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Rating: PG. Some mild sexual innuendo, and a few mild swear words (no "f" or "s" swear words) from Cyclops
Characters: Cyclops and Jean, a little of Logan and the Professor
Disclaimer: These characters and settings do not belong to me, they are the property of Marvel Comics and 20th Century Fox. I have no intention of selling my work and am making no profit from this, it is strictly for fun. I mean no harm. Please do not sue, as I have nothing to my name but a 12 year old car that won't pass emissions.

Summary: This is pretty much based on the book and movie, but since they don't agree with each other, I kinda took a little of each and added some of my own. I thought that Scott was shown as way too calm considering Logan was making moves on his girl (although they show a little more of his anger in the book, but still less than I thought he would show), so I thought this was a little more accurate as to how I thought he would actually react, and what Jean's reactions to his anger would be.

Feedback: Please. This is my first X-Men fiction, and I would like to know how I did. I may be contacted at: marinersrawesome@hotmail.com I also would enjoy talking to anyone about X-Men in general, feel free to email me at the same address.

Scott Summers was not having a good day. He had been up late the night before trying to figure out what was wrong with the damn fuel injector in the Durango and had been looking forward to sleeping in a little, preferably cozying up to his fiancee, even better, possibly she would consent to a little morning lovemaking. But he certainly did not want to be awakened at 6 am by the professor's voice in his head requesting his presence in the foyer of the school, in, as the professor called it "full readiness mode". He didn't mind "full readiness mode" but not at 6 in the morning when he had only slept for about four hours. And besides, that term basically entailed a mission of some type and required him to change from his comfortable sleeping attire and light red sunglasses to the form fitting black uniform and the visor which always made him feel slightly claustrophobic. His attitude was not helped by the professor describing their targets as a "young girl, terrified and alone" and "an older man, aggressive and unpredictable." He didn't care for terrified and hated unpredictable. Fortunately the mission had gone well, and they had rescued Logan and Rogue from Magneto's goon, Sabretooth.

But it seemed he had been right about Logan. He had been back in the garage screwing around with the fuel injector again when he heard Jean's fearful scream in his mind. He located her in the med lab and charged there at top speed just in time to see Logan bolt out the far door. Jean was leaning on the bed, clutching at her throat and coughing, and it didn't take any special mutant powers to see the red marks on her throat that were quickly becoming bruises. Nor did he need to ask what had happened. He reached for her, but she pushed him away. "I'm fine Scott." she coughed, rubbing her throat gingerly. "The Professor wants to talk to us. Tell him I'll be there in a minute, would you?" He didn't want to leave her, but knew it was useless to argue with her. When she had her mind set, no one, not even the man she loved, could change it.

He met Storm outside the door to the office. {{Come in Scott.}} he heard in his mind. Shaking his head slightly, he proceeded inside with the white-haired mutant. Over the years, he had grown accustomed to Jean and the Professor and their mind links with him, but it still seemed like a slight invasion of privacy. Jean knew of his dislike for them, and avoided them whenever she could, but the Professor still used them, although less often than he had a few years ago, in respect to his wishes. Even he had to admit that they were useful on missions, though. Due to his disability, the Professor seldom accompanied them on assignments, but would most often stay back at the mansion, linking the X-Men together so they thought as one mind, saw through each other's eyes, and fought as one. The link had saved their lives more times than he cared to remember.

There he was. That bastard who had attacked his fiancee. He fought to keep the dislike out of his face as the professor introduced Logan to him, holding out his hand in what seemed like an appropriate gesture of goodwill, then withdrawing it quickly when Logan refused to shake. Jerk. I just saved your life, your ungrateful asshole. The door opened again and Jean walked in, still swallowing more frequently than she should have had to. God help me, Scott thought, if he ever attacks her again...he could feel Jean's mind inside his own and quickly shut out the hateful thoughts, apparently not entirely as he saw Jean give him a reproachful look.

The bastard was staring at his woman again. He blushed. His woman. She was not HIS woman, nor did he have any desire for her to belong to him. An old saying kept dancing around in his head "If you love someone set them free, if they come back to you they are yours, if they don't, they never were." but somehow couldn't quite bring himself to believe it. He didn't want to set her free. He had wanted her for too long, and now that they had been together, he couldn't imagine life without her. Sometimes when the nightmares kept him awake at night, he would watch her sleep for hours on end, her steady even breathing lulling him into a deep relaxation.

The Professor was speaking. "Give me 48 hours to find out what Magneto wants with you Logan and I give you my word I will do everything in my power to help you piece together what you've lost...and what you're looking for."

Scott was furious. Forty-eight hours? He didn't need 48 seconds to tell him that Logan was trouble. He sometimes wondered if he had some slight telepathic abilities, as he could clearly feel the mutual attraction between Logan and Jean. Mutual attraction. That was what bothered him. He knew Jean was incredibly beautiful, and graceful, and mysterious. The visor covered his eyes but didn't restrict his sight. Most men were caught up in her beauty, but she never before had returned any feelings but his own.

The look on Logan's face had changed slightly. He had stopped gawking at the beautiful redhead and instead was looking around at the room and out the window at the school grounds. "What is this place?"

Scott ate dinner alone. Jean had promised to join him but apparently had become caught up in her "work". He could imagine what that "work" entailed. No doubt something involving that damned Wolverine. If he hurt her....

He didn't have any evening classes that night, so he returned to the Durango finally fixing the godforsaken fuel injector. He slammed the hood down far harder than was necessary to latch it, a loud boom echoing throughout the garage. He stroked the hood of the Durango, lost in thought. What was the Professor thinking? He was telepathic; he could sense Logan's hostility, his contempt for authority. How could he possibly think he could be an asset to a team? But that was what he said when he told Storm and Cyclops to bring him in from the Canadian Rockies; that Logan had tremendous "potential". Potential my ass, Scott thought. I have never met anyone so less deserving of a chance. Why didn't we let Magneto have him? Wouldn't be much of a loss. Suddenly he flushed, embarrassed. What the hell was he thinking? He knew nothing about Logan's past. Maybe he had had to fight to survive every minute of every day. That would tend to make anyone aggressive. And how could he say that Logan didn't deserve a chance? Had he been any more deserving? He was bitter, sarcastic, disrespectful, and altogether unlikable when he first came to the school. Everyone else deserved the same chance he had been given.

Those thoughts were still in his mind as he returned to his bedroom. Jean wasn't there yet, which was strange. It was past midnight, and she was one of those "early to bed, early to rise" people. Was she still in the lab going over the results of Logan's "further" tests? (Since the previous ones had been interrupted by him attempting to throttle her.) He decided to find her.

He heard her voice down the hallway in one of the spare rooms and then the slamming of the closet doors. "All kinds of things. I also have some telepathic powers."

Scott fumed as he heard Logan's voice. "You mean like the Professor's?"

"Nowhere near that powerful, but he's teaching me to develop them."

Scott was almost next to the door, the two of them still unaware of his presence. "I'm sure he is. So read my mind." His voice was low, sexy, and it took all the self control Scott had to not lunge through the door and attack Logan.

"I'd rather not."

"Why? Afraid you'd like it?"

"I doubt it." Scott saw her pull away, but then an unreadable look crossed her face and she held her hands up to each side of his face. Scott wanted to intervene. Actually what he wanted to do was pull his visor out of his pocket, set it to high, and blast Logan out the far wall. But the Professor had told him that unless it was a dire emergency, you should never interrupt a telepathic link. Something about scrambling the neurons or something. So he didn't. But he did glare. And when Jean pulled away with a look of pain on her face and Logan took her hand, that was too much. He started into the room about the time Jean noticed him.

"Scott!" She pulled away, rather guiltily, he thought. What else had they done? "Good night Logan." she said, brushing past Scott on her way out of the room. She tried to reach out with her mind to soothe his anger, but he was as impenetrable as ever, shutting her out.

"You going to tell me to stay away from your girl?" Logan asked with a sneer toward the younger man. Scott took a deep breath. This man was not going to bait him, not anymore.

"If I had to do that, she wouldn't be my girl, would she?" Logan didn't respond to that, and suddenly Scott found himself on the baiting end. "It must just burn you up that a boy like me saved your life." He knew he was on the right track. Logan was doing a slow burn. "You better be careful. I might not be there next time." He reached to pull the door shut. "And Logan...stay away from my girl." He tried to lower his voice as much as he could and put a note of threat into it, but could see that Logan was not afraid. He was not one of Scott's students who could be chastised for getting into trouble with nothing more than a cold stare and a "I'm very disappointed in you." Logan was dangerous and Scott had no intention of letting his guard down around him.

He was about ready to head back to the garage when he heard the Professor asking his presence in the med lab. God, I wish he wouldn't do that, Scott thought, rubbing his temples. His mind links give me a headache. Why can't he just use a cell phone or something?

Adamantium. His skeleton was adamantium. Scott added it up in his mind. Enhanced senses, increased strength, strong aggressive tendencies, rapid healing, and a nearly indestructible skeleton. The perfect soldier.

"Who did this to him?"

Jean shook her head. "He doesn't know. Nor does he remember anything about his life before it happened."

The professor moved closer to the X-Ray. Scott hadn't seen him angry often, but under the calm facade, he could see disgust and hatred for whoever would use a mutant for their sick experiments. "Experimentation on mutants. Not entirely unheard of, but I've never seen anything like this."

"What do you think Magneto wants with him?" Scott asked.

"I'm not entirely sure it's him Magneto wants." He didn't explain his thoughts, but didn't really need to. Jean had said that from what she'd heard about adamantium it was nearly impossible to work with. As strong as Magneto's control over many different kind of metals was, adamantium would be incredibly valuable to him. He could make indestructible weapons, planes, vehicles, hideouts, the list was endless. Surrounding himself with enough adamantium could make him nearly invulnerable. Scott felt a sick feeling in his stomach. He was a powerful enough adversary as it was. He didn't want to think about how tough he would become with adamantium around him.

Finally the meeting came to an end, everyone heading off to bed, everyone but Scott that is. He was sure Jean was getting ready for bed, but had no intention of joining her just yet. He was tired and it was hard to keep up the mental barriers around her when he was tired. And he was not ready for the questions from her. So instead he returned to the garage.

His motorcycle gleamed in the dim light. He missed riding her. How long had it been since him and Jean had gone for a long ride in the mountains? He didn't know. Too long. Unwittingly his mind flashed back to a time about a year ago. Spring break, most of the students were off on trips of their own, and the professor had talked him, nearly ordered him, into spending a day with Jean. The wind in his hair, Jean with her arms around him, her chin on his shoulder, reaching under his leather jacket, stroking his chest, nibbling on his neck, her warm breath in his ear. The alpine meadow, talking and laughing as they ate lunch, walking around the lake, making love in the trees, the only sounds the birds and their passion.

He trembled at the memory of her touch on that day, his gaze distant, longing. He didn't regret the time and effort he had put into the school. Quite the opposite; he was honored the professor thought enough of him to trust him in the leadership role he held. And he gained a great deal of satisfaction out of helping lonely, confused mutants reach their full potential and become intelligent, productive members of society. But it was a full time job, leaving little time for personal pursuits. He sometimes wondered what it would be like to have a "normal" job. To come home in the evening to a wife and kids, enjoy a meal and a night of playing Monopoly or Pictionary, or spending an off day at the beach or the park. Or even better, to spend a weekend with the woman he loved. John had told him about a cabin on the beach that his parents frequented, and Scott longed to someday take Jean there; to throw off the mantle of leadership for just a few days. To not have to worry about anyone getting hurt or killed on a mission because he made a bad decision. To have his most important decision be if they wanted to walk along the beach or stay in bed all day, talking, laughing, making love. He missed Jean terribly. He wondered how he could miss someone who was always there, but he did. When they were first together, they spent many hours of each day together. Eating meals together, lesson plans, missions, or just something as simple as falling asleep in each other's arms. But these days, he ate alone more often than not, they taught dissimilar classes and seldom went over lesson plans together, and didn't even seem to be sleeping the same hours. She was almost always in bed before him, and he couldn't be so cruel as to awaken her just so they could fall asleep together. And when he awoke in the morning, she was usually gone, teaching an early class. She would often leave a flower and an emotional note, but it wasn't the same.

He ran his hand down the tank of the bike, the feel of the silky smooth black paint soothing his troubled mind. He shook himself out of his reverie. It wasn't going to happen. He had too many responsibilities to just let them go for a weekend. Even for Jean. Quickly he stripped off his sweater and reached for the can of wax on the shelf. Taking care of the bike always made him feel better. He was so involved in what he was doing he didn't hear Jean open the door.

Jean watched him in confusion, thoughts of Logan swimming in her head. She had returned to their room only to find Scott not there. She knew she had angered him and assumed he would be here. He was an exceptional mechanic and often retreated to the garage to brood, finding comfort in what he knew well. She watched him for several minutes. He was waxing the bike. She knew it didn't need the wax, he had done it just a week before and hadn't ridden it since, so she understood exactly how angry he was. Scott was not one for "busy work". If he was doing something that didn't need to be done, he was more than angry. He was hurt and scared.

"Scott?" He jumped and the can went flying across the floor. She reached out telekinetically and returned it to him. He muttered a thanks and returned to the bike.

She approached him. "Honey, it's late. Come to bed. That can wait til morning."

"I'm not tired yet Jean. You go ahead, I'll be there in a bit."

The dark circles under his eyes told her that he was lying but was too proud to admit that he didn't want to be with her at the moment. She was hurt but understood why. If she had come into a room and seen him holding the hand of another girl, she would be somewhat irritated with him too.

For a moment she considered mindlinking with him, but quickly dismissed the thought. He was irritated enough. No reason to aggravate him further.

"Scott, what's wrong? Why are you angry?"

He flung the can down and turned to glare at her. "Stay out of my mind Jean!"

"I'm not in your mind Scott. I wouldn't have to be a telepath to see your anger. Your bike doesn't need another coat of wax. The only reason you're down here is because you're angry and you don't trust yourself to stay under control." He had turned away again, wiping the wax residue off the fuel tank, and she reached out her hand, laying it softly on his shoulder. Either he was too angry to feel her touch, or he was ignoring it, she wasn't sure which, as he pulled away to wipe the other side of the tank.

"It's Logan, isn't it?"

He snorted. "Good thing you're telepathic. You never would have figured it out otherwise. I keep my dislike of him SOOOO well hidden." he said, his words dripping sarcasm.

"You don't trust him."

"Of course I don't him. First thing he does when he wakes up is try to kill you."

"He didn't squeeze that hard Scott."

"Doesn't matter. The fact is the first thing he did was become violent. How can you ever trust someone that would behave like that? That isn't normal behavior."

"Neither is walking through walls, reading people's minds, or shooting beams from someone's eyes. He's a mutant Scott. 'Normal behavior' doesn't necessarily apply." She tried to talk slowly, soothingly. She knew she could calm him down. But she would have to be careful with what she said.

"I don't care. I don't trust him. He's too violent. He attacks first and asks questions later. I talked to Rogue about what happened in the bar. She said he fought like an animal. Is that the kind of person you want around these children?" he asked, sweeping his arms wide to indicate the school.

"That's not what this is about. There are other mutants in this school that are far more dangerous than Logan and you haven't complained about any of them. What about John? If he wanted he could burn the whole school down in a matter of minutes. Or Bobby? He could freeze everyone in even less time. Or even Storm..."

"Don't be ridiculous. Storm knows how to control her powers perfectly." he interrupted.

"I know that. But the point is, if she wanted to do damage to the school, she could whip up a tornado and flatten it in a few seconds. The potential for harm is there. But you haven't complained about Bobby or John or Storm." She stopped. He was absentmindedly tracing the stitching on the seat and said nothing, but she could feel his anger beginning to abate. Oh well, she thought, I guess now is as good a time as any to piss him off again.

"The only reason you're complaining about Logan is because he's attracted to me and you're not confident enough in my love for you."

He turned toward her in anger. "It isn't that."

"Well then what?"

"I don't trust him. I've seen the way he looks at you."


"So you don't have to be a telepath to see what he's thinking. He wants you."

"That's irrelevant."

Scott snorted. "How can it be irrelevant?"

"Because I don't want him, not that way."

"Then why were you holding hands? Why did you read his mind?"

"I thought I might be able to help him. He said he's had nightmares since he can remember. I thought maybe I could help to soothe his mind. The hand holding thing, I don't know. I didn't mean for that to happen. When I felt the pain in his mind, I gasped. He saw that and pulled my hands away from his head so the link would break." Scott said nothing. "He was trying to protect me from seeing any more of the pain." She could see the anger in Scott lift slightly at the plausibility of her explanation, but he was still strung as tight as a drum.

"I don't trust him Jean. He's too attracted to you."

"That's irrelevant too."

"Enough of that word!" he flared again. "Why is everything irrelevant?"

"Do you trust me Scott? Do you trust me to remain faithful to you?" she asked softly.

"Well, yes but..." She reached out, laying two fingers across his lips to silence him.

"No 'yes but' Scott. If you trust me, it doesn't matter if you trust him or not." She reached out, taking his shoulders between her hands, squeezing gently. "You may not like it if he makes advances to me, but as long as you trust me to not act on them, you don't have anything to worry about. It takes two to tango, remember?" The anger was finally abating, and she hoped the last part she had to say didn't bring it back. But since they were being honest she wanted to air out all the dirty laundry. "I won't lie to you Scott, I am attracted to him." She felt him stiffen. "There is something about him that is very intriguing. Maybe the mystery. And he's totally open mentally. That's very appealing to a telepath. We're used to people displaying some degree of closedmindedness to avoid being read....and then there's you. I don't think I could get into that disciplined mind of yours with a jackhammer, and it's frustrating sometimes that the man I love keeps me shut out. But that's all it is, Scott. Frustration."

He was finally relaxing, but whether it was due to fatigue, or belief in her words, she didn't know. "You only need to trust me, Scott. And yes, I am attracted to Logan, but I love you. That will never change. I swear to you that I will not let my attraction for Logan come between the bond we share. Our love means too much to me. We've been together too long, been through too much together to throw it away because of jealousy over him."

During her last sentence, she had reached down and taken his hand, and now traced the ridges and valleys on the back, then bringing it to her lips, kissed him softly. He reached the other hand up, tentatively stroking the side of her face. He shook his head, a pained look in his eyes, a look of guilt and remorse. She couldn't remember ever seeing him cry, but at the moment, he looked like he was close to it.

"Is it really that bad that I'm so closed minded?" he asked, embarrassed.

"Sometimes," she answered softly, "I know you love me Scott, but you don't say it enough, and you control your body language so well, I can't read it in your posture either. Sometimes I'll take your hand and you'll stiffen up, like you're embarrassed for anyone to see us together. And then when you mentally shut me out also, sometimes it...well....sometimes I question if the feelings are there." He extricated her hand from his and laid it beside his head. "They are. See for yourself."

She pulled back. "You hate the link."

"Yes, but I hate the thought of you wondering if I love you even more." She nodded, reaching up to his forehead. She reached out, feeling the walls within his mind. But as she waited, the walls began to weaken, developing small holes that she could look through, doors that he allowed her to open. She felt pain and weakness and rejection and duty and strength and guilt and fear and a million other things, but deep in the recesses, true to his word, she did feel the love, deeper and richer and stronger than she would have thought possible. But also, intertwined with the love was insecurity and fear of loss and hesitancy to get too close.

She pulled back, afraid she had violated what he wanted to keep private. "Scott?"

"Hmmm?" The warmth of her touch had relaxed him to the point where he was drifting off. "I understand now. You can't imagine life without me. I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"Making you doubt. Here, let me show you." She reached her hand up and touched his forehead again, this time linking the opposite way. Not everyone knew it, but telepaths could not only read someone else's thoughts, but also could send their own thoughts to someone else. She saw Scott's face light up in a rare smile as he received the full impact of her love. Never would he have imagined the depth of her love for him. He had often wondered if the only reason she appeared to love him was out of gratitude and obligation to him for the times he had saved her life on missions. But that was not what he saw in her mind. There was no sense of obligation in her love, only a deep feeling of satisfaction and happiness at what they had shared, and like him, a fear of losing him and an unwillingness to be without him.

"I had no idea, Jean. These are real?"

She chuckled softy. "Remember when I told you to never lie to me, that I could tell?" he nodded. "Well, I also can't lie to you. Well, I can, but not in my thoughts. There is no way for me to send you false feelings. That's how I feel."

"I'm sorry." The look on his face was contrite. "I shouldn't have doubted, it's just that...I...well...I just..."

"Too many people that you've loved have left you, you figure it's only a matter of time until I do." she finished.

He looked down at his feet, unable to meet her gaze. "Yeah, I guess." he mumbled.

She tucked a finger under his chin, gently lifting his head, and gazing intensely into his eyes. He tried to look away but was mesmerized by her deep green eyes, the almond shape, the color like fine emeralds, the long lashes. His thoughts went back to the first time he saw her. He had just received the first pair of protective sunglasses and the world was a monochrome red. Even seeing her as totally red, she was beautiful, but over the months as the optic center of his brain adapted to seeing constant red, he was able to see in true colors. He didn't understand exactly what had happened, but the Professor explained that it was not unusual for the brain to adjust what the eyes see to as close to normal as possible, and his brain had adjusted to the red of both the glasses and his optic beams. The first time he saw Jean's beautiful green eyes as the color they actually were, he fell in love with her. It saddened him that she would never be able to see his eyes. He used to have stunning deep brown eyes, the color of fine chocolate. All the girls he had dated had said they could get "lost" in his eyes. But now Jean couldn't look into his eyes at all, couldn't see the love in them, or the pain, or the happiness. Had he done the right thing in shutting her out mentally? Suddenly he wondered. Why should he shut her out? She was his fiancee. What did he have to hide from her? They had vowed to not keep secrets from each other, and he was sure she had fulfilled her end of the deal. Maybe it was time for him to reciprocate. She had always been totally open with him, sharing her fears and insecurities as well as her victories. He could at least do the same.

He took her face between his hands and leaning in close, kissed her deeply. Her hands traveled up his back until she was stroking his neck and hair. {{You need a haircut, Scott.}} He nearly spoke out loud, but then remembered his mental training. {{I know.}}

"Jean, what's wrong?" Tears were running down her face.

"That's the first time you've ever talked to me telepathically."

"Yeah, I guess, so?"

"So you can't shut me out when you do that."

{{I don't want to shut you out Jean, I've done that for too long.}} He wiped away a tear from her smooth cheek, allowing his hand to linger, stroking the line of her jaw, her ear, her hairline, pulling her auburn hair gently through his fingers. She closed her eyes, enjoying the pleasure of a rare intimate caress from her fiancÚ. Of course he kissed her when they made love, but he almost never stroked her just for the sake of touching her. He continued, stroking her shoulders, her arms, drawing his hands down her back, and pulling her closer to him, his mouth at hers. She reached out with her mind and linked with him, tentatively, expecting to feel the resistance, but for once, he didn't pull back, didn't hide, didn't block her out. She explored his mind, expecting to find some barriers, but they were gone. For the first time, he was allowing her to discover with no hesitancy, no fear, anything she wished. He was still kissing her, still stroking her back and shoulders, but she barely felt the physical. The mental was too remarkable, the openness too intoxicating. She traveled down corridor after corridor expecting to find a door locked, a wall slammed in her face, but encountered no resistance. She smiled in understanding and love, gently pulling back from his mind.

She had learned more about him in the few seconds of the mind link than in the previous years she had known him. With a flash of insight, she understood the deep sense of obligation he felt to the professor; the willingness to subjugate his own personal feelings and desires for the integrity of the team, the good of the school, the dedication to the professor and his dream. Xavier had rescued him from a lifetime of being a freak, a sideshow act, and Scott felt that he could never repay everything that the professor had done for him; everything that had been given to him. The respect, the understanding, the love, but more than anything, the ability to control his dangerous powers so that others no longer had to fear him, and more importantly, he didn't have to fear what he would do to others. She saw the fear he had felt when his powers first manifested themselves, the disappointment and anger in his father when his "perfect son" became a freak. Scott's father had been a perfectionist, wanting everything for his son that he couldn't have himself. He pushed Scott to higher and higher levels of performance, ignoring his protests. Jean saw the resentment Scott had felt for his father when he had severely twisted his ankle stepping off a curb and his father had insisted that he ignore the pain and perform in the swim meet anyway, and then when he placed fourth, the angry slap he had received from his father.

But the rejection after his powers came was even worse. Scott didn't know if his mother was also embarrassed of him, but she seldom talked to him either, leaving him to sit in darkness in his bedroom for days on end, his world an endless nightmare of laying in bed listening to the radio and little else. Jean saw his struggle to survive in his own house, the nights sneaking down the stairs when his parents were asleep and attempting to blindly find some food to get him through the next day. He hadn't been invited to meals since he came into his powers, and was left to blindly fend for himself. In an instant, everything that he loved to do was impossible. Reading Sci-Fi novels, working on his dirtbike, playing video games, going out with friends, building ship models, all gone. Wiped away in a flash of red. Time after time he attempted to make overtures to his parents, but was rebuffed in a climate of fear and disappointment. Finally, he could take no more, and ran away. When the Professor found him, he had been living on the streets for 2 months, barely managing to survive on charity by wearing dark sunglasses over his perpetually closed eyes, posing as a blind beggar. Jean was shocked. She had known there was some deep pain somewhere in his past, but he had always refused to talk about any of it. Now she understood why, and could hardly fault him for not wanting to remember such painful memories.

She pulled away slightly as he reached under her blouse and cupped one firm breast in his hand. "Not here, Scott. One of the kids might come in. The bedroom."

He nodded, trailing his hand around her waist. She leaned her head on his shoulder and together they returned to the bedroom. He had thought he was tired, but considering his fatigue, he performed admirably. They fell asleep afterward, him on his back, his arm around her, her head on his chest, fingers stroking his stomach, keeping the mind link active so when he slept she could soothe the unending nightmares. She could feel his love, deeper and stronger than ever before, and sent a silent prayer that the conflict over Logan was finally resolved. She fell asleep listening to his deep slow breathing...



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