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Mark
Howes



Second Chances
Part 6

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 learned a lot about Tiffany during their lunch together. She was a student at NYU currently going for her masterís degree in psychology. She was in her last year before she moved onto her PHD. She came from a stable and loving family, not to mention that she was a fantastic athlete. Tiffany held major high school and collage trophies in basketball, baseball, and soccer. She was a state champion in basketball. Like Helen, she couldnít hold a steady relationship, although, the reasons were completely different.

Helen couldnít hold a relationship because everyone she went out with was a jerk. They treated her badly, cheated on her, and in one rare case her boyfriend had actually abused her. It was very difficult for her to trust any man she even acted a little cautious around Scott sometimes. Helen just didnít seem to know how to choose the right men sometimes.

Tiffany on the other hand, couldnít hold a relationship because she could never find the right guy. She was one of those people that wanted it all in a man. The guy had to be sweet, kind, considerate, generous, thoughtful, and all that other good stuff. Tiffany had met some people like that, but they just didnít fit the bill. The reason for this was because they also had to be adventurous, daring, mysterious, and have sort of a dark side to them. If that wasnít enough they also had to have money, looks, and some very powerful friends. That was why Tiffany could never hold a boyfriend. Little did she know the man of her dreams was sitting across from her at that very moment.

After a while Scott looked at his watch it read 4:30pm. He then looked at Tiffany and said with concern, "Iím sorry to interrupt you Tiffany, but Helen hasnít showed up yet, maybe we should call her. Does she have a cell phone?"

Tiffany had been truly enjoying Scottís company. Her attraction towards this man had grown a great deal over the last couple of hours, and it wasnít just the physical aspect of it either. She loved how he was willing to listen to her. Sometimes she had come up with little subtle tests to see if he actually was paying attention to what she said. He had passed with flying colors; no other man had been able to do that. When he brought up the fact that Helen hadnít showed up she was of course concerned for her friend. But there was this little gnawing piece of her that wished they hadnít been interrupted.

"No she doesnít. And you donít have to apologize, Iím worried about her to." Tiffany said placing a hand on his.

Scott then took her hand that was on his holding it in place. "Youíre a good friend Tiffany. With all the things that have happened to Helen, sheís lucky to have someone like you. But if she doesnít have a cell then maybe I should pay the bill and we can go look for her."

"Thank you Scott, coming from you that means a lot. Youíre right though we should go and look for her."

Tiffany with her one free hand waved over the waiter. She then looked directly into Scottís shades and found what Helen saw in this man. Then the waiter reached the table and Scott asked for the check. Once the bill was paid they where almost out the door when an elderly woman sitting alone near the door stopped Tiffany. She then turned to Scott and motioned for him to keep going and that she would catch up with him outside.

When Scott was out the door she again pivoted her body in the direction of the lady. The years had not been kind to her and she looked far older than she was. There was this aura of wisdom about her though and one could not help but be mystified by it. When she spoke it was like the wisdom of the ages was telling her what to do. "I donít mean to intrude but itís hard not to notice you two. Care for some advice from an old woman?"

Tiffany smiled sweetly at her. "Right now I could really use some."

"That boy out there," the woman directed her head towards Scott and Tiffany nodded, "whatever happens, donít you ever let him go. Men like him are few and far between. That boy out there is a keeper, donít lose him."

Tiffany looked at Scott for a second and what she said next surprised her. "You know what? I think I will." Then she went outside to join Scott in searching for her friend.

Helen was having the worst possible day. She was mugged, the bank closed her account, her boss had fired her from her job at the hotel, and to top it all off, she was arrested for loitering. She wasnít having a very good day at all. Her one phone call was sent home, and no one picked up. "They must be out having that late lunch I guess." She mumbled to herself as she hung up the phone. She had left a message, so when Tiffany got home she should be there quite soon.

It was nearly seven when Tiffany showed up. They managed to get the charges dropped quite easily, much to Helenís surprise. Once they were out of the station Tiffany almost burst a gut laughing. "Helen girl this has got to top every bad day you have ever had." She had managed to get out in between her laughter.

"Not a word Tiff, not one damn word." Helen growled at her.

Tiffany had managed to calm herself down somewhat and replied with a smirk on her face, "Okay, Iíll try."

"So how was lunch?" Helen asked, almost afraid to.

Tiffany sighed. As much as she wanted to, she just couldnít lie to her best friend. "Iíve only got one thing to say to you Helen. You picked a good one."

She just smiled at her friend and with a very soft, sincere, and grateful, voice thanked her best friend for her approval. "I know."

The rest of the cab ride back to their apartment was spent discussing the lunch between Tiffany and Scott. As well Helen told her about her day and what happened. Tiffany was sympathetic to Helen, and even offered to get her a job at a place that she knew of. Helen actually considered it before replying. "No I donít think I want to do that."

"Oh and why not?"

"Yesterday Scott asked me what I wanted to do when I was younger. I told him that I never really had that much of a childhood and so I never thought about it. That was a lie."

"You didnít say anything about having a dream in all these years weíve known each other."

"I didnít think that I could ever do it before." Helen spoke with a certainty in her voice that Tiffany had never known before.

"So what changed?"

"Itís hard to pick just one thing. You were a big factor in it, Scott was another. I know Iíve only known him for a couple of days but there is just something about him that breeds confidence in others."

"I know what you mean." Tiffany agreed. "So just what is this mystery dream?"

"I always wanted to be a doctor. I know I know, itís a crazy idea and I probably wonít ever..."

Tiffany cut her off before she could finish, "I think itís a great idea Helen."

Helen looked at her friend, "You do?"

"Sure. I think you should have gone for your PHD a long time ago."

The cab pulled up to their building and Tiffany paid the driver. They went to their apartment and then Helen phoned Scott to apologize for missing their lunch date. Scott was just happy to hear that she was all right and told her that he would be right over. Helen protested but Scott didnít listen and inside of a half an hour there was a buzz over the comm. Tiffany buzzed him up and a few seconds later there was a knock on the door. "Come in," Helen called from inside the apartment, "the door is open."

"You wouldnít believe the day I had." Helen stated as Scott came through the door.

"What happened?" Scott asked.

Helen led him to the couch in the middle of the living room and told him about her day. First she told him how she lost her job, "About five ten minutes after you left for the gym, my boss came in and told me I was fired. When I asked him why, he told me it was because of some money problems. I donít believe it for a second. They had those problems when they first hired me and they havenít changed one iota since then."

"So I leave to go home, when I get mugged by some street kid. All my credit cards, money and not to mention my bankcards are in there so I go to the bank to cancel my accounts. Turns out, my signature doesnít match the one I wrote last time so they figure Iím not the same person as I claim to be. Like that has ever happened to anyone before. So what do they do? They refuse to close my account. So now there is someone out there who has access to all of my money."

"Finally, to top the day off as soon as I walk out of the bank there is this cop there and I get arrested for loitering. I wasnít outside more than twenty seconds and I get arrested for it. Shouldnít that guy be out arresting people for murders or rapes or something like that? He canít just arrest me for taking my time going home."

Helen was almost near tears when she finished. Scott reached out and put an arm around her and brought her into a warm embrace. He talked soothingly to her as she started to let the tears run. After a while he brought her away from himself and looked into her eyes. "Donít worry Helen," he said to her, "everything will be alright." Then he brought her back into his embrace.

When Scott Summers had returned to his hotel the manager of the building informed him that he made a good choice in coming to that hotel. When Scott asked the man why his only response was that they were going to fix the building up the way it should be. Scott then asked where they got the money from to do such a thing the employer just said that they had some new investors.

When Scott entered his room he immediately began pondering the events that had taken place. Just one day after Shinobi Shaw and Selene see him at the Hellfire club, Helen gets fired from her job. Then she is mugged on her way to meet him. The banks refuse to close her account. She gets arrested in which the charges are quickly dropped, and finally the hotel that she used to work at gets a large donation of capital. This could all be one big coincidence. That is if one believed in coincidence, and Cyclops didnít.

Cyclops figured that his unexpected arrival in New York spooked the two. They retaliated by one of the oldest tactics in the world. Hurt those close to your enemy. Well, their plan was about to backfire. Originally, he had no intention of going after the Hellfire club but now. Now it was different and Cyclops didnít really know why. Was it because he cared about Helen? That was part of it, but not the only reason.

Scott quickly changed into his alter ego and scanned the outside of his room. The spy was gone, as he had noticed halfway through his lunch with Tiffany. Moving silently he slipped past the lobby without being noticed, and as he had did the other night, he went up to the roof and began traveling the city by the skyline.

It didnít take him that long to reach Manhattan, the tall skyscrapers provided perfect shadows for him to move from. He took a few moments to admire the streets below and how the citizens of the city went from one place to another without a care in the world. In another life he might have been apart of that massive crowed but fate had dealt him a hand that he didnít bother to question. He tried to change the world once, a foolish goal he now realized. It could never be done not everyone was open-minded. And the ones that were, they were few and far between.

Quickly changing his focus back to what he was doing, he soon reached a New York penthouse apartment. The address of which he had found out from Jack whom he called before he set out. It was an extravagant building which most of them tended to be in this part of the city. A forty-story tower, of which Selene owned the top five floors.

Landing perfectly on the balcony of the final floor Cyclops made his way toward the double sliding glass doors. There was no locking mechanism this far off the ground, which Cyclops found rather strange. Using one of the special features in his visor he began scanning the room for alarm systems. Picking up none he opened the door and stepped into Seleneís bedroom.

The cool breeze awoke Selene from her peaceful nightís sleep. She looked over to the balcony and saw that a door was open. The curtains were blowing due to the gusts of wind that were coming in from the outside. Quietly slipping out of bed, she crossed the room to close the door.

Once she slipped into her bed again she heard a voice that startled her, "Leave her alone."

Still half asleep she didnít quite realize who was speaking to her. The voice faintly resembled that of Scott Summers but it was lower, darker, and it stirred something in her that she forgot she could feel. Something she hadnít felt in so long she forgot the name of it.

"Whoís there?" She asked. Her voice sounded shaky, and she cursed herself for it. She had spoken to soon and whoever it was in the room with her probably knew what she was feeling.

"Leave her alone." The voice repeated.

Slowly moving out of her bed again, she calmed herself and spoke her next words with a bit more confidence behind them, "I donít know who you are but you made a big mistake coming here." Selene pushed the silent alarm on the glass counter that was sitting next to her bed. Five seconds later ten armed men came running into the room.

Cyclops was waiting for them when they came through the door. Already moving towards the first one, a straight punch knocked him back into the two other men right behind him. The force of the blow was so powerful that he saw one manís arm that was attempting to hold the other up, break. Three men were down.

Next, he was jumping into the air extending both legs at two men on either side of him. The man on the right hit the wall that only two feet behind him while the other went six feet before hitting the ground. The man that hit the wall went headfirst; Cyclops saw his eyes close and his breathing become shallow. The man that went to the floor was gasping for air and was struggling to get to his feet.

The five other men that had come in the room were momentarily stunned at how quickly this unknown man moved. The room was so dark that they could barely see. Their eyes took a few moments and then started to adjust to the lighting change. However, that moment was all Cyclops needed.

In one fluent motion, he kneed one man directly in the gut with his left leg forcing him to bend forward. In that same time he brought his right leg straight up into another manís chin, that blow caused him to lurch backwards. The man that was bent forward then took an elbow to the back of the head and fell to the ground, and he wouldnít get up for a couple of hours.

Landing on his right leg, Cyclops came around with his left high. He executed a full 180-degree spin and caught two men in the head. They collapsed to the ground of the penthouse apartment. The last man figuring that it would take too long to remove his automatic opted for hand to hand combat instead. He made a bad choice.

Cyclops ducked under the blow he was throwing and hit him with a right uppercut. The last manís head lurched backward in an inhuman like way and fell. Cyclops then heard the sound of a gun being cocked. He turned to face the man holding his weapon and fired a concentrated optic blast straight at the gun barrel. The bullet exited the barrel at the same time as the blast hit it. The result was a bullet that went spiraling down and a gun that came up and hit its wielder in the face.

There were two conscious guards in the room. One had a broken arm that was of no use two them, and the other one was trapped under the weight of two people. One of which being the man with the broken arm. They were both shouting curses. The one with the broken arm at Cyclops and the other at the men that had him pinned. Two punches from Cyclops quickly quieted them.

Selene only realizing who was in the room with her when she saw his optic blast being fired spoke his name when he had finished with her personal bodyguards. "Summers?"

Cyclops turned to her and stood up straight from his crouching position. He looked her square in the eye from behind his visor and didnít move one bit. Instead he only repeated his one command he gave her earlier, "Leave her alone."

"Mr. Summers." Selene stated.

Cyclops didnít respond, and Selene took it as her sign to continue, "I take it your little blonde friend didnít have a very good day?" She said in mock sympathy. Still Cyclops didnít respond.

"Take it as a little bargaining chip. You stay out of our way, and we wonít bother your friend anymore." Selene gave the terms of her deal to him.

Cyclops crossed the distance between the two so quickly that Seleneís eyes didnít register it. He then grabbed her by the throat and forced her up against the wall with her feet off the ground. He was holding her up with his left hand.

Cyclops brought his face within an inch of Seleneís "I wonít repeat myself again leave her alone."

"Or what?" The Black Queen asked as she was starting to near the point of unconsciousness.

"Or the next time I come here there will be only one body lying on the ground of this apartment. And she wonít ever wake up." Cyclops threatened.

Selene almost laughed at that, "You donít... have the... guts Summers" she spat out obviously having trouble getting oxygen to her lungs.

Cyclops smiled a devils grin, "Youíre not dealing with that four eyed freak Scott Summers, youíre dealing with a one eyed pissed off daemon. Now do we understand each other? You back off and you donít wind up just another rich bitch that was found on the floor of her high rise penthouse home."

Selene barely nodded her head in agreement. Cyclops let his grip go and she fell to the ground. She was gasping, and cursing. Even when she realized that he had left she still spat out his name with words long forgotten by the human race.

Picking herself up onto her bed, she snaked back down between the covers and then picked up a phone that was sitting on a nearby stand. She dialed a number and then spoke two words, "Clean up." Within minutes people would come by and remove the guards that lie on the ground.

Thirty minutes later the Black Queen lay in her bed awake. She had all sorts of feelings running through her head. Anger at Cyclops for everything he had done to her that night. Anger at her guards for being incompetent. She had identified what she had felt when Scott had first come to her room and she was ashamed for feeling it then as well as now. It was fear.

However, that wasnít the most disturbing thought that she had. She also felt another emotion. One that she hadnít felt in an even longer time if ever in her long life. She had come to use it in her vast arsenal of skills, and it had become one of the most useful. You could do so many things with it if you knew how too. And she had a feeling that this new Scott Summers knew how to use it very well.

That was what scared her even more. That he might know how to use something better than even she. That this child compared to her is more fluent in one of her greatest weapons.

She felt aroused.

Part 7

<Other Stories By Mark Howes>


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