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Mark
Howes



Second Chances
Part 3

Disclaimer: X-Men are the property of marvel comics. No money is being made
off of this so donít 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.




Scott Summers could feel Cyclops taking over. However, he couldnít let him. Not yet anyway, not with Helen with him. He immediately scanned the rest of the room. He spotted Selene with one of the New York State senators. Probably trying to convince him to do something to the benefit of the club. He hadnít been spotted yet, which was good. Then Helenís voice brought him out of his thoughts.

"This place is fantastic." Helen stated as she was looking around. "How did you ever get in here?"

"I know a guy." He answered rather coldly. Cyclops was definitely taking over.

Helen gave him a look that bordered on confusion and worry. "Oh." There was hurt in her voice and Scott scolded himself for it.

"Iím sorry I answered like that, it was rude of me. Itís just that..."

Helen cut him off before he could finish, "Itís all right you donít have to explain yourself to me."

"I want to."

That brought a little smile to her face and Scott suddenly found a very strong urge to kiss her. He almost did when he heard his name being called from across the room. "Scott, Scott over here!"

He looked away from Helen to spot Jack waving him over. Then his gaze went immediately to Shaw. The young man had surprise on his face and Scott found it somewhat satisfying. Then he shifted his gaze toward Selene who had turned to look at him when she heard his name. Scott then looked at Helen and motioned with his head for her to follow him.

When the couple reached the table, Helen gasped in shock. "Youíre Jack Blackman!" She managed to force out after a few moments.

Jack and Shinobi stood up to greet them. "And you," he started while kissing the back of her hand, "are quite the attractive lady."

Helen went beat red as Scott and Shinobi exchanged a rather cold handshake. "Scott you told me that she was beautiful, but that doesnít begin to describe her." Jack charmed as Scott pulled out a chair for Helen.

"It was the closest thing to it. However, it still pales in comparison I know." Scott replied giving a heart-warming smile to Helen.

When Scott sat down in his chair Helen leaned over to him and exclaimed in a voice that was barely a whisper. "I didnít know that you knew Jack Blackman."

Scott answered with the same volume right in her ear, "You never asked."

Helen gave him a playful elbow in the arm, which was followed with a smile and a little giggle. Both then turned their attention to the new woman that was approaching the table. "Selene." Scott welcomed as she reached Shinobi. Although his tone was more like ice than the usual pleasant one someone would use when greeting another. To Helen it also seemed to be more of a statement rather than Scott was actually pleased to see her.

"Scott Summers," Selene spoke with a false smile, "why I havenít seen you in years. You never call, never write, Iíd come to think that you were dead."

"Hardly." His tone was still cold.

"Yes well, you must come by more often. We would be happy to see you in here more often. Isnít that right Shinobi?"

"Quite." Came Shinobiís response.

"Thanks for the invitation but I donít believe that I will be coming in too often. I have duties that keep me quite busy."

"Well any spare time that you have donít hesitate to spend it here." Selene said her false smile still firmly in place.

"Iíll keep it under consideration."

It was Shinobiís turn to butt in, "That is all we ask. Now if youíll excuse us Jack we have other guests that we must attend to."

Jack made a quick nod of his head that sent them on their way. From behind his shades Scott gave both of them a heart stopping glare as they walked away. To his satisfaction it didnít go unnoticed by the two. However, both Jack and Helen caught it as well. Jack was the first to speak up about it. "What the hell was that Scott?"

"Sorry Jack, but those two and I never really got along that well." Scott apologized.

"It did look like they were making an effort. Which is more than what you did." Helen voiced her opinion.

Scott bowed his head. How could he tell them that they were both members of a secret society, which only worked to benefit their own political or social strength. That their predecessors had caused him to lose the love of his life, just because they wanted to. He couldnít tell them any of it.

Scott took Helenís hand in his, and looked directly into her eyes. Thatís when Helen found herself doing what Jean had done millions of times before. She wished she could see his eyes. Then Scott did something that surprised both of them; he leaned forward and kissed her full on the lips. It was like a spark of electricity was running through one and into the other. It was something that Scott would never have dared to do with Jean. Scott realized that heíd wanted to do it ever since he saw her that morning in the hotel lobby. And it was the final piece of the puzzle that made Helen fall hopelessly in love with him.

Shinobi was shocked, and that was saying a lot. He was never shocked, never off guard, never thrown. But when Scott Summers had walked into the Hellfire club, he was shocked. "What the hell is he doing here?" He asked Selene after they had left the table.

Selene just looked back at him. The surprise that was in his face was also visible on hers. "Donít ask me, I actually did think he was dead."

Shinobi had a scowl on his face, "That was just plain sloppy of us. We must know where are enemies are at all time."

"You think I donít know that?" Annoyance was evident in her voice.

"Well, at least we know where he is now. That could still be of some use to us."

"How so?" Selene asked; her interest was clearly peaked.

Shinobi turned his head toward her. There was a mischievous grin on his face that Selene found slightly scary. He motioned his hand and one of the personal guards Shinobi always had with him came over. "The man over at the table, the one with Blackman," the guard made a quick glance at the table and then nodded to Shaw, "I want him followed. I want to know everything that he does, where he goes, where he has been and where he is going to go." Shaw ordered.

The guard tilted his head slightly toward the ground and then brought it back up. His reply was monotone, professional, "Yes sir."

Shaw then turned back to Selene again, "Now, shall we get back to our guests?"

Jack was starting to get uncomfortable sitting where he was. Scott and Helen had been kissing for nearly two minutes. Jack knew he started timing them about thirty seconds after they started. Eventually he just got fed up and made a not so subtle cough. Scott then broke the kiss off, made a quick glance at Jack and then realized what he had done. Jack just stared at them. He was wide eyed and had a huge smile on his face. Scott gave him a sheepish little smile and then turned away.

Helen was still stuck in the moment. Her eyes were closed, her mouth was hanging open and her heart was skipping beats left right and center. It took her brain about fifteen seconds to register that the kiss and stopped. Even then it just replayed the moment over and over and over again. Needless to say, she couldnít get the grin off of her lips.

A very uncomfortable silence fell over the three, which Jack put to an end very quickly. "Perhaps you two should have rented a room instead of coming here." The comment made them both blush with embarrassment.

Scott was the first to regain his composure, "It never stopped you before."

Jackís ever present smile didnít fade one bit, "Why should it?"

Helenís brain was just starting to register the new events that were taking place. Her first signs of life were the moaning sounds that she made. Scott quickly looked at her. There was concern in his eyes behind his shades. "Helen, are you all right?"

When she spoke next it was quite obvious that she wasnít all there, "Wha..."

Both Scott and Jack failed at holding back smiles. Helen started to blink a couple of times, and then her senses started to kick in again. She looked flushed, her eyes were glazed over, and she had a content smile on her face. Both Scott and Jack realized what happened. Jack was the first one to comment, "Damn Scotty boy you must be a great kisser."

Scott was just about to respond when someone walked up to the table. "I hope I didnít miss anything." The newcomer asked.

Jack was up immediately greeting her. He took her arm and his and kissed her on her cheek. Scott spotted that he was going for her lips but she turned her head at the last moment. When Jack pulled away he looked very disappointed. Then suddenly remembering his manners he introduced her to them. "Scott, Helen allow me to introduce Cindy."

The new arrival looked at Jack with a bit of anger in her eyes, "My name is Emily."

Jack looked at her with a little bit of worry in his eyes. "I... I knew that. Scott, Helen this is Emily Pretson."

"My last name is Weller." Emily corrected through clenched teeth.

It took Scott every last ounce of willpower to fight back a laugh. His willpower was losing. Jack now and a very scared look on his face, and Helen seemed to be getting back in touch with reality, as Scott noticed that the content grin was gone, and replaced by an amused smile. Jack was now pleading with Emily to try and get her to forgive him. He wasnít doing very well and Helen had to jump in, "You know I think that I have to go to the ladies room. Would you please excuse me, and Emily if you could show me the way."

Emily graciously accepted, and before she left Scott heard her whisper, "At least someone remembers my name."

Once they were gone Jack slumped back down in his chair. Scott sat there looking at him and still fighting back his laughter. Jack was a playboy through and through; it was rare that he ever went out with the same woman twice. If he did it was conceivable that it would make the front page on every newspaper across the country. It had once before on one of the more not so exciting days in the world. Still, it would be almost impossible to remember every single woman that he ever went out with. Therefore, Scott wasnít surprised when he couldnít remember her name. It was still funny to watch though.

"So, whoís the new lady of the week?" Scott asked when the women finally got out of earshot.

"Who knows. I donít even remember how I picked her up." Jack sounded tired.

"Problems?"

"Like you wouldnít believe. This club has quite a history you know. The only reason I bought it was because I thought it would bring me more prestige. What with all of the powerful people that belong to it and all."

Scott made a little humph sound, and Jack inquired, "You know something I donít?"

Scott shook his head. Now was as good a time as any to tell him. "Jack, if I was you I would distance myself as far away from this club as possible."

"Why?"

"Itís bad news. The people that run this place are into a whole lot of things that you donít want any part of." Scott explained.

"Like what?"

Scott sighed, "I canít tell you that Jack. Just trust me when I tell you that the people that use to own this place, the ones that where just here. You donít want any kind of relationship with them. Take my advice and get out now while you still can."

"You know Scott, I donít exactly own the whole club. I only own about twenty percent of it."

"Sell it."

"Iím going to need a hell of a lot more than just your gut instinct to go on if I am going to sell it." Jack was getting annoyed now.

Scott looked sympathetically at him, "I canít tell you what they are up to. But it isnít just gut instincts."

"Then tell me what it is."

"I wish I could Jack I wish I could. All I can tell you right now is that the Hellfire club is going to go down sooner or later, and you donít want to be anywhere near it when it does."

"So thatís it. No explanation just get out now." The annoyance was replaced by anger.

"For now it will have to be."

"Sorry Scott not good enough."

Over Jackís shoulder Scott spotted the women coming back. He quickly put an end to the conversation. "Jack what I told you is a warning, not a threat. You can make up your own decisions about what you are going to do. All I ask is that you take what I told you under advisement."

"Right now thatís all I can do."

By the time Jack had finished his sentence Helen and Emily had returned to the table. Emily seemed to be in a lot better spirits than when she left. At least until Jack called her Carole.

Helen and Scott were having a great time. They were dancing, drinking, laughing, and having an all round good time. The only thing that was the same with Emily and Jack was the drinking. While Jack had attempted to patch things up with Emily, it hadnít worked out exactly as planned. Finally about halfway through the date he finally realized that the only reason she was staying was because she might never get another chance to come to this club.

In one quarter of the time that it took Jack to realize why Emily was staying Scott deduced that he was being watched. He had suspected that he would be from the moment that he saw Shaw. It just took him a bit longer to figure out by whom. Part of it was because the floor wasnít all that well lit. Another reason was because there where so many people that where there. However, the main reason was because Helen kept distracting him. Not so much that she was talking to him, but because he found it hard to not concentrate on her.

The evening was a relatively short one. Helen had to work at the hotel in the morning, Jack was getting bored being tied down with just one woman, and Emily didnít want to stay there a moment longer than necessary. Scott was happy with this; he had other things to do that night. His only disappointment was that his time with Helen was cut short. Jack being the gentlemen that he was offered them rides home in his limousine. Helen and Scott graciously accepted, but it took a little more convincing to get Emily to go.

After they had dropped Emily off, Helen decided that she would walk the rest of the way back to her apartment. "Itís only a few blocks from here," she explained, "and besides, itís such a nice night out."

Scott quickly jumped in saying that he would walk with her. Then Jack told his driver to go back to his mansion. Once the car was out of sight Scott took Helenís hand in his and brought it up to his lips. His kissed it lightly on the back, but it was still enough to send a jolt of electricity through her body.

They started to take the short walk back to her place. There were a whole bunch of thoughts going through Helenís head at that moment. Some of which where "What are you doing. Dump him now before he hurts you." And, "Are you crazy? Just look at him he would never hurt you." Then there where the ones that told her to take it slow and to not rush things. But then she took one look at Scott and knew he was the one.

"You where right you know."

His voice startled her out of her thoughts. "What?"

"The night. Itís beautiful tonight. I had forgotten how beautiful a New York night could be. Itís one of the few things that I miss about this city."

"Oh, yes it is nice out tonight."

The rest of the trip back to her apartment was in silence. They both just enjoyed the night, and the company. When the walk was finally over, both parties were left wishing it were longer.

"Well," she started when they reached her building door, "this is my stop."

There was an awkward silence between the two, which Scott finally broke. "I had a really great time tonight."

"Me too."

Scott gave her a little smile, "I guess Iíll see you tomorrow then."

"Yep."

Scott shook his head and then said to himself, "Oh to hell with it." Then he brought his right hand around to the back of her head, with his left arm going around her back. She followed suit placing both of her arms around the back of his neck as he lifted her off of her feet in a passionate kiss.

For Helen, their first kiss in the hellfire club sent a shock to every part of her body. Her knees went week, she started trembling, and it overloaded every one of her senses. It was the best kiss that she had ever had.

This one was better.

When they finally broke apart, Helen just melted into him. Her knees went week during their first kiss, now her legs felt like mush. She would have collapsed under her own weight if Scott hadnít been there to hold her up. She once again went back into her dreamy state and Scott just stood there holding her close. He stroked the side of her cheek from time to time, drawing moans of content.

She finally did regain enough strength to stand again. There was this complete and utter glow of joy about her that Scott found invigorating. She reluctantly pulled away from him and let herself in the front door to her building. Scott stood outside for a long while. His mind was still reeling from the events of the day. Then for some strange reason Jean popped into his mind. And for once in three years, he didnít feel like crying.

In Helenís apartment there stood a person watching Scott as he started walking away. There was a part of her that was happy for her friend. Happy that she had finally found a man that had this vibe of trust about him. Someone that could be counted on too never hurt her like every other man in her life had. Then there was another part that felt jealous that her friend had found someone. And that she was still looking for "Mr. Right."

Then there was the final and smallest part. That part was the one that was attracted to Scott, his kindness, his ability to make you feel good about yourself, and the vibe of care that was around him. All were things that she had never known in a man, and all that she wanted. Yet still he carried this air of mystery about him, who was he, where did he come from, what has he done? All that made for a man that she could fall in love with, and she was afraid that she would. So, that was the part she tried hardest to ignore.

But it kept coming back even stronger than before. And she was worried that she would lose her friendship over it. That she would lose her oldest friend, the one that had been with her through all the good times and the bad. The one that meant more to her than any other person in the world.

But what scared her even more than that, was the thought that maybe she should.

When Helen came in the front door, Tiffany was already prepared for bed. "Donít tell me you stayed up waiting for me." Helen asked.

"Itís only twelve thirty." Tiffany said placing herself on her bed, "so tell me, how was your date?"

Helen smiled her biggest smile at her oldest friend, and gave her the only answer that came to mind. "Magic."

Across town, in a run down hotel room, Scott Summerís night had come to a wonderful and fantastic end. There was someone from the hellfire club parked in a car a block away. Scott didnít care though he wasnít going anywhere. Cyclops however, had a job to do.

Part 4

<Other Stories By Mark Howes>


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