowed his anger that she knew he was feeling at that point. "Iím incredibly sorry for this untimely intrusion. I assure you that it wonít happen again. Now if you are still interested, Iím most inclined to accept your offer."

Selene met his eyes with a false smile that she knew he doubted was sincere, "Oh course the offer still stands Nicholas. The Inner Circle would be overjoyed if you were to join us as the White King." She told him, "The next party is in a week. I hope that you can make it."

Nicholas tilted his head towards the ground and then brought it back up to meet her eyes. Selene had no doubt that he looked down her blouse when he did it, but she didnít say anything. More due to the fact that she didnít want to scare him away from the Circle more than she didnít want to slap him across the face. They did need a telepath after all.

"I wouldnít miss it for the world. One week, I look forward to it." He then gestured toward the exit, and led her out onto the street where her limousine was waiting to take her home.

"I wish you a good evening Ms. Selene, and I hope to see more of you in the future." Nick said as she stepped into the car.

Selene was aware of the double meaning, but once again she didnít say anything. "Have a good evening Mr. Crone. I will see you again in one week."

Nicholas shut the door and the car pealed away from the curb. Selene sat in the back seat thinking about what she had just seen first hand from Cyclops. She found herself falling into constant daydreams about him, so much so that they had started to effect her work.

She had managed to separate her hopes and her work long enough for her to finish what needed to be done. But at night, her fantasies came to her in full force. As she took the long drive back to her penthouse apartment, only one thought kept running through her head, "God, heís absolutely magnificent."

Part 18

<Other Stories By Mark Howes>

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