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Mark
Howes



Second Chances
Part 9

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, violence and a little case of fluff.

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




Jean was starting up the engines to the Blackbird before the rest of the mansion was even up. She was the first one Bobby told and she literally threw him out of the way once her mind figured out what he had said. Jean ran straight for the TV room and saw Scott execute his flying kick and then get slammed down into the pavement for it. When she saw him her body trembled and her bottom lip quivered. When Bobby had finally collected himself together and made it back to Jean she was already changing into her X-Man uniform and was on her way to the Blackbird.

Quickly waking up everyone else in the mansion, taking special care with Wolverine. They had decided on a small strike force consisting of Jean mainly because no one dared try to talk her out of it, Beast, Angel, Rouge, and with some debate Wolverine. The rest just consoled themselves with the fact that Scott was alive.

The flight to Brooklyn took about two minutes. Although to Jean it seemed like two years. She couldnít sit still and everyone could see that seeing him again shook her. Jean had looked towards this moment for the past two and a half years, and she still didnít know what she was going to say to him.

If seeing him on the television shook her than seeing him in person terrified her. When the Blackbird touched down she was the first one out. The first thing she saw was some gigantic man pounding on someone. Then she heard the sound of an optic blast and then the big man went flying backwards. When he got up he said something that didnít quite reach Jean.

He started to take some deep breaths and when he opened his eyes again, Jean knew he was going to kill her husband. Her next actions were reflex based rather than thought out. She lifted him up with a telekinetic shield and tossed him towards another building.

Wolverine then popped out his claws and then said, "Hey bub, you donít mess with our friend and get away with it."

Beast, Angel, Rouge and Wolverine all charged this big man and Jean before any of them even thought of moving was already at full speed running towards Cyclops. When she reached him and finally got a good look at him she froze. They exchanged a look at each other and then he was the first to speak, "Leave."

"No."

"Leave," there was anger in his voice and something more something darker, blacker, uglier.

"I wonít give up on you again. I wonít," her voice was shaky and she was fighting back tears.

"Jean," Cyclops started, "you never gave up on me. You gave up on us."

She had expected heíd have reacted this way. She just never imagined his words would hurt so much, "I gave up on us because I gave up on you. I wonít do that again. Iíll help you this time, help you find who you are."

"I donít need help finding who I am. I already know," with that, he turned towards the nearby battle and started to make his way towards it.

Jean noticed the swaying in his movements. He was off balance and probably not able to think coherently. Jean ran after him and when she caught up she grabbed his arm, "Youíre in no shape to get in there right now. Let them take care of it."

Cyclops shook her off and told her in a harsh tone, "I donít need any help, especially from you. Youíve already done enough," then he began running again.

Wolverine was enjoying himself. This guy was as tough as they come and Logan welcomed the challenge to bring him down. The fight had started out rather well; this big man had focused on Scott for the first bit of it. Then when he realized that they werenít going to let him get to Scott he turned his attentions to the team. That was when everything went to hell.

Beast had attempted to use his considerable strength to subdue the man but was flung off in such a way that it gave a whole new meaning to the term ĎPop fly.í Angel then did a flying assault. He swooped in from the air and hit him as many times as he could. The tactic worked the first time but not the second. Rosho grabbed Angelís wings and nearly tore them off swinging him around and around and then throwing him a block away landing flat on the pavement.

Rouge went head to head in a fistfight with him. It started out good; she even looked to have the upper hand in the beginning. Then Rosho got angry and completely unloaded on her. The fight on Rougeís side of the match went from good to average to not so good to bad to the worst fight of her life. By the time he had knocked her out she had bruises on her face and chest the size of watermelons.

After that it was all left to Wolverine just the way he liked it. Logan ran and leapt at the man. Bad idea. Rosho hit him with a hard punch to the chest before Wolverine was even in arms reach of the guy. That one moved stopped Wolverine all together, and left him on the ground thinking he had just been hit full force by the Hulk or Thor, or the Juggernaut, or maybe all three of them at the same time. It also left him thanking god for a healing factor.

Rosho then lifted up Wolverine by his head and started squeezing it on either side with both hands. Which wasnít all that hard to do because they were so huge they reached all the way around it. Though his skull was incased in adamantium, Logan amazingly started to feel a pressure on his brain. Was this man strong enough that he could bend an unbreakable metal with his own two hands? No that was impossible. However, this man seemed to be doing it.

Wolverine lashed out. He punched Rosho right in the chest, claws out. And the little Canadian Berserker was certain that if his claws were incased in any other material other than adamantium they would have broken. Rosho continued to squeeze until a bright red flash sent him flying into the next block quite close to where Angel lay.

Seconds later Cyclops was by Wolverine and Rosho was getting to his feet. Cyclops gave the same command to Logan that he gave to Jean, "Leave."

Wolverine just gave him a kind of a chuckle, "And miss this fight, not on your life one Eye."

"This isnít your fight dog leave now. Or do I have to kick your ass as well as his?"

Wolverine looked up at Scott and knew that he had meant every word he had said. Logan however, never lost in their arguments before and he was sure as hell not going to now, "You think you can take him on all by yourself huh Cyke? Well, be my guest and try."

As soon as Logan had finished Rosho was on them. Cyclops went straight for his head. He pulled out every move in the book that he knew and it still didnít even slow him down. Logan was never one to let a good fight go without being in the middle of it; he hadnít meant what he said so he did get involved. Wolverine went for his stomach as it was at the same level as his head. He slashed he clawed all the while both of them did nothing.

Rosho eventually just let them hit him. He placed his hands behind his head and enjoyed the pounding they were giving him. Sometime, the other X-Men revived and added their hits to Cyclops and Wolverineís. Even when more and more police officers showed up he still did nothing. When everyone was all punched out and the police ran out of ammunition that was when Rosho went to work. He went after Cyclops first. Rosho gave the one eyed mutant a punch in the gut, which broke through his kevlar armor and almost went through him as well.

Cyclops hit the ground clutching his stomach and gasping for air. Using his fingers he probed his chest. There were broken ribs, of that he was sure. Cyclops was out of the fight and he knew it. Rosho then went for Wolverine. It took a bit longer due to his healing factor but after about ten seconds Logan was in the same shape as Scott. Loganís healing factor kicked in again and as he was about to attack again, Rosho grabbed his head and went to his knees.

Everyone looked at Jean. She shouted at them to get into the Blackbird and retreat. Rouge Beast and Angel started to make their way. Wolverine reached out to grab Cyclops when he did something that Logan didnít expect. Cyclops hit him. Wolverine was about to hit back when Jean lifted them both up in a TK field and moved them towards the Blackbird. Once the jet was safely underway, Jean let the mental assault on Rosho go and dropped the fields around Logan and Scott.

Cyclops looked at her with utter rage, and she found herself having to fight back tears again. Wolverine still a bit angry with Scott went to the pilot seat and growled at him. The rest of the team followed suit and left the two alone. Jean wanted to say something but couldnít and just stood there. After a long while Scott broke the silence. "Why did you come?"

"I needed to talk with you about what happened."

"Get some closer is that it?" his voice was still filled with anger.

"No."

"Then what? And make it quick I donít have all night."

"I want you to come home with me."

Cyclops laughed out loud. An action that hurt, "I donít have a home. At least not with you."

Jean was sobbing now, "Youíve always had a home with me Scott. Always."

"I havenít had a home with you for three years. Not since that night that I saw you and Logan..." Cyclops couldnít finish the sentence. He didnít have the courage to face that night in his head again.

Jean didnít either. She saw the hurt look on his face even through his visor and she wanted to reach out to him. Hold him like they had held each other so many times before. But she didnít she couldnít she knew he would shove her away and she couldnít take that.

Instead she tried talking to him again, "Scott Iím sorry, so, sorry."

He laughed again. It hurt his sides even more this time, "Like you were sorry three years ago? You didnít even try to stop me from leaving that night. Does that sound like sorry to you?"

Jean didnít want to answer but she knew she had to. Shutting her eyes she looked away. She couldnít face the hatred in his face. It was more intense than anything she had seen in him before. With a voice that was barely a whisper she answered him, "...no."

Getting to his feet felt like he was getting hit in the ribs with sledgehammer. Moving towards the exit hatch, that felt like Rosho was hitting him all over again. Jean looked up and spotted him doing it and stopped him before he could reach it. She wasnít finished with him not yet, not ever, "I wonít let you go. Not again."

"What do you want from me Jean?"

"I told you I want you to come home with me."

"Not gonna happen."

"Yes it will." She said failing to keep the tears from falling down her cheeks.

Cyclops regarded her for a second he hated himself for making her cry. But for some perverse reason he felt satisfaction for it. He had to make this hurt, for his own justification he had to, "No it wonít Jean. Go run to Logan if you need someone."

"Logan is just a friend Scott. Nothing more."

"Logan is just a friend Scott," he echoed her words, "How many times did you say that to me before Jean? HOW MANY TIMES!"

Jean bowed her head. She tried fighting back the tears even harder now. But all it did was make them come faster and harder, "Logan and I arenít together Scott." Sheíd wanted to say that and sheíd waited for the opportunity. She wanted to see his reaction, what she got wasnít what sheíd expected.

"I know," his voice was calmer now. More like the old Scott that she loved.

"How?"

"You two never could have lasted. I gave it five months before the sex got old. That was all there ever was between the two of you Jean. There might have been love on his side for a while, but he was never the one to be tied down with just one woman. Even if she hadnít died, his marriage to Mariko was doomed to failure eventually. He canít stay with just one woman. Itís impossible."

"You knew?"

"Anyone with half a brain knew Jean. The only thing you both had in common was a wild spirit and a mutual attraction towards each other. Thatís it."

She was beaten and both of them knew it. There was only one thing left to say and she knew it was to little to late, "I love you Scott. Please donít leave me again." She didnít even try holding back her tears now, and Cyclops found himself wanting desperately to just hold her and tell her everything would be all right. Part of him wanted to go back, but he could never trust her again. And that hurt more than what he was doing to her now.

"Jean, Iím going to tell you one thing right now," there was a tenderness in his voice, and it gave her hope in what he was going to say, "I still love you. That can and will never change," that did it. Whatever he said after that Jean just shut out she didnít hear it. She just kept going over and over in her head what he had just said.

"But I canít forgive what you did. Logan, for some fucked up reason I can forgive him. He never made it a secret that he wanted you. Even after we were married he didnít stop, probably because he couldnít. You on the other hand, you said I was the only one there would ever be. And the fool I was, I believed you. When I saw you two that night, my entire life shattered. And now Iíll keep wondering if I can ever believe you again. The answer is no I canít and that hurts more than the night I saw you two."

Then his voice changed. It became lower, darker, and filled with pain that Jean knew was her fault. That was what snapped her out of her little mantra in her head and back to the present. Only now did she hear what he said; "Now if youíll excuse me, I have a giantís ass to kick."

With his super senses, Wolverine had heard every word of Scott and Jeanís conversation. At the point where Scott shouted at her, "HOW MANY TIMES," heíd had enough. Removing the strap from his body, he got up from the pilot seat he intended to march back there and tell Scott off.

When he passed Rouge though she caught his arm. Logan looked down at her. Rouge returned the stare and shook her head, "Let Ďem be sugar. This has been a long time commin."

"You canít hear what heís sayíin to her."

"Eavesdropping Logan?" Angel asked with accusation in his tone.

"I canít help it if I can hear better than most," Wolverine growled back.

"Like you couldnít help it when she came to you for sex," Angel shot back now getting out of his seat.

"You think this is my fault fly boy?"

"You couldíve said no. You couldíve just walked away and told her to help her husband. That way we wouldnít have to be going through this right now," Angel responded through gritted teeth.

By this time all four of them were up. Hank placed a restraining hand on Warrenís shoulder and spoke to him in a soothing tone, "My friend, there has already been enough violence for one night. Let us not fight amongst each other. Besides, we still need Logan to fly the jet."

"That the only reason you keepíin me and Wings from goíin at it fur ball? So that this plain donít crash?"

"Thatís not what he meant sugar and you know it," Rouge broke in.

"You sayíin Iím stupid now Rouge?"

"Logan there is no need to get defensive. No one is accusing you of anything," Hank said.

"You think I donít know this is my fault? Youíre right rich boy, I couldíve said no. I shouldíve said no. But I didnít and thereís nothin I can do about it now except try and help make it right."

"Goíin back there isnít gonna help any," Rougeís southern accent and Hankís logic seemed to be the only voice of reason in the cockpit at that moment, "Let Ďem be sugar, jus let Ďem be."

Logan looked at her and then reluctantly turned back to the pilot seat.

He was leaving her again. This time though, she had a chance to stop him. She would never let him go again. Never, "Youíre in no condition to face him," she said trying to use reason to stop him from leaving.

"Iíll manage."

"At least let Hank have a look at you. See if he can fix some of the damage," she pleaded.

"No."

"You want to get yourself killed?" Her tears had started up again.

"Been dead once already Jean. Or donít you remember?"

Jean flinched at the mention. Of course she remembered. It was the second worst time in her life. She wouldnít lose him that way again either, "Let Hank take a look at you. Or is he not your friend either?"

Cyclops turned and stared at her for a moment. She was still the same old Jean alright, completely unable to be reasoned with once she made up her mind, "Hank is my friend Jean, and you arenít going to keep me here."

Suddenly the ship tilted and Cyclops grabbed onto one of the shipís handles for support. The action caused him to cringe in pain. His broken ribs were shouting at him to be repaired. Jean reached out and held him, trying to keep the pain in his ribs down. She expected him to push her away, but he didnít. That just made her hold on tighter.

Cyclops reached out to shove her away, but stopped. She actually was helping the pain in his chest, even if it was only a little. That added to the fact that she was so close again, he didnít want to stop her. Instead he put his arm around her and held her close.

The Blackbird finally stopped shaking after about twenty seconds. Cyclops and Jean looked at each other still holding one another. Then Wolverineís voice came in over the speaker, "Sorry bout that. Donít know what it was but it sure shook us up. Iím gonna take the ship in low, and send out Rouge an Angel. See if they canít find out what happened."

Loganís voice was like a splash of cold water on Cyclops and then he did push Jean away. When he did, she sent out a mental message to Logan cursing him with every one she knew. The entire message took about twenty-five seconds.

The doors to the cockpit opened, Angel and Rouge walked out opened the hatch and flew out the door. They did a search of the entire ship for about two minutes and when they came back they reported no damage. Logan went back to flying the plain home. The whole time they were stopped not once did the thought to leave come into Cyclopsís head. All he could think about was Jean, and would it be so bad if he stayed.

The jet took off again and Cyclops scolded himself for not taking the opportunity to leave. Then the ship suddenly jerked again. Jean and Cyclops fell to different sides of the bay. It took all of his strength not to shout out in pain as Cyclops hit the side of the jet on his ribs.

Jean scrambled over to his side when the floor of the Blackbird tore open and in launched Rosho. The big man looked at the two of them and smiled, "Quite de ladies man are you not Mr. Summers?"

Cyclops looked at him with a cold stare. Rosho spoke again, "Perhaps after I crush you I vill take dis little voman for myself?"

Ignoring the protests of his ribs, Cyclops let go of the handle on the side of the Blackbird. Without thought for strategy, tactic, or himself, Cyclops launched himself at Rosho in a pure unbridled rage.

Part 10

<Other Stories By Mark Howes>


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