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Breaking Free
Chapter 1

Disclaimer: Recognizable characters are Marvels. The Master and any non recognizable are mine, 
so be nice and ask if you want to play with my toys :-)
Rating: I'm going with a PG rating for now, but that might change.
Archive: RedShades, anyone else just ask. I'll pribably say yes, and I'll send you the HTML version.
Feedback is welcomed wholeheartedly. Flamers will have a hose turned on 'em.
Dedication: This is for Ali Malik, 'cuz she asked for it.
Acknowledgments: Jubes, Sequoia, Dannell, and MistyBlueAngel for some betaing. There where a few others who gave me some help with this part, but for the life of me I can't remeber their names. Sorry! You know who you are so . . . thanks! Many thanks to my beta, Crystal Wimmer. She's the best!

~words~ Is telepathic talking

*words* Is someone's thoughts

Notes: This story is in response to a challenge sent by Ali Malik, to the RedShades mailing list, to write Scott dark. Reading the challenge, I started asking myself a few questions. What if Scott's brain damage had not only caused Scott to lose control of his powers, but also made them manifest earlier? What if someone with less honorable intentions had found Scott first? How different would Scott be? How would it affect how/when the other X-Men were recruited by Xavier? This story is my answer to those questions.

I've made a lot of changes in this story. The biggest ones are when Scott's powers first manifest, the order in which the X-Men are recruited, and the ages of the X-Men. You should be able to pick up on everything OK (I hope). If not, e-mail me and I'll answer any questions you may have. Now ... on with the fic!

One last thing ... This ain't Marvels Scott. You have been warned. ::: Evil grin :::

September 20th 1985


Scott slowly opened his eyes, blinking against the harsh, bright light. He turned his head to his right and saw Alex standing next to him with two women he'd never meet before. One wore a nurse's uniform, the other a pair of jeans and a sweater. Scott wanted to ask them what was happening, and where he was, but he couldn't speak. He tried to move and found he couldn't. He became frightened, his eyes darting wildly around the room.


Alex looked up at Scott and exclaimed, "He's awake!" The small boy instantly ran to him brother's bed and hugged him.


The two women, who'd been talking quietly to each other, looked up and walked to Scott's bed. The nurse began to check his vitals while the other women sat beside him and gently brushed Scott's hair away from his eyes.


"It's Okay, Scott," she began, speaking in a soothing tone. "My name is Ms. Branson. You were in an accident and you're in the hospital now. Do you remember what happened?"


Scott nodded his head "yes" slightly, as tears started to form in his eyes. *Yes, I remember, * he thought to himself. *The plane blew up and Mommy and Daddy died.* He willed the tears not to fall, but a single tear escaped and drifted down his cheek.


Ms. Branson wiped the tear away. "It's okay Scott. Everything is going to be fine."


"Ms. Branson, how come Scotty can't talk or move?" Alex asked.


"He's been through a very traumatic experience, Alex. It's going to take time for him to recover. Come now, it's time to go."


"Okay, but I wanna say goodnight to my brother first," Alex said. He gave Scott another hug. "G'night Scotty, I love you." He then gave Scott a kiss on the cheek and ran to Ms. Branson, who was waiting by the door.


Silent tears rolled down Scott's cheeks as he watched them leave. *I love you to Lex. Please don't leave me too.*


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October 8th 1985


*I wonder how far Nebraska is from Alaska,* Scott thought as he walked up the cement walkway to his new home. He stared at the huge building in front of him, paying particular attention to the large sign that read: State Home For Foundlings. "What's a foundling, Ms. Branson?" Scott asked the woman holding his hand.


"A foundling is an infant found after it's unknown parents have abandoned it," Ms. Branson answered.


"Then why are me and Alex here? We know who are parents are, and they didn't abandon us. They ... they died." Scott looked up at Ms. Branson as he waited for an answer.


"I know, Scott." Ms. Branson couldn't help but hear the sadness in the little boy's voice, or see it in his young eyes. "When this place was first opened, the children brought here were foundlings. As time passed more and more children were brought here because their parents died, didn't want them anymore, or simply couldn't care for them. Very few children are left on the doorstep now."


"Oh." Scott stared at the sign a moment longer, then sighed. He followed quietly as Ms. Branson gently pulled him forward and led him into the orphanage. She led him up a flight of stairs and down a long hallway. He stared into the large room they stopped in front of. It was empty for the moment, but he knew other people lived here. He walked to the center of the room and looked around. All the beds but one were made. The lone unmade bed was in the corner of the room. Scott walked over to it and put his small bag on it.


Ms. Branson walked over to Scott and placed her hands on his shoulders. "Alex's bed is right there next to yours," she paused as she pointed to the bed directly to the right of Scott's, then she walked to what looked like a closet with doors. "And this is where you'll keep your clothes and anything you don't want stolen." She took a key attached to a chain from her pocket, and handed it to Scott. "Make sure you don't lose this, Scott." She looked at her watch then said, "The other children are at lunch right now, but I'll send Alex up when he's done eating. He can explain the rules to you. I'll send a clean set of sheets up with him. Do you prefer blue or green?"


Scott looked up at Ms. Branson for the first time since they'd entered the room. "Blue," he answered in a low voice. Reality seemed to be crashing down around him. *They're really dead,* he thought to himself. *They're really, really, dead. This isn't a dream. No more bedtime stories. No more plane rides. No more Mommy. No more Daddy.* Tears welled behind Scott's eyes, but he willed them not to fall. He was a big boy now, and big boys didn't cry. No matter how much their heart was breaking, he wouldn't give in.


Ms. Branson gave Scott a gentle squeeze on his shoulder then left. Alone in the big, military barracks style room, Scott walked around the bed to the closet, unlocked it, and opened the doors. There was a bar going across the top with a few empty hangers. The bottom contained a two drawer dresser. Scott turned back to his small bag and opened it. He sighed as he looked inside it. *Like I have much worth stealing,* he thought sadly. He sniffled a little, and then set upon the small task of unpacking.


After signing Scott out of the hospital, Ms. Branson had taken him to McDonalds for lunch, and then to Walmart to buy him some new clothes. He now had a minimum of clothes, a coat, sneakers, and the blue duffel bag that held the new items. He'd picked out his new cloths carefully. On the hangers Scott hung the three pairs of blue jeans (all blue because he didn't like black jeans), his blue polo shirt with Mickey Mouse on it, and his coat. He opened the bottom drawer and placed one T-shirt with a jet on it, a plain gray long sleeve shirt, a blue sweater with a big jet on it, and two pairs of pajama's (one with planes on it, the other red and blue with a big superman symbol on the chest) in it then closed it. Then he opened the top drawer. He pulled the pack of underwear out of the bag, opened it, and placed the five pair of new underwear in the drawer. Next to them he put the five pairs of socks. On top he placed the pair of blue and white high tops. It wasn't much, but Ms. Branson had promised to take him shopping again in a few days when she had more time. She said he could pick out another pair of jeans, a pair of dress pants, shoes, and some more shirts.


Having completely unpacked the cloths, Scott flopped on the bed and pulled the bag up next to him. After picking out Scott's cloths, Ms. Branson had gone to go to the Heath and Beauty Aid section, and Scott had looked at the books. He'd walked up and down the aisles until one book caught his attention. "A Brief History of Flight: From Balloons to Mach 3 and Beyond" by T. A. Heppenheimer. Ms. Branson had walked up from behind him startling him.


"You like planes don't you," she'd asked.


"Yes, ma'am," he'd answered politely, as his parents had taught him.


He'd started to put the book back on the shelf, when, much to his surprise, she asked, "Would you like to have that book Scott?"


He had stared at her in surprise and answered, "Yes, ma'am."


Scott now rolled on his back and opened the book. He was halfway through the first chapter when he heard Alex's voice.


"Scotty! I missed ya!" The smaller Summers boy ran to his brother, who was now sitting up. He dropped the sheets and pillow Ms. Branson had given him for Scott onto the bed, and threw himself at his big brother. The two boys landed on the bed with Alex on top of Scott.


Scott laughed at the goofy expression on his little brother's face and said, "It's only been a week since ya saw me last, Lex."


"I know, but I still missed ya."


"I missed you too Lex, now get off of me please," Scott said, giving Alex a light push.


Alex rolled with the push and flopped on the bed next to Scott. "That's a neat looking book, Scotty."


Scott closed the book. "Yeah, it's pretty neat. Ms. Branson bought it for me when we got my new clothes today."


"Cool. I guess I better tell ya the rules now. First, ya gotta write your name in all your clothes so the laundry people know which room ta bring 'em to. There's a big hamper in the corner." Alex pointed to a large white wicker basket in the far corner. "That's where you put you're cloths when ya change. Lights out is eight-thirty. If ya get caught out of the room, or making any noise, after that you get in trouble. They usually don't letcha watch TV for a while, or make ya stay inside. No eatin' or drinkin' in the room, and ya gotta make your bed everyday when they wake ya up for breakfast. There's no running in the building and no fighting.


"Umm, I guess that's pretty much it. I'll tell ya if I 'member anything else later." The two boys sat quietly for a minute, then Alex suddenly jumped up and ran to his own locker. He opened the wall locker, pulled out a thick book, and ran back to Scott's bed. He plopped on the bed and handed it to Scott. "This is what I got for my birthday. Well, actually, it's not the only thing I got. I just like this the bestest."


Scott looked at the book. It was: The Brother's Grimm. Scott knew it had been Alex's favorite book. "I'm sorry I missed your birthday, Alex, but they wouldn't let me out of the hospital in time," Scott said sadly. Alex's birthday had been four days earlier. Scott had begged anyone who would listen to let him out early so he could be there for his brother, but they had all refused.


"It's best if you stay a few more days," they'd all said.


"S'okay, Scott. I know it's not your fault." Alex took the book back and stared at the cover. He opened it up and flipped through the pages until he found the story he was looking for, The Elves. "This my favorite story in the whole book."


"I know." Scott said as he looked at the page. There were actually three stories with that title in the book. Scott knew because it was the same book their parents had brought for Alex on his second birthday. Their mother read to Alex from it every night. Since Scott knew how to read, Alex had often begged his older brother to read to him when their parents were to busy. "You used to bug me, Mom, or Dad to read the stories to you all the time." Scott looked up from the page to Alex's face.


"I remember." Alex said, then his face suddenly dropped into a frown and his lower lip began to quiver. Tears welled up in his eyes, threatening to fall at any moment.


"What's the matter, Lex," Scott asked.


"I miss Mommy and Daddy. I don't want them to be dead, Scotty. I want them alive." The dam broke with those words, and the tears flowed freely down the small boy's cheeks. He threw his arms around Scott's neck and sobbed uncontrollably. "It's not fair!" The words hitched in Alex's chest as he cried harder.


Scott hugged Alex tightly, willing his own tears not to fall. "I know, Alex. I miss them too. I don't want them to be dead either, but there's nothin' we can do about that. Please stop crying." Scott prayed Alex would stop. If he didn't, Scott knew he'd start crying soon as well. He held onto Alex as his younger brother's sobs grew quiet. After a few minutes, Alex broke the hug and sat back.


"Thanks Scotty. Sorry I cried on your new shirt." Alex sniffled then wiped his eyes with his own shirt.


"S'okay, Lex. Come here." Alex scooted close to Scott again, and Scott gave his brother another hug. He wiped the rest of the tears from Alex's eyes, then reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out a small packet of tissues. He took a few out and handed them to Alex. "Here, blow your nose."


Alex took the offered tissues and blew his nose. Then he took the tissues over to a small waste basket in the corner of the room and threw the tissues in. He walked back over to Scott's bed, sat on it, and picked the book back up. "Read to me, Scott. Please." Alex looked at Scott with pleading eyes that threatened more tears.


"Sure, Little Brother, but first help me make the bed." The two brothers quickly made the bed. Scott took the book and positioned himself on the bed so that his back was against the headboard with the pillow behind him. Alex laid next to Scott with his head on Scott's shoulder.


"The Elves story first." Alex said, flipping through the pages until he found the story again.


"I kinda figured that," Scott said, then began reading. Three stories later, Alex was sound asleep, snoring softly. Scott smiled as he looked at his sleeping brother. He closed the book and laid it gently on the floor. Someone cleared their throat. The noise startled Scott and he looked up at the doorway to the room. A tall, husky, dark haired boy was leaning on the door frame.


"Well, ain't this a cozy little scene," he said sarcastically. He noticed the dried tears on Alex's face and said, "So what was the little whiner cryin' about now. He miss his Mommy and Daddy again?" The boy made a mock crying face as he held his fists in front of his eyes, turning them.


Anger built in Scott, but he kept himself calm. "He is not a whiner, he's just a little kid. Yeah, he misses 'em. What's it to you." Scott answered defensively.


"Chill. I was just teasin'. What are you, his guarding angel or somethin'?"


"No, I'm his brother, Scott."


"Oh yeah, I remember the little whiner talking about his big brother and how great he is. You don't look so great to me." The older boy grinned menacingly at Scott. "My name's David. I'm twelve. I been here since I was born."


The boy started to say something else but Scott cut him off. "So what, does that make you special or something?" Scott made his remark as sarcastic as possible.


David just widened his smile. "No, Punk. You keep up those smart remarks and I'll make ya a permanent part of the wall. Just thought I'd let ya know I'm in charge around here. You mess with me and I'll make ya regret it. Just ask whiner there," David pointed to Alex, "he'll tell ya."


"What did you do to him?" The anger became obvious on Scott's face as he stared at the older boy.


David was about to make another sarcastic remark when he heard a noise behind him. Suddenly, Ms. Branson appeared behind him.


"Is there a problem here, boys?" she asked. David smiled as sweet a smile as he could manage, then turned to face Ms. Branson.


"Why no, Ms. Branson," he said sweetly. "I was just introducing myself to Scott."


Ms. Branson looked down at the boy skeptically, then looked to Scott. "Are you getting settled in Okay, Scott?"


"Yes, Ma'am. I'm doing fine."


Ms. Branson stared at Scott for a moment, then looked back to David. *That boy is starting trouble again. I know it. Why can't you just behave, David?* She thought to herself. Without another word, she turned and left.


David stared at Scott a few moments longer, then in a lowered voice said, "Watch your back." With that, he turned and left.


Scott sighed with relief as the bully left. *Good one, Scott. Way to start your first day. That kid's about three times bigger than you.* He sighed again and gently slid his arm from underneath Alex. *I need some fresh air.* He opened his locker, pulled out his sweater, and walked out of the room. He decided it would be a good time to take a walk around outside.


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Scott took a deep breath as he sat on a bench by a picnic table. He'd walking around for over an hour, familiarizing himself with the orphanage's grounds. He was sitting quietly, thinking, when someone suddenly put a hand on his shoulder. Startled, Scott jumped up and whirled around to face the person. A blond haired boy, only a little smaller than himself, stared at him.


The boy stuck out his hand. "Hi, name's Nathaniel."


Scott shook the boy's hand. "Scott."


"Yeah, I know. So, heard ya had a run-in with our resident jerk, David."


"How'd you know about that?" Scott asked, looking at Nathaniel suspiciously.


"It's a small place. Word gets around pretty quick around here. David's just a jackass. He thinks just because he's the biggest kid here that makes him the boss. He thinks he's soooo tough." Nathaniel rolled his eyes. "I'd watch out for him though, 'specially when he's with his buddies, Jake, Lance and Frank. They like to hit people."


Scott stared at Nathaniel. He didn't know what it was, but there was something about Nathaniel that Scott didn't like. *I think I'll avoid you too if I can.* Scott thought to himself.


"Come on, lets go play with the new computer. I'll show ya some cool stuff.


"Uh, no thanks. I gotta go check on Alex. He's my kid brother."


"I know. Like I said," Nathaniel added as he saw the shock on Scott's face. "It's a small place."


"Yeah, right. Bye." Scott said and quickly walked away before Nathaniel could say anything else. *That dude is really weird,* Scott thought to himself. *I'm defiantly stayin' away from him.*


Nathaniel watched as Scott walked into the orphanage. "On the contrary, Scott," he said in a low, sinister voice. "You and I will be spending a lot of time together." He chuckled softly as he finished, then walked into the building.


End Chapter 1

Part 2

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