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Second Chances
Part 7

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.

"Shaw we need to talk." Selene demanded as she walked into her business partners office.

"Oh what about?" Shinobi asked not looking up from the papers on his desk.

"The Summers problem." Selene replied as she got to him placing both hands on his oak desk.

Shinobi looked up at her. His face was full of confusion, "What Summers problem? He canít do anything to us," then he paused and looked at her with anger filling his eyes, "you did deliver the terms of the deal to him didnít you?"

Selene stepped back for an instant; "Oh I told him the terms of the deal all right."

Shaw smiled at her and spoke as if he didnít have a care in the world, "Then what is the problem?"

The Black Queen almost laughed at that, "Whatís the problem? Whatís the problem? He rejected the deal thatís the problem. Then he took out ten armed guards and threatened to kill me if we come anywhere close to that little blonde bitch again."

Shinobiís smile turned to shock very quickly, "What did you say?" he asked.

Selene just looked at him with an angry glare; "You heard what I said."

"Well, this is a very unexpected course of events, one which Iím not pleased with. He beat ten armed men, and then threatened you. This isnít good, however, it is easily remedied." Shaw tapped a button on his phone, "Becky, you remember that gentleman that I met in Russia a year ago?" there was a reply from Shinobiís secretary and then he continued, "Get me his number please. I wish to speak with him."

"What, may I ask are you going to do?" Selene inquired when Shinobi let go of the button cutting off the connection with the woman outside his office.

"You said that he threatened to kill you?" Selene nodded and Shaw resumed, "Well then my dear, I believe you will enjoy immensely what I will have done to our old friend Mr. Summers."

Shaw ginned and evil grin and Selene wondered why she didnít feel like doing the same. She always had before whenever Shaw decided to take care of someone the way he was going to take care of Scott.

Scott? Why did she call him Scott? She never called anyone of her enemies by their first name. To her it showed a personal connection between the two if you used their first name. She tried to avoid calling Shaw Shinobi whenever she could. But she had openly called Summers Scott why?

She didnít dwell on it that much she had better things to do with her time. However, for the past five hours he was all she could think about, and not just the way he had embarrassed her either. She left Shawís office with Scott still on her mind. The way he had dropped ten men and not been touched. The way entered her home without anyone noticing, the way he had just blatantly threatened her life as if his wasnít in danger. She found herself extremely turned on when she thought of him.

"Tiffany what do you think NYU, or some other place?" Helen asked her friend while pondering the question of where she was going to go to school.

"Donít worry about it right now. You have more important things to do." Tiffany replied.

Helen turned on her position on the couch to face her friend, "Oh yea, like what?" she asked.

"Oh I donít know, maybe getting ready to help out at the shelter again today. We only have about two hours to get there and you arenít even dressed yet." Tiffany answered with her hands on her hips.

Helenís face went pale white, "I completely forgot about that."

"I figured you might, thatís why I got the tub running water just a few seconds ago."

Helen jumped up and ran past her friend into the bathroom. She muttered thanks to her friend as she passed and shut the door behind her. The intercom rang and Tiffany went to get it. "Hello." She said when she reached the COM.

"Hi Tiffany itís Scott can I come up?" she heard Scott ask over the fuzzy noise in the background.

"Sure Scott." Tiffany then held down the button to open the front door to the building and let Scott into the building. A few seconds later there was a knock on the door and Tiffany answered. "Come on in." She said to Scott as he entered her apartment. "So, what are you doing here?" she asked once he was through the door.

"Just came to see how Helen was doing today thatís all."

"Oh well, sheís in the washroom right now getting ready to go out to the mutant shelter today so she isnít really ready for a conversation right now."

"Uh thatís okay, I just came by to give her these," Scott pulled out a bouquet of red roses that he had held behind his back, "do you have anyplace where I could put these?"

"As a matter of fact I do. Just give me a minute to get something to put those in." Tiffany went to the kitchen and retrieved a vase from under the counter and filled it with water. She then walked back into the living room and took the roses from Scott and put them in the vase.

"That was very kind of you to do Scott. Iím sure that Helen will be very grateful."

Scott smiled at her and then said, "Unfortunately, I canít stay for that long. I have some errands to run today and I just stopped by to say hi."

"Thatís okay. Sheíll appreciate the gesture anyway." Tiffany said as she walked him to the door.

"Can you have her call me when she finishes? I wanted to take her out to dinner tonight because of what happened yesterday and all. See if I can cheer her up."

"That I can do. I guess Iíll see you later then?" She asked.

"Yea latter, and thank you again Tiffany you really are a great friend to Helen. She needs people like you at a time like this." He kissed her on the cheek and then went out the door.

"Thank you for that Scott. Have a good day." She called as he stepped into the elevator.

He waved back and then the elevator doors closed behind him. Tiffany turned and went back inside the room. She heard Helen call from inside the bathroom; "Did I hear you talking to someone just now?"

Tiffany took a few moments to answer before she called back to her friend, "No, just someone called and had a wrong number."

"Thatís funny I donít think I heard the phone ring."

"It has been doing that for a while now I think we should get it fixed." Tiffany lied as she sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. She watched it until it was time for Helen and her to go to the shelter.

"Scott old buddy, what the hell are you doing?" Jack Blackman asked as he watched his friend pace back and forth across one of his many living rooms in his house.

"I donít know Jack. I really donít know."

"Well for starters sit down man youíre making me nervous."

Scott sat down on one of the gigantic couches ever made. He placed his hands on his face and drew them down. Jack just sat there and looked at him waiting for him to speak. "I havenít felt this way in a long time." He finally said.

"Now what way might that be?" Jack asked.

"Itís not quite love, but no other word can seem to describe it."

"How do you know itís not love?"

"Iíve been in love before Jack." Scott said in a low voice, he almost sounded sad.

"You never mentioned it to me before." Jack said getting interested. Scott rarely ever talked about himself. As a matter of face Jack couldnít remember the last time that Scott had willingly given information about his life before Jack met him.

"I never really wanted to before."

"So what has changed." Jack shifted his body to face the other man. He had never seen Scott like this. To Jack, Scott was always distant. He never seemed to be accessible to the world. It was as if in his short life, he had seen more things and been through more experiences than anyone should have ever had.

"Nothing, and everything. That is what is making this so damn complicated. Itís like Helen has opened up the world that I had forgotten. I can feel things again. I feel happy when Iím around her. I feel sad when she and I are apart. I can laugh and smile again. Itís nice. Thereís no longer an eternal emptiness that Iím condemned to live in. I can see a faint light of hope instead of an endless black night which Iíve been living in longer than I care to remember."

"Wow, that was deep Scotty boy."

"Donít make this into a joke Jack. Iím trying to have a serious conversation." Scott warned.

Jack put up his hands into an ĎI surrenderí posture. "Sorry man, didnít mean to interrupt. Itís just Iíve never been in love."

"Thatís because you chose only the mindless bimbos that you have no chance of a serious relationship with."

"Well thanks for that earth shattering news." Jack said with sarcasm dripping off is words.

"Tell me Jack, before all this," Scott directed his hand all over the room that he was currently sitting in, "did you ever have any feelings about a person that you thought could turn into something more?"

Jackís head dropped. For a second Scott thought that he had asked something wrong, like he had stepped over some boundary that he didnít know about. Then Jack lifted his head up and answered, "No. Never."

Then his ever-present smile returned to his face and he spoke with an eagerness that almost masked his sadness. Almost, "But this isnít about me this is about you."

Scott gave him a half smile, "Sorry Jack, but I think that the mood for me telling about my past is dead. Better luck next time though."

Jack stood up with him and walked him to the hallway before speaking again, "Oh yea I forgot to ask you last time, how long are you going to be staying in town for?"

"Only a few more days."

"Well Scott you had better extend your time here."

"Why is that may I ask?"

"Because this house is so big that I donít know how to get out of it."

There was a knock at his office door and without looking up from his work Shinobi Shaw shouted, "Itís open."

The double doors that led from the main hallway of the top floor of Shaw Enterprises to the head office of that powerful company opened. In walked two people, a young woman not to tall. She had short blonde hair with a set of glasses that covered her brown eyes. She wore a blue business suit; however, a skirt that came down to the womanís knee had replaced the pants. She was slim but not to the point that she was anorexic.

The man that walked in behind her was about as opposite as opposites get. The man was big, about nine foot six. He weighed between seven and nine hundred pounds. All of it was muscle. He wore a black business suit, which looked absolutely ridiculous on him. The man walked with a grace that betrayed his vast size. When his foot came down and touched the floor, even with the lightest step the room seemed to shake and vibrate. Though not a single sound was made when he did.

Shinobi got up from behind the desk and crossed the room to meet the to individuals. The woman moved aside and Shaw extended his hand to greet the big man. "Mr. Rosho." He welcomed with a smile that both of them knew was just for show.

The man known as Rosho took the offered hand and squeezed it gently. Not enough to actually hurt Shaw but enough to tell the man that he was stronger than he even appeared to be. "Mr. Shaw." The big man spoke with a heavy Russian accent. It was apparent that the man didnít spend all that time outside of his motherland.

"Please have a seat," Shinobi offered as he extended his hand towards a chair that was positioned in front of his desk, "Rebecca, if you would be so kind as to give Selene a call please?" Becky gave her employer a nervous glance and then left the room to do as asked.

"Thank you," came the reply from Rosho as he sat down after Rebecca had left. The solidly built chair squeaked under the pressure of the manís body, and it sounded to Shaw that it was going to collapse due to it.

"So Mr. Shaw, vat is so important dat you had to bring me all de vay to America?" Rosho asked when he became comfortable sitting in the black leather chair.

"I have a need for your services. There is someone that has become... somewhat of an annoyance to me and my associates." Shinobi explained.

"Who might I ask is dat?"

"Just some lowly mutant that bit off a way more than he could chew. Thatís all you need to know for now."

"A mutant hmm. Vell, if dat is de case den de price for my services vill haf to increase slightly." The big man said with a half smile coming across his face.

"Name your price."

Rosho got up from his chair and to Shaw it almost sounded as if it was gasping at the relief of the weight. The gigantic monster walked around the room for a bit and then spoke, "Vat are his mutant povers?"

Shinobi leaned back in his chair. He placed his hands behind his head and answered his question, "He fires force blasts from his eyes. At short range it is suspected that a full force blast can cut through adamantium. However, the farther you are from the source of the beam the less damage it can do."

"I see. It vill cost you five million American dollars up front to haf dis mutant disposed of. Another fifteen ven de job is done."

"I will see that the money is transferred to your account immediately." Shaw agreed as a buzz came over his phone. Shaw flipped the switch and answered the line, "Yes Becky what is it?"

"Ms. Selene has arrived sir as you requested."

"Really so soon." Shaw was surprised.

"She was already in the building when I phoned her office."

"Excellent Rebecca send her in please."

The double doors opened to his office and Selene walked in. Both Shinobi and Rosho stood to greet the new arrival. Shaw just tilted his head in acknowledgment, however, Rosho went so far as to bow and kiss her hand when she offered it for a hand shake.

"I see your hired goon has manners Shaw. Impressive." Selene shot at Shinobi when Rosho had finished kissing her hand.

"Please madam, I prefer de term contract killer. Or even assassin if need be. However, I do not like de term hired goon as you so tactfully put it." Rosho almost spit out in disgust.

Selene smiled, as she sat in the chair to the side of Rosho, "Manners and a serious attitude. My Shaw you really are improving those who you chose to hang around with."

The two men in the room sat down again. Shaw was the first to speak, "Selene may I introduce Mr. Rosho the best contract killer in Russia. Some even go so far as to say the world."

Selene looked at Rosho, "My, my, my, thatís speaking very highly of you."

"It is only de truth." The Russian said with a charming smile on his face that was completely wasted on her.

Shinobi was rather shocked by the attitude of Rosho towards Selene. The man didnít really have any respect towards women. He considered them lousy combatants and only good for one thing. Sex. Over his lifetime he had many lovers. Not one of them did he ever care anything for. They were just to be used and discarded for the new and improved model, not unlike Shinobi himself. However, with Selene was an incredible woman, and one couldnít help but teat her as such. Even if she didnít treat you the same way.

"Mr. Rosho and I have just concluded a business deal that will see our Summers problem taken care of." Shinobi spoke up regaining control of the meeting.

"Oh really, and how much are you paying this man to take care of this little problem of ours?" Selene asked directing her attention towards Shaw.

"In total twenty million dollars." Shinobi replied.

"Quite a hefty sum of money donít you think?"

"You vont de best madam. I assure you dat I am it." Rosho spoke up.

Selene moved her eyes over to the man sitting beside her, "Iím sure you must be for that amount."

"Mr. Rosho, I leave you to your duties. Please return for the rest of your money when the job is done." Shinobi said as he stood up placing both hands on his desk, "Selene Iím sorry you didnít arrive in time to be apart of our little deal but rest assured, Rosho will take care of Mr. Summers."

"Of that I have no doubt." Selene responded standing up as well.

Rosho kissed Seleneís hand and then went for the door. Selene then turned around for one last comment to Shaw, "Iím not sure I want Summers killed Shaw."

Shinobi was caught off guard by her comment, "Oh, and why is that?"

Selene took a while before answering his question, "The way he was last night, how he moved, what he did, his very presence. Itís changed, I think it would be better to have different plans for him."

"What kinds of plans might those be?" Shaw asked interested.

"That I canít tell you at this moment until Iím sure I want to risk it but just keep your big friend from killing Scott."

With that she was out the door. However, Shinobi noticed that Selene had called him Scott instead of Summers. That told him all he needed to know. Five minutes later he called Rosho on his cell phone to change the terms of the deal.

Cyclops stood on the building across from the mutant center as he had done two nights ago. There was a cool breeze blowing past but he ignored it. He called up the time on his visor. A little window came up on the inside of it and the numbers read 2:17am. He then closed the window and went back to watching the street below.

He heard footsteps on the fire escape a few seconds later and waited for the person that was climbing to arrive. He knew they would send someone, it was to be expected after what he had done to Selene. There was no point in running from him; the person they had sent would find him sooner or later.

Seconds later he heard a voice behind him and Cyclops was impressed. He barely heard the man climbing the escape and the fact that he was so fast at it was another thing that he liked. This man would be a challenge; "You are de von dey call Cyclops?" the voice asked. The man had a heavy Russian accent. It reminded him of Piotr in his first days as an X-Man.


"It is a pleasure to meet you. I haf heard much about you."

"Get to the point." He said already knowing what the response would be.

"I must crush you."

"Well then, letís get to it." Cyclops said and turned around to face his massive opponent.

Part 8

<Other Stories By Mark Howes>

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