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Second Chances
Part 2

Disclaimer: X-Men are the property of marvel comics.
No money is being made off of this so don't sue.

Cannon: This is my own personal take on what will
happen when Scott and Jean break up. However, everyone
knows that this will not be what will happen. I think
it would be kind of cool if it did though.

Rating: PG-13 for language.

Archive: If you think it is good enough sure go ahead.
Tell me where it is though.

The lunch was fantastic. Helen loved to talk about herself as Scott learned. He didn't mind though, to him she was fascinating. When she was ten, her parents moved away leaving her behind. They never wanted her in the first place and had treated her horrible. When they left she went to live with her grand mother who had raised her as best she could. There never seemed to be enough money, they managed to squeeze by though. The woman passed away about two years ago and Scott felt saddened for her. He tried to say something but he was never good at expressing his emotions.

She had done odd jobs here and there for the past two years. Making enough money to live on, not enough for any kind of decent type of life but enough to get by. She came across the hotel job as another one of those come and go jobs. Helen didn't plan on staying there long. It was just money. "So what do you plan on doing after all of these come and go jobs?" he asked.

"I don't know. I've never really thought that far ahead." Came her answer.

"Well what did you want to be when you were young?"

"I never really had much of a childhood. Grew up to fast."

"I can relate."

"Really!" she seemed surprised, "What was your childhood like?"

Scott took a deep breath. "Well, I'm an orphan." He began. "My parents died in a plane accident."

Helen got a sad look on her face, she reached out and grabbed his hand. Scott found it both soothing and welcome. "I'm so sorry." She consoled.

"Don't worry about it. It happened a long time ago." Scott proceeded to tell her his life story. About how his brother was adopted and he was left alone. How he had enough of the orphanage and ran away, his life on the streets, and about Jack. Finally he told her about Professor Xavier and how he took him in and raised him. Scott looked up at her from time to time and her head was in both of her hands. Her eyes were completely fixed on him. She was so wrapped up in his story that when he finished it she felt relived that it was over, and that she didn't have to hear anymore of the horrors that he had to go through. Yet at the same time she felt saddened that he wasn't talking about himself anymore. Of course he didn't tell her about everything. He left out the parts of the X-men.

"Wow, and I thought I had it bad." Is what she said when she finally got her voice back.

"Don't kid yourself, you did get it bad. I was just lucky to catch a couple of breaks that's all."

"From the sounds of it, you didn't catch that many."

Scott gave her a quick smile and said, "I milked the ones that I got for all that they were worth."

"Now that is something I can relate to."

Helen looked at her watch and gasped. "Oh my gosh," she started, "I'm going to be late."

Scott got up with her. He quickly pulled out a generous tip and left it on the table. "Going somewhere?" He asked.

"I volunteer at a mutant shelter in Brooklyn. I'm supposed to start in a half an hour."

Scott couldn't believe his luck maybe things were starting to turn around for him after all. He took a few seconds before speaking again; "You volunteer at a mutant shelter?"

Helen's head shot up like a bullet. She had a very worried look on her face, "Please, don't tell me you're one of those mutant haters?" she asked, almost pleading. "You're such a nice guy." She thought to herself.

Scott almost laughed at her, "No, no I don't hate mutants, I was just surprised that you do. So many people don't you know."

Helen took a sigh of relief. "Thank god," she thought, "I don't think I could stand to be with someone that was a bigot." She quickly scolded herself, "What are you thinking girl? You remember what every other guy in the past has done to you, don't ya? All men are bad news Helen, you don't want nothing to do with any of them." Then she took another look at Scott. "Well, except for maybe that one."

"Tell you what," Scott started, "I'm going down to Brooklyn too why don't you let me pay the bill and then I'll take you there?"

Helen's face lit up like a Christmas tree, "That sounds like a great idea" she said.

The trip from the restaurant to the shelter was a very enjoyable one for both parties. For Scott, it was nice to let down his guard for a while. He didn't know what it was about her, but for some reason he felt that he could talk to Helen about almost every thing. During their walk he had told her that he was a mutant. She was a bit shocked at first, but she didn't care either way. Scott was happy about that. He didn't want to continually have to lie to her about how he always had to ware shades.

For Helen, she found herself falling harder and harder for Scott every second they spent together. The fact that he was a mutant didn't change that for a second. If anything it had only helped to intensify her feelings about him. The only problem with it was that she was going to have to get used to the fact that she could never look at his eyes. By the end of the trip though Scott had her believing in love at first sight.

"Well, this is my stop." Helen said when they reached the foot of the building.

Scott looked at it. The building was old, probably built before World War II. It was your classic red brick building. The side of the building was painted with graffiti, along with stains of rotten food. Scott guessed that the building had just been turned into a shelter as it looked to be in pretty bad shape. Most of the windows where cracked or completely broken, the fire escape was in shambles, and Scott was certain that this building should have been torn down long ago. It was just that no one at city hall even thought of changing Brooklyn. All in all, it looked just like all of the other buildings they had walked passed on the way here.

"Certainly is a charming place," Scott stated in a rather sarcastic tone.

"Yea well you know what they say 'don't judge a book by its cover.'" Helen replied.

"Words to live by."

"Do you want to come in and see the place?" She asked.

Scott could tell by the look in her eye that she didn't really want him to leave. "Well, I've got a few minutes so sure why not."

The inside of the building was not all that dissimilar from the outside. There were cracks in the walls, the rooms definitely needed a new paint job, and the place smelled to boot. However, that was not all that he noticed. The people inside where kind and considerate. Considering how the world had treated them that was something to praise them about. Sure they were shy to begin with, but once you actually made yourself known and that you weren't there to hurt them they really opened up to you. The added fact that Helen told everyone that Scott was a mutant too didn't hurt much.

Most of the mutants that where here were runaways like Scott was. The majority of them had the appearance that branded them as a mutant. Some had fur, others tails and the like. Different color skin, and there were some with horns on their heads. There were only about five or six that actually looked human. The reason they were there was because their parents had shunned them when they found out they were mutants. Scott's mind immediately went to his life in the orphanage and life on the streets. He couldn't help but wonder was this any different. Then he looked at Helen and realized that if people like her were there then it had to be different.

Helen started to blush and Scott realized that he had been staring at her. He quickly turned his glance back to the rest of the room. Helen started to wave someone over to them. This new woman looked to be about Helen's age. She had long brunette hair that was tied up in a ponytail and it still came down her back. Her brown eyes glistened in the dim light that came in through the small windows. She was an attractive woman but there was nothing special about her. Not like Helen anyway.

"Hi Tiffany," Helen greeted, "I just got back from lunch sorry if I'm a little late."

"It's no problem, I just got David to cover for you." Tiffany then looked over Helen's shoulder at Scott. "Who might I ask is this?" She asked with her eyes going up and down Scott.

"Oh! I'm sorry Tiffany this is Scott Summers. He is staying at the hotel I'm working at." Helen then turned to face Scott, "Scott this is Tiffany Thorson. She is one of the people helping out at this shelter."

Scott held out his hand and greeted, "It's a pleasure to meet you Ms. Thorson."

Tiffany took the offered hand. While licking her lips and looking him up and down again she replied, "The pleasure is all mine Scott, and please call me Tiffany."

Scott made a little coughing noise and then swallowed hard. This was definitely not a subtle woman. He just smiled and said, "Well, if you insist."

Helen spotted the moves that Tiffany was putting on Scott from a mile away, and from the look of things so did he. Tiffany had done it a thousand times before. Whenever she saw a cute guy she wasted no time in making a play for him. It was one of her more endurable qualities. Most of the time Helen didn't mind, she actually found it rather amusing. This time though Helen found it slutty.

However, to her surprise, not to mention her delight Scott broke it off. "You know Tiffany it has been nice meeting you, but I have some very important things that I have to take care of today."

Tiffany was a little taken aback. Never before had a man just stopped her dead in her track before she could even get going, and the shock showed. Tiffany really didn't quite know what to say, "Well... it's been nice... meeting you too Scott."

He then turned back to Helen, "You know I'm free this evening and if you aren't doing anything maybe you'd like to have dinner with me."

All Helen could manage to get out was, "Sure."

"Great, what time do you get finished here I'll come and pick you up."

"Uh, seven thirty."

"I'll see you then."

Scott turned to leave; he said a quick goodbye to Tiffany and some of the children and then went out the door. As soon as he was gone Tiffany turned to Helen, "So who was that?"

"I told you. He's just a guy that is staying in the hotel I'm working at." Helen replied sheepishly turning away.

"Oh don't give me that. He's more than just a guy, trust me I know."

"Tiff, you know my track record with men. I'm not looking for a relationship right now."

"Then why did you accept that dinner invitation?"

"Maybe I just wanted some enjoyable company for dinner." Helen shot back.

"So your not interested in him?" Tiffany asked.

"I never said that."

"But you're not going to do anything about it?"

"Not right now no."

"Then I guess that leaves the playing field wide open for me." Tiffany said and then walked out of the room. Helen just stood there with a trembling jaw, and tears welling behind her eyes.

When Scott Summers left the X-men three years ago, he didn't go away empty handed. In his first days at the school Charles had started for him a trust fund. Scott had never touched it. He always knew that some day he would be going back to Xavier's school. Scott had almost forgotten about it. Only after the first six months of being on his own with no source of income did he finally remember it. It was quite a large sum of cash to begin with about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. When he finally looked at it after all that time it had turned into about five million.

He used the money wisely. Starting up a couple of small businesses using a different name, he got lucky and hired a few good businessmen. Before he knew it he was one of the richest men in the country. Being careful to never let the public see who he truly was, he hired an aspiring actor to play the part of the part of Jack Blackman president and owner of Blackman Enterprises. The young actor was skeptical about it to say the least. However, once he saw the life he was going to be getting, there were little objections about it.

There were privileges, and there were rules. The young actor got whatever his little heart desired. With all that money he had it was hard to find anything that was outside of his reach. Cars, entertainment, parties, women, everything all he need do was think it. He was, after all, one of the richest men in the country. Those were the privileges. The rules were that he had to play the part twenty-four seven. He had to give Scott access to however much money he needed, and there would be no mention what so ever of Scott's name in the business. This would allow Scott to disappear from the world. Both parties were quite happy with this arrangement. Not to mention the fact that Scott never had to worry about money again.

Much to Scott's dismay, Jack had decided to make his home in good old New York. They had an argument about it but in the end Scott lost for two very important reasons. One Scott didn't spend time in New York and that allowed for a nice distance between the two. The second reason was that for this to work Scott couldn't be hovering over Jack all the time, criticizing him on his mistakes. Jack had to be free to make the decisions, without any reprisal from Scott.

As it turned out, Jack was an excellent businessman as well as an actor. He brought Blackman Enterprises to new heights. Blackman expanded the company to include fashion, cosmetics, charities, medical funding, newspapers, television and movie studios, farming equipment, military weaponry, hell he even bought the New York Rangers. And through it all not even for one second did the press suspect that Jack Blackman was not who he appeared to be. He was charming, charismatic, and intelligent. He fit the roll of a playboy perfectly.

Unfortunately over the course of Scott's travels the two kind of lost touch. However, they never forgot each other, both for different reasons. For Jack, it was because Scott had given him everything he could have ever wanted in his life. Scott well he remembered Jack out of necessity. Scott needed Blackman Enterprises to survive; it was how he put food on the table so to speak. Also, he could rarely ever go anywhere without reading or seeing something about Blackman Enterprises.

So when Scott showed up at Jack's front door, he was a little bit overwhelmed to say the least. "So how are you?" Scott asked when the two were finally alone.

"Oh me! I'm great, all this money allows for me to hire some pretty good-looking physical trainers. As well as the fact that I don't have a care in the world. I'm doing pretty good."

"Glad to hear it," Scott responded with a smile, "but I do hope you are behaving appropriately."

"What me always." Jack said. Though the boyish grin told Scott otherwise.

"Right." Scott stated simply with a knowing smile and nodding his head. Jack turned a slight shade of red, barely noticeable, but it was still there.

Jack decided to change the subject before he got anymore embarrassed. "So what brings you to New York?"

Scott became serious for just an instant. No matter how good of a confidant Jack was, Scott didn't share his other life with anyone. "Business."

The ever present smile on Jack's face didn't waver one bit, "That's it Business. Come on man, both you and I know you don't do anything for a living. So come on what are you here for?"


"Well I guess that's your story and you're sticken to it huh?"

"That's right."

"Well as long as you're here, I've got this party tonight at this new club I bought about a week ago. Want to go?"

"Sorry but I don't think I'll be able to make it. I have a date tonight."

"You! A date! What has the world come to." Jack said in mock surprise.

Scott decided to play along, "Yes I know it's a shock isn't it, to think that a single man can go out on a Friday night with a young and beautiful woman."

"Oh so she's young and beautiful. Perhaps I should meet this girl."

"Woman Jack. She's not a girl." Scott said going serious again.

"Woman girl same difference. What is really important is that you got a date for tonight. Why don't you bring her along?"

"I might what kind of a place is it?" Scott asked slightly interested.

"Well it's classy with a sense of the modern times. They hire the best bands, and not to mention it's owned by me."

"What's the dress code like?"

"Suit and tie for the men, attractive dresses for the women."

"Well, beats what I had planned for us to do this evening." Scott said getting up from his seat.

"Just out of curiosity, what did you have planned for the evening?" Jack inquired.

"Well actually, I was still working on that when I got here."

Helen was not worried, why should she be? It wasn't like Tiffany could actually have a chance with Scott. Just because she had managed to steal every boyfriend that any other woman had ever had didn't mean that she could get Scott. And just because Scott was the most charming, considerate, kind, gentle, caring, intelligent, handsome man she had ever met didn't mean that she wanted him. No it didn't mean... whom was she trying to fool? She both wanted Scott and was afraid that Tiffany was going to take him away before she got across the starting line. If Tiffany had a shot though, why did Scott shoot her down before she even got started? Could it be that he wasn't attracted to Tiffany? No, no man she had ever met wasn't attracted to Tiffany. But then why did Scott shrug off her advances?

Helen spent the entire day wondering these questions. She went over and over them but they didn't seem to have any answers, and the ones she did get seemed to be wrong. She had completely forgotten that she and Scott were going out tonight. It was only when she looked out the window and saw Tiffany talking to Scott outside that she remembered. As quickly as she could Helen bolted down the stairs and was outside in a flash. As Helen had suspected, Tiffany was attempting to flirt with Scott. However, to Helen's complete amazement, Scott wasn't flirting back. As a matter of fact, it looked like he was trying to get away from Tiffany. Helen just stood there dumbfounded until Scott noticed her and greeted her.

"Hi Helen. Are you ready?"

"Uh-huh." Was all she could say.

"Great, Tiffany it was nice seeing you again."

Tiffany just stood there as shocked as Helen. "Uh... Right nice to see you too."

Scott then led Helen to the waiting cab that he had. After opening the door for her he went to the other side and told the driver to go to one of the stores that Jack had supplied the address to. When he had gotten in the back seat with Helen she finally asked, "Why are we going there?"

Scott looked at her with a soft smile and replied, "I have to get a suit."

Helen got a confused look on her face and asked, "For what?"

Scott simply said, "The place we're going to is one of those suit and tie places. You know the type."

Helen's face went from confusion to worry, "I don't have anything to ware."

Scott placed his hand on hers and spoke softly and soothingly. To Helen it was as if all the problems in the world just seemed to melt away when he used that tone. "Don't worry about it. While we're there you can pick out anything you want and I'll get it for you."

During the little shopping trip, Helen had found many gorgeous dresses. However, she was always concerned with the price. It had taken Scott quite a lot of talking to convince her that the price didn't matter. Although she still took looks at the price tags, she didn't bring up the subject again.

Scott had managed to find a suit in rather short order. Helen, however, wasn't exactly quite as quick. Scott guessed that she must have tried on at least twenty different outfits before settling on the one that she wanted. It was a black silk dress, which shone beautifully in the light. There were no straps to hold it up, and the dress came down to the ground. Helen looked beautiful in it and when Scott saw it he had to do a double take. He was wide eyed with his mouth hanging open, and Helen failed in attempting to stifle a giggle.

When Scott finally found his voice again it came in long pauses. "You... look... beautiful."

Helen kind of shied away and her face turned a shade of red. She muttered a thank you and then Scott paid for the dress and suit. They managed to make it to the club at about nine thirty. The first thing Scott noticed when he entered the club was that Jack was right, this was a classy place. Some of the biggest names in the world where at this club. There were actors, directors, businessmen and women. There were even a couple of people involved in politics. The next thing that came to Scott's mind was that this was like the Hellfire Club.

Then he saw Shinobi Shaw sitting with Jack Blackman. That was when it hit Scott this was the Hellfire Club.

Part 3

<Other Stories By Mark Howes>

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