Acts of Love: If Only
Note: I was going to bed.
Really I was. Instead I wrote a fic. *sigh* Oh well, who
am I to disagree with my psychotic muse?
Canon Note: Okay, I'm playing with the canon lines here. This
is could maybe be movieverse (if that's how you prefer to read
it) but - I'm portraying Bobby as the *comic* version: older and one of
the original five (thus a friend and not a student).
And Hank is mentioned.
Thanks: To Kris for reading over this for me :-)
Disclaimer: No one in here is mine. Dang it. These folks
belong to Marvel. Tho I'd gladly take Scott and/or Bobby in the
form of a gift or donation. And the only thing I get from it is
email, no money so send the lawyers elsewhere. *g*
Rating: PG / Archive: if I've given you
permission before, go for it. Otherwise, please ask.
Classification: angst, Jean's POV / Characters:
Scott/Jean, Bobby / Warnings: death story,
Maybe if I'd known I was going to lose him I would have
done something different. I would have rushed ahead, pushed myself
harder. Would have done whatever I had to, to be at his side.
That's what you do when you love someone. Anything . . .
Everything to keep them safe. And I love him with all that I am.
I always have.
If I could have seen what was going to happen I wouldn't have let Scott
out of my sight. I would have held on tighter and not let him go.
Savored the sound of his voice in my ears, his presence in my mind and
the feel of his hands on my skin.
If only I had known he was going to be ripped away from me.
It's so easy to look back and question everything. Hindsight is
not only twenty-twenty, it is also a cruel and torturous reminder of how
things might have been. How they should have been.
Yesterday - God, could it possibly have only been yesterday? We
spent the afternoon walking around the grounds. We didn't talk
much, there wasn't anything pressing to say. We only enjoyed the
time that was granted - a time free of missions and fights.
The little things stand out. The way the leaves were falling and
the smile on his face. It was cold and he gave me his jacket.
He always was the gentleman type, for as long as I've known him.
When we reached the large oak tree, he took my hand in his - in a
perfect mirror of the first time I'd ever held his hand in mine.
The years between that night and this feel like days. The day
between yesterday and now, an eternity.
There was no way of knowing the horror we would face in the next few
hours. Instead, we blindly enjoyed the day. The school was
at break; everyone was getting along amazingly well. The skies
were the deepest sapphire blue of fall. And we were together.
So many things have happened in our lifetimes - trials and troubles most
people never imagine. A day like yesterday - pure and innocent and
free - is rare and all the more wonderful for it. Even still, we
took the time for granted. It's so hard not just to assume you
have forever. I think I had managed to convince myself we did.
Last night, with the mansion quiet around us we made love slowly.
As with the day before it, nothing was rushed. Neither of us was
thinking of anything outside that moment.
Closing my eyes, I can still feel his hands on my back and in my hair.
If I think just hard enough, it's as if I can feel his lips against
mine. As we moved together, I didn't want the night to end - I
didn't want to move from that one moment of togetherness.
But it had to end. I fell asleep with my cheek pressed to his
chest, his heartbeat steady in my ear, and his arms around me.
I've never felt so safe as I did in his arms, languid with release and
filled with love.
When Ororo knocked on the door, only a few hours after we'd finally
drifted to sleep, we each got up and dressed. There was a duty to
the Dream. Now, holding his pillow to my chest I can't bring
myself to give a damn for our 'duty'. Wasn't he as important to me
as duty ever was?
Maybe if I'd known, I would have refused to leave our bed. Refused
to let Scott leave my arms. I might have held onto him that much
tighter, clutching him to my breast. But I didn't know. And
I didn't refuse to leave. Instead we smiled, ready to face
whatever challenges awaited us.
How could either of us have known that within the day he would be lost?
Struck down in a battle supposedly won?
The moments it took me to reach him where he lay broken on the ground
are burned into my mind. The smells and sounds live in my brain,
and I refuse to let them go. In their own strange way they're a
link to everything I've lost.
When I pulled him to me he smiled at me. Dying in my arms and he
reached up to brushed my hair from my face. I didn't even realize
I was crying until I saw the tears land on his glove. But the
feeling of his hand on my cheek . . . That is something I hope I
He tried to speak, but couldn't. Instead he mouthed three words
that caused my tears to fall harder. "I love you."
So I held him closer and whispered the same thing back to him, over and
over. The faintest smile turned his lips before the light of his
visor dimmed slowly. The bond we shared - a warmth in my mind I
never imagined I'd lose - faded and then I knew . . . He was gone.
Holding him tighter, I rocked him both back and forth. I pulled
the visor from his face, and saw his eyes - once more brown instead of
red. Closing them with my hand, I kissed his forehead. As I
did, I continued my whispered mantra. I knew he couldn't hear me
but it didn't matter. I had to say it.
It was Logan who found us - seconds, minutes, maybe hours later. I
don't know. He tried to pull me away from Scott, but I refused.
I held onto him even tighter. But it was too little, too late.
Tears threaten even now thinking about it, but I don't want them to
fall. I don't want to grieve. I'm not convinced I want today
to end - Scott was still alive today. Tomorrow he will only be
I don't want to move on. If I do that then he really is gone.
Then I have to let him go.
Sitting on our bed, it's as if the room is haunted. The memories
of us, our last night together and our first, fill this room. I
took those moments for granted until now - now I know they'll never
happen again. Is it possible that I was a fool?
Realizations come quickly. I'm never going to feel his arms around
me again. I'll never soothe him out of another nightmare.
Never again will he stroke my hair as we fall asleep after we've made
love. He can't wipe away my tears now. Maybe that's why I so
desperately don't want to cry.
I'm not sure how to live in a world he's not in. In truth I can
barely remember life before we were here, the five of us training to
fight for Xavier's dream. The five of us . . . Only three of
us remain now.
A sob tries to work its way from my chest, but I fight it. I have
to be strong. I may not want to give a damn for the dream, but I
have to. Scott died for it, the least I can do is live for it.
But it's not for me anymore - it's for him.
It's strange, sitting here in the dark it's as if Scott is with me.
I know he isn't - cannot be - but it doesn't change the feeling.
Like a breeze on the back of your neck or the sensation you're being
watched. I have to fight the urge to turn and look, as if he's
just walked through the door after teaching a class or talking with the
Professor. I close my eyes. He'll never do that again.
I can't see the future, that's not my power. But still part of me
says I should have known - I should have felt what was going to happen.
Stopped it, saved him. Then he'd be with me, holding me rather
than me holding his pillow. Gripping the pillow tighter, breathing
in the scent of his shampoo, the tears finally start to slip free.
How I wish I'd known.
I'm startled when there's a knock on my door. I try to wipe the
tears from my face but don't quite manage it before Bobby sticks his
head in the room. He looks at me, silent for a long moment,
waiting for permission to enter.
The others had come and gone, checking up on me. Xavier, Ororo,
Hank, Logan . . . I'd sent them all away. Apparently it's
Bobby's turn. Looking at him for a minute, I realize I don't know
if I've ever seen him look so serious. Annoying though it may be
at times, he's always been the one to be there with a smile or a joke.
Something in me doesn't want to send him away, too. I blink and
nod; he walks inside and closes the door behind him. The youngest
of the five, though not so young anymore, I still can't help but think
of him as a little brother - in a way all four of us did, especially
He walks across the room and sits next to me on the bed.
"Hank said . . ." He stops, and takes a shaky breath.
"I wish I'd been there, Jeannie," he says after a long moment
of silence. It wasn't supposed to be a great battle, just a minor
skirmish - or so we thought. So while we'd gone on the mission, it
had been Bobby's turn to stay behind at the mansion with the students.
I shake my head and speak before I really think about it. "It
wouldn't have changed anything." I barely recognize my own
voice, rough and unused. I try not to think about what I've just
said. Maybe it's true for the others, but it's not for me, part of
my mind insists.
Bobby stares at his hands before finally turning to look at me.
His eyes are red and swollen. "I know what you're thinking,
you know." He moves closer and wraps his arm around my
shoulders. I tense at the contact, but finally relax.
Leaning close, his voice drops to barely a whisper. "It's not
your fault, Jeannie."
"I . . . Maybe if I . . ." He shakes his head and
I stop trying to force the words together.
"No. There's no way you could have known." I look
up at him quickly. How'd he know that was what I was thinking?
"You didn't do anything wrong."
I shake my head, denying the absolution. "How do you know?
You weren't even there." I regret the words as soon as
they're out of my mouth, but I can't take them back.
Bobby looks hurt, but only nods. "I know." When he
takes a deep breath, I can hear the tears he's fighting. We've all
been friends for so long. "It's no one's fault but the one
who . . ." he pauses, and I see him blink quickly.
"It's not our fault. We just have to try and remember
My eyes fill with the tears I keep refusing and my vision blurs.
Surprising myself, I lay my head on Bobby's shoulder. "I miss
him so much already."
I wonder for a moment if he even heard me when he replies. "I
know, Jeannie. I'm so sorry."
"I know." I nod, sniffing.
He wraps his other arm around me, and pulls me into a hug.
"Go ahead and cry. It's okay." I half expect him
to crack a joke, but he doesn't. I always knew there was more to
him than he let anyone see.
Shaking my head, I reply, "I can't."
"You have to." He rubs his hand over my hair, and if I
close my eyes I can almost pretend it's Scott who's holding me.
Almost. "It doesn't mean you're letting him go, or that you
don't love him anymore."
My tears are falling in earnest now, the shoulder of his shirt soaked
through. "I don't know how to live without him."
I'm gasping for breath, but finally manage the whispered words.
Not letting go, I can feel Bobby nod. "I know, Jeannie.
But you will."
"Why did he have to go?"
Bobby doesn't speak, he just holds me tighter as I finally let go and
cry. There isn't anything else to say.