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Mark
Howes



Second Chances
Part 4

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.




Getting out of the hotel room unseen wasnít a problem for Cyclops. All he had to do was go out to the lobby, break through the door that led to the stairs, and go up to the roof. The trip had taken him all of forty-five seconds. He was completely unnoticed by the spy that Shaw had sent after him. Cyclops was disappointed, he was hoping for a much bigger challenge than that. But then again, the inner circle thought they were still dealing with the Cyclops of old.

Once he was on the roof he began making his way towards the mutant shelter in Brooklyn. He kept to the shadows, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, or rooftop to fire escape. Not ever being spotted by the homeless or the drug users below on the streets and alleys. He lost his way several times on his way to the shelter. Mentally he reprised himself for his lack of speed.

Cyclops wasnít used to the terrain in New York. Although he had spent years of his life in the city, he had never traveled the skyline. That was one of the first things he began to do when he first recreated the Cyclops. He had to know the streets and the city that he was in, that was why for the first couple of weeks before he even put on the Cyclops garb Scott had walked the streets. To any one that paid attention to him it just looked like he was wandering the streets no going anywhere. He was in actuality learning the quickest way to get from place to place. So when the time came he could be where he was needed at the quickest pace possible.

In his years away from the X-Men, Scott had traveled the world. He went to every major city and walked its streets' Los Angeles, Detroit, Tokyo, London, Paris, Toronto, and every other world city. Doing the same thing he had done in his new home. The only one he had missed was New York, and he now realized that it was foolish of him. He had to be prepared to come back and he wasnít. He made a vow, that before he left he would know every nook and cranny of this city.

Finally coming to a stop on the rooftop across from the mutant shelter he stood in the darkness. He crouched down and watched, waiting for something to happen. Cyclops knew that nothing was going to happen that night. He had stopped the shipment of firearms that were to be used in the raid. It would probably be several weeks before the next one could be smuggled in. Still one of the few attributes that he had carried over from his old life was still with him. And it was better safe than sorry.

So he waited, and waited, and waited. He was starting to get fidgety, when out of the corner of his eye he spotted five men walk down the street. They all looked to be in their early twenties, and all were fairly large men. One was Chinese, two others were African American, and the last two where Caucasians. The Chinese was caring a steel pipe, one of the African and one Caucasian had bats. The other African had a chain, which he was holding in both hands. The last Caucasian had an old six shooter pistol with him strapped to his right side. The butt end of the gun was pointing out toward the manís front. It told Cyclops that the man was left-handed.

All of them wore FoH T-shirts.

Cyclops had expected as much. They were obviously the rebels of the group that didnít want to wait to kill some helpless mutants. That was just fine with Cyclops. Quickly fastening one of the cables that he had pulled out of one of the compartments in his trench coat to the railing. The group reached the door of the shelter. Cyclops took one firm tug on the line to make sure it was secure. Wrapping the line around his gloved fist as he had done many times before he sprang from the top of the building and began his controlled fall.

The men below heard a fluttering and looked up. What they saw paralyzed them in their spots. There was what looked to be a man falling from the sky. It was too dark to see anything clearly. But it was definitely as if whatever gods existed where punishing them with this agent of theirs. It was pitch black whatever it was; the entire body of the creature was covered in shadow.

As it got closer and closer, they began to see that it was indeed a man. With one major difference though, it only had one eye. And it glowed deep red. The eye had some sort of energy about it and it seeped out through the sides. Traveling skyward in what looked to be a mist like substance. One man went so far as to dishonor his uniform. But every man was terrified beyond movement.

As the line came to an end, Cyclops let go of it and fell the remaining ten feet. Placing both legs out straight he landed right one of the menís head. The force of taking all two hundred and sixty pounds of another manís weight on his skull knocked the man senseless.

Upon connecting with the head of the man, Cyclops bent his legs and then leapt up again. This time he came down between one man with a bat and the other with a chain. Curling his leg to his chest Cyclops extended it to meet the next personís throat. He also gave the other man a quick jab to the temple. Both men fell to the ground never making a movement.

When he reached the ground, Cyclops placed his left hand flat against the concrete. He quickly bent his arm and with all the force he could muster forced his entire body back up into the air. Positioning himself so that his legs were on opposite sides of his head, Cyclops brought both feet down upon the casing of the manís brain. Forcing a battle between power and bone. Bone lost.

The last man had finally started to move. Drawing out his gun and bringing it up to Cykeís cranium as fast as he could. It wasnít fast enough. Cyclops was on him in an instant. Grabbing the gun and forcing it above his head. He then brought the barrel down to face the ground. Cyke then sidestepped so that he was standing parallel with the gunman. Still holding on to the weapon with his left hand, he brought his right elbow up to meet his jaw.

Cyclops heard a crack and then he was the only one holding the gun. He immediately dropped it to the ground and then kicked it away onto the street. Then Cyke turned to face his opponent. One quick step brought them together again, and Cyclops gave him one left hook and the man was down on the ground unconscious.

Quickly scanning the area to make sure that they hadnít brought back up, he piled all of the men together. Next he went into the shelter as quietly as possible. Picking up the phone and dialing 911, he slammed the phone down as soon as he received an answer. Normal procedure would maintain that the department would send over a car to investigate. They would pick up the militia members and charge them with whatever they could. Chances are they would be back out on the streets again inside of forty-eight hours but at least it was better than nothing. Cyclops ran back outside and scaled the building across the street in which he had originally been perched.

He then sat back and waited for the police to arrive.

Jean Grey sat alone in the room that she had once shared with her husband three years ago. She was holding a picture of them on their wedding day in her hands. Using her index and middle finger, she traced the outline of his body. One might think that after three straight years of doing this her hands would be at least a little steady when doing it. But they werenít.

Both hands trembled, the lower lip of her mouth quivered and her body was shaking with her sobs. Her eyes were failing in their attempt to hold back the tears that were protesting to be let free. Eventually she clutched the frame close to her chest and went to her bed to let the tears come. She had been this way for more then two and a half years.

Why? Why did she through her life away? Lust? Well that was part of it, but not the only reason. Looking back on the day now, she knew that if she could go back and change anything on the day she tossed the greatest thing in her life away, she would change everything.

They hadnít been talking to each other for a while. Jean was starting to wonder if he was the same man that she had fallen in love with. Looking at him she could see little traces of him. After they had freed him from Apocalypse he seemed the same. As time went on though he started to change. She quickly realized how much influence that devil had on her husband.

Scott seemed darker, more secluded than ever before, even when she first met him. He started talking to people with coldness in his voice that scared her. Jean began wondering if the man that she got back was the man that she wanted. She came to the conclusion of that answer very soon. He wasnít. That was her first big mistake.

That was what had first started their lack of communication. She just gave up trying to talk to him. He wouldnít talk to her and she just left him alone. That was her second. What he actually needed was for her to force him to talk to her. Have her make him tell her what he was feeling. Only then could she truly begin to help him. The reason that Jean didnít see that was because she didnít want to find out what was going on in his mind. She was afraid of what she might see.

After days of not talking to each other, she eventually went to Logan. That was the third. Deep down she knew that she would go to him sooner or later. That was another part of the reason that she didnít talk to Scott, she wanted to go to Logan. She half expected herself to do it every single day since he had joined the team. Even after her marriage to Scott she still wanted him. It was lust pure and simple she knew it then. She knew it even better now.

The affair had gone on for about a week before Scott found out. She and Logan had become sloppy. They had gotten to the point where they were all over each other in public. It was by sheer willpower that they managed not to rip each otherís clothes off in the middle of the mansion dining room.

She wasnít really surprised when Scott walked in on them when they were having sex. That was the end of it right then and their. When he left the room not five seconds after he walked in, she could have at least gone after him. She could have at least wept. She should have at least thrown Wolverine out of the room. Instead what did she do? It was something that was completely uncharacteristic of her. She and Logan finished having sex and then they fell asleep together. It was a moment that Jean would regret with a passion that came from her very core.

That was really the last straw and Scott walked out within the next hour with only the shirt on his back. Jeanís relationship with Logan lasted about four months. The entire thing was only based on sex. She knew that even before the relationship ended. That was one of the biggest reasons why it never worked out. That and the fact that Logan was never a man to be tied down with just one woman. He tried though; it was an honest attempt to give her what she needed stability with a flair of excitement. That combination never worked out.

The reason it didnít work for Jean, was even though for all the attention and love that Logan gave her. Of all the things he sacrificed for her, for all that he did and all that he was. He still wasnít Scott. The only reason they stayed together for so long was because Jean didnít want to admit that she threw away her soul mate for a failed relationship.

They lasted another month and a half. Always arguing, always shouting. Some of the team where amazed that they didnít kill each other. They made up at night though, and everyone knew. Jeanís moans and screams could be heard from the other side of the mansion. The peace didnít last though; they were always at each otherís throats again in the morning.

When the relationship finally did end it was on bad terms. The two were rather hostile with each other for a long while after their breakup. They did love each other there was no doubt about that. However, that love had been transformed into a love of friendship, not anywhere close to the good friends that they once were, but just friends. Jean regretted what happened with every fiber of her being. For she had lost a good friend in Logan, along with her best friend and love of her life in Scott.

Jean wondered every second of every minute of every day what happened to Scott. She had tried finding him; some called it her own personal quest. And she was one of them. During his short weeks with the X-Men, he slipped further and further into darkness. Not even Charles could get anywhere close to talking to him. He shut everyone out verbally and mentally. If you could get him to say one word sentences you could consider him talkative that day.

The team had stopped taking him on missions because of the way he conducted himself. He became rude, snotty, and he had this ĎIím holier than thouí attitude with him. He would insult, badger, and make you feel like you werenít worth the ground you walked on. That was just to his teammates. It would make you vomit to see what he did to the enemies. He brutalized them, beat them with weapons. More than one person went into a coma that they werenít expected to recover from because of him.

The X-Men had done whatever they could to try and help Scott get back to his old self, but he didnít listen. Instead of getting better, he seemed to slip more and more into the pit of madness. The more they tried to help the harder and faster he fell. So the team had done the only thing they could. They cut him off, and sent him loose. When he decided to leave, no one questioned him. They all gave him their best and watched him leave. All except Jean and Logan who were still going at it in her bedroom for the sixth time that day.

Scott and Jean never got a divorce. So technically, they were still married. Though they couldnít very well call themselves husband and wife. They had been separated for the past three years. In the first few weeks of her relationship with Logan she had thought about it. However, she had always put it off. "Thank god I did something right." She kept saying to herself. It was the one silver lining in the massive black cloud that was her life. She and Scott were still man and wife. It was the one thought that kept her going. It also allowed her to keep her wedding band on. Even if it was only by technicality. She was still his wife.

The knock at her door startled her from her thoughts. Loganís voice shook her with contempt. "Jeannie, Chuckís off of Cerebro. Jus wanted to let you know."

Logan felt bad about Scottís leaving just as Jean did. He had taken their leaders departure hard after he and Jean broke up. Logan in his own way felt that Scottís departure was his fault. Some of it was, but not all the blame was his to carry. Most of it belonged to Jean. And even Scott himself was not completely innocent in the matter. Thatís why Wolverine was doing everything he could to help Jean find her true love.

"Thank you Logan, Iíll be right out." Came the reply.

He shut the door and left her alone. There wasnít much more he could do. He had tried to find Scott on his own the old fashioned way, but his trail went cold outside of Westchester. The records of his credit cards went cold after the three months of leaving. That left a month of having to rely on cash and checks before Logan went looking for him. That trail was a dead end. There was no record of him ever finding a new job in any city in the US. The only good clue that he ever got was a large withdrawal of money about six months after he left. The total sum was unable to be determined, but it was quite clear that the amount was over ten thousand dollars. The transaction actually occurred in Westchester. However, when Logan had finally found out about it the lead was several days old, and Scott was gone.

They had eventually just resorted to Cerebro. Jean had used the machine for several hours every day trying to find her lost love. She was plugged into it so much that people had trouble telling where the machine ended and she began. The professor, Betsy, and even Emma had offered to help but they all had quit after a month. Charles was the last one to stop looking. Finally telling Jean that it was a lost cause. "He will come back if and when he is ready Jean. There is nothing we can do to change that," he said.

The frustration, anger, and fear had built up to the point at which she could no longer stand it. Jean had taken enough and she let loose on the first thing she could. It was to bad for Charles that he happened to be it. They made up after a few days as they always did, but at that point everyone had seen that the damage had been done. Though the two still talked to each other it was few and far between when it wasnít necessary. Jean and Charles had been on bad terms for over two years. Most of their communication was done through different people.

Sitting up on her bed, she took one final look at her wedding picture. She brought the glass frame to her lips and gave it a long and hard kiss on the area of Scottís face. She then set it back on the dresser and regarded it for a second. Then she spoke out loud the words that she had said every day for the past two and a half years. "We will be together again. I promise." Then she strode out the room to find her husband.

"Iím telling you it was a one eyed demon from hell." One of the members of the FoH spoke to his arresting officer.

"Sure pal, sure." The officer replied not believing a word his captive said.

"We can all testify to his existence!" another man shouted.

"Yea, right. By the time it gets to court, your story will have changed from this one armed street bum to the Bogeyman." The next cop said humor clearly in his voice.

"It was a one eyed demon I tell you. A DEMON!" The first man shouted at the officer.

"You fringe town bums are all alike. Always blaming your failures on other people. Why canít you just admit that you were kicked out of a bar for drinking to much and then you stumbled your way back here where you passed out."

"SSSSHHHHHH." One of the five men shushed. He was clutching his head due to the devastating punch that Cyclops had delivered to his temple. It made him look like he had a hangover, which only added to prove the policeís suspicions of them being drunk.

"We werenít drunk. We were walking down the street when the creature came out of the night and with some kind of unholy ease mercilessly beat us." Another of the captives spoke up.

"So thatís your statement? Some guy jumped all five of you and brought you down while not taking a scratch himself huh?" The officer asked.

The first man spoke up again, "It wasnít just some guy. It was a one eyed demon from hell."

"Then tell me, if you werenít drunk then what are you doing here?"

"We came to purify this world of the abominations that live in this building." The fourth man said directing his hand toward the mutant shelter.

"You know what? I believe you when you say that you werenít drunk." The officer started. The five men started to take things a little easier; this cop was coming around to see the truth of what happened. "I am going to place you all under arrest however."

They all looked at him with utter confusion. "What is the charge?" they all asked.

The officerís stare went cold. "Just a little thing called attempted murder." He then smiled as all five of them moaned with understanding. He then motioned to the young officer that was with him to step forward. "Tyler," he said, "book Ďem."

On the third story of the building across the street, secluded in the shadow of the ally Cyclops smiled. He had seen it happen many times before in his new home. The exact same thing, the story of what he was changed from person to person. Sometimes he was a demon, others an agent from a higher authority come to punish them for their crimes. In one rare case he had brought down someone that actually claimed that he was the Bogeyman.

In any case he had become an Urban Legend. Someone to be dismissed as folklore by police and others with half a brain. To the general public he was a myth, something used to scare little children into minding their parents. But to the select few whom actually saw him, or those who were willing to believe the stories of some street thugs, he was something real. Someone to be feared and wary of. Those where the ones that had to watch what they said and did else they bring him down upon them with a wrath that no one has ever seen.

Yes he enjoyed his new life very much.

He quickly made his way silently to the rooftops again. As always he kept to the shadows, masking his movements in darkness. He had a ways to go to get back to his hotel room. It was nearly five, and he had to be back before Helen went to work. He didnít want to miss the sight of her beautiful face in the morning.

Part 5

<Other Stories By Mark Howes>


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