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Breaking Free
Chapter 2

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:Rating: I'm going with a PG 13 rating for this part. Rampant cursing and a SOB who thinks he has a right to kick the crap out of anyone he chooses, including a seven year old boy, in this chapter. If that kinda thing bothers you ... stop reading this now.
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

November 13th 1985


"Lemme go, lemme go," Alex cried, as he pulled away from the women who held his hand. As soon as he was free, Alex ran back to Scott. He threw his arms around Scott's waist, hugging him tightly, and buried his face in his big brother's shirt. "I don't wanna go with them, Scotty! Please don't let them take me. I wanna stay here with you."


Scott hugged Alex tightly, fighting back his own tears. He didn't want to let Alex go, but he knew what he had to do. He took a deep breath and held Alex at arms length. Then, he kneeled to Alex's level. "I know you don't Lex," he started, wiping the tears from his brother's face. He held up a tissue. "Blow," he said. Alex blew his nose and Scott continued. "I don't want you to go either, but you have to go. These people are gonna take care of you know." Scott pointed to a young couple standing not far from them, by a car.


"NO! I don' wanna go," Alex said stubbornly. "You're my brother. You take care of me. You always take care of me, even before Mommy an' Daddy died. I wanna stay with you!" Alex cried. "You promised," he whispered. He broke Scott's grip on his shoulders, and threw his arms around his older brother's waist again.


Scott took another deep breath. He didn't want to ever let Alex go, but he didn't have a choice. He pushed Alex to arms length again. "Stop it, Alex!" he said sternly "Just stop it! You're four years old, now. You're not a little baby anymore, so stop bawlin' like one. You're a big boy now, remember? Just like me. I know I promised, Alex, but there's nothing I can do." Scott stared at Alex, pleading with him to believe what he said.


Alex sniffled, "Scotty ... please ..." he began again, choking on his tears.


Scott felt his heart breaking. He wanted to grab Alex right then and there and run away, but he knew that wasn't a good idea. They had no money, nowhere to go, and his own headaches were getting worse and more frequent.


Alex sniffled again, but this time he nodded.


Scott took another tissue from his pocket and wiped away Alex's tears. "Then, stop crying. Big boys don't cry." His voice was gentler as he spoke this time. "We'll see each other again. I promise, but you have to go with these people now. I'll call and write to ya a lot. I'm sure they will read them to you. "As Scott looked up though, he wasn't so sure. The man had his arms crossed in front of his chest. The women had her hands on her hips and was tapping her foot. Both had impatient expressions.


Scott looked back to Alex. "Promise me you'll listen to your new parents like you listen to me. Promise me you'll write me back as soon as you learn how."


Alex sniffled once again. "I promise," he said, trying to be as brave as his big brother. Scott's grip loosened and Alex hugged him again. "I'm gonna miss you, Scotty. I love you."


"I'll miss you to Lex. I love you." Scott gave Alex one last tight squeeze, then gently pushed his little brother away.


Alex was still crying softly as he waved good-bye to Mrs. Branson and the kids who'd come to see him off, then turned and walked over to the car. "I'm ready to go, now," he said sadly.


The women smiled at him and ruffled his hair. "Good. We'll stop and get some lunch, then do some shopping for new cloths and toys, then go home and meet you're new sister. She'll be home from school by then. How does that sound?"


"Fine, Ma'am," Alex muttered.


The woman opened the car door, picked Alex up, and strapped him into a car seat. "You're going to love you're new home, Alex. We have a big house with a big yard and a dog! You're sister is very eager to meet you," she said as she got into her seat and fastened her seat belt.


Alex said nothing, but covered his eyes with his small hands and let his tears fall freely.


Scott knew Alex couldn't see him, but he waved until the car was out of site. The other kids followed Mrs. Branson back into the orphanage, but Scott stayed outside. He walked to the curb and stared at the long road. After a few moments he sat on the curb and cried. *Goodbye Alex,* he thought to himself. *I love you. Please, don't forget me.*


Scott didn't know how long he'd been sitting there when he heard a voice behind him and felt a hand on his shoulder. He wiped his eyes and nose on his shirt-sleeve, then looked up.


"Come on Scott," Ms. Branson said gently. "It's time to go in now. You'll catch a cold if you stay out here any longer." She handed the boy a tissue, and a sweater, then stuck out her hand.


Scott hadn't noticed the drop in temperature, or that the sky was beginning to darken. He stood up, shivering slightly, and rubbed his arms. Once he was standing he accepted the tissue and sweater. He blew his nose, then put on the sweater and took the offered hand to walk quietly back towards the orphanage.


"Don't worry, Scott. Everything will work out. You'll see. Everything will be OK."


Scott nodded, but he wasn't so sure.


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January 28th 1986


Ms. Branson sighed as another couple stalked out of her office, slamming the door behind them.


The couple brushed hurriedly past the orphanage's director, Mr. Johnson, as he walked to Mrs. Branson's office. He knocked on the door. Upon hearing Ms. Branson's muffled call her him to come in, he opened the door and entered.


"Let me guess," he began. "They brought back Scott Summers."


Ms. Branson nodded sadly. "No-one will give him a chance. He's only a little more than seven years old. He's still so young." Prospective parents seemed to understand that brain damage had caused him to have headaches at times, but they assumed it was why he was so quiet. They didn't understand - didn't even want to hear - that the brain damage had nothing to do with why he was so quiet. He had been a little withdrawn when he first came to the orphanage, and even more so when Alex had been adopted, but he had still been fairly sociable. Since Alex's new parents had cut off all contact between the two boys, only a week after the adoption, Scott had become much more quiet and withdrawn. His headaches had also gotten more severe, and the stress and anguish of failed adoption attempts weren't helping him any.


"I called the Smith's a week after Alex's last call. Apparently, Mr. and Mrs. Smith also talked to Scott. He won't tell me exactly what they said, but I've never seen such a hurt or sad expression on that little boys face. I tried to get them to let the boys stay in touch. I told them how much this separation was hurting Scott, and probably Alex as well. They didn't care. They said they thought it'd be best for Alex if he had no further contact with Scott. They want Alex to forget that he even has a brother. Apparently, they've also heard some rumors about how Scott has been rejected by so many families, and why, because they said that Scott would be a bad influence on Alex. They return all of Scott's letters unopened. Do you believe they actually threatened to have Scott arrested for harassment if he didn't stop writing to Alex?" The last sentence was spoken with all the anger Ms. Branson felt in her heart. She sighed again then added, "All Scott wants is to be a part of his little brother's life. He's already lost his parents, he doesn't want to lose Alex too. He shouldn't have to."


Mr. Johnson listened quietly to Ms. Branson, not speaking till she finished. "I know. It is very unfair, but the fact remains that they legally adopted Alex. There is nothing we can do, now. I to tried to contact the Smith's and got the same response you did. We can't force them to let Scott and Alex stay in touch. Alex is their son now. Like it or lump it." *Maybe I made a mistake,* he thought after he'd finished speaking. *When they first came here, they seemd thrilled about the idea of taking both boys. Why did they so suddenly change their minds and turn against Scott?*


Ms. Branson sighed deeply, then got up from her desk. "I know, but that doesn't mean I have to like it." That said, she walked out of her office.


"Neither do I, Ms. Branson, neither do I."


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*Stupid jerk!* Scott Summers thought to himself. *It's not my fault. I didn't ask for any of this. Not for my parents to die, not be left in this orphanage, not to have Alex taken away from me, and not for these damn headaches.* The boy grew angrier as he walked. *What the Hell does that moron know anyway? Asshole didn't have to kick me!* Scott unconsciously rubbed the unseen bruise on his back. The whole five days he'd been with the Carpenters had been miserable.


At first, he hadn't thought it would be so bad. Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter had said he could call them by their first names, and they'd bought him ice cream on the way to their home. By the end of the first day, he had realized that he was very wrong. Mick Carpenter was a harsh, mean bastard. Each morning, he'd dragged Scott out of bed at six thirty to toss around a football or baseball.


It wouldn't have been so bad really. It would have actually been quite fun except that, but Mick wasn't satisfied with a simple game of catch. He yelled through the whole thing. When Scott missed the ball, Mick called him an idiot and a sissy, as well as every other name he could think of. When Scott caught it, which he usually did, Mick found something wrong with the way he'd caught it, and the bitching and name-calling started again.


Jane Carpenter was entirely to cheerful, and ignored the fact that Mr. Carpenter was an overbearing, abusive, jackass. She always smiled, even when her husband was complaining about something she'd cooked wrong or hadn't cleaned properly. She would re-iron his clothes or completely re-cook a meal (after cleaning up the mess he'd made by tossing the first one around the kitchen) if he didn't like the way she'd done it the first time.


At first, Scott had felt sorry for Jane, but by the end of the third day that pity was gone. She actually believed wholeheartedly that he had a right to treat her like dirt simply because they were married and he was a man! *Mom never would have let anyone treat her like that. Dad would never have lifted a hand to Mom or talked to her like Mr. Carpenter does to his wife.* Scott had thought to himself as he'd gone to bed that third night.


Scott's stay was actually supposed to be for a week, but it had ended abruptly this morning. He'd had a few minor headaches through the first four days, but nothing major. This morning however, he'd gotten out of bed and headed down the stairs for breakfast when a major headache started out of nowhere. He'd collapsed on the kitchen floor, holding his head and moaning in agony. Ms. Carpenter had tried to help him, but couldn't. She'd gone to get him some Tylenol and a glass of water when Mick had come into the kitchen. Scott shuttered as the scene replayed in his mind.


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Mick walked into the kitchen, took one look at Scott, and snorted in disgust. "What's the matter with you boy," he asked, as he sits at the table and starts eating his breakfast.


"My head hurts real bad," Scott somehow managed to reply.


That got him another snort from Mick. "It can't be that bad boy. Get up now and eat your breakfast before it gets cold."


Scott honestly tried to get up, but even the slightest movement caused the pain in his head to get worse.


Mick got angry. "I said get up now you little Wuss."


When Scott still wasn't able to get up, Mick got angrier. He stood up and walked over to Scott. "Jane slaved over a hot stove to cook you a nice hot breakfast you ungrateful little bastard, so get up and eat NOW!"


Scott moaned and brought his hands to his ears. Mick's yelling was making his headache worse. He planted his hands firmly on the kitchen floor and made another attempt to get up. Pain thundered through his head, and his hands instantly went back to clutching his head. Tears began to form in the little boy's eyes as the pain steadily got worse. "Please, stop yellin'," he whimpered.


Mick's eyes flared with anger. "You tellin' me what to do boy? You don't tell me what to do! I tell YOU! Now, get your little pansy ass up and eat before I show you the meaning of the word hurt!"


The tears flowed freely down Scott's cheeks as his body trembled with pain and fear. He made one last ditch effort to get up, but it was useless. He couldn't get up.


Jane came back into the kitchen after finally finding the Tylenol in the upstairs bathroom. For the first time since Scott had met her, she wasn't smiling. "He's just a little boy Mick, you're scarring him. Yelling won't help." She looked fearful as her husband glared at her.


"Stay outta this Woman! It's time this BOY learned to be a MAN!" Without warning, Mick lashed out with a fierce kick that connected with Scott's lower back. The boy cried out in pain, and Mick lashed out again. "Shut up, and take it like a man," he yelled.


"Mick, please stop," Jane begged. "He's just a little boy. It's not his fault." Mick lashed out and backhanded her. Her hand flew up to her cheek in shock. Mick had been cruel to her many times in the past, but this is the first time he had ever struck her. She had never seen such anger in her husband's eyes, and it frightened her.


"I said stay out of this," he screamed. "Or I'll give you what I'm gonna give him."


Jane sobbed into her hands and ran to her bedroom.


"I said, get up now, Boy, or you'll get it even worse!" Without giving the sobbing boy a chance to even try, he lashed out with an even more viscous kick to Scott's back. The boy cried out again as the pain increased, but he remained on the floor. Mick reached down with both hands and lifted Scott into the air. "You are the biggest NANCY BOY I've ever met," he yelled into Scott's face. "Stop crying baby!" he added as he shook Scott violently. "Christ, what was I thinking when I let Jane talk me into bringing you here. No wonder you've been brought back so many times. No one wants a little Nancy Boy like you for a son! You're going back, and I'm gonna get a REAL boy, not a cry baby, wimp like you!" Mick threw Scott over his shoulder and stormed up the stairs.


Mick threw Scott roughly onto the bed. The boy instantly curled his small body into a tight ball. "I gotta go to work with no breakfast now thanks to you! You'd better have your shit packed and be ready to go by the time I get back!" Scott curled into a tighter ball and cried himself to sleep. Mick gave the boy one last disgusted look, than stomped off to his own room.


Jane looked up teary eyed as her husband stormed into their bedroom. "We're takin' him back! Make sure that runt is packed and ready to go by the time I get home from work," he says angrily, as he turned to leave. Suddenly, he turned back and added, "Next time, I pick the kid." Then, he left the bedroom, slamming the door on the way out.


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Scott shook his head as the memory faded. True to his word, as soon as Mick got home at four o'clock, he'd stormed into the house, dragged Scott out, and threw the boy and his suitcase into the back seat of his car. When they got to the orphanage, Mick had grabbed the boy by his much too slender arms and threatened him. "If you tell anyone what happened, I'll ... " His voice had trailed off as he leaned close to Scott and whispered in the boy's ear. Scott's eyes went wide in fear. "Got it?" Mick had asked. Scott nodded.


The Carpenter's went into the orphanage. They followed Ms. Branson to her office while Scott took his bag to his room, threw it on his bed, and went outside. "Dumb fuck," Scott muttered as he rubbed his sore back.


"You really should watch your mouth, Scott," he muttered to himself. "Mom would have a conniption fit if she heard you. You'd be suckin' on a soap bar for a week. Dad would kick you're butt and give a nice long lecture on why you aren't supposed to say those words." A sinister voice in the back of his mind seemed to take sadistic pleasure in adding, *But Mommy and Daddy aren't here anymore are they? No, they're as dead as can be now. No-one cares about you. NO-one loves you.* Scott pushed the voice to the back of his mind, blocking it out.


Scott stopped as he reached his destination. His thoughts shifted to Alex as he climbed up his and Alex's favorite tree. Like every time he saw it, Scott couldn't help but wonder how old the tall Oak was. *This tree is really, really old. Probably older than ... Grandpa,* Scott thought to himself. He starred in awe at the tree, looking more like the little boy he was, and less like the man he so desperately tried to be. It never lasted though. As he climbed up the tall tree, his thoughts turned back to Alex again.


*I miss you, Alex,* he thought as he reached their favorite branch and sat down, leaning against the thick tree trunk. *Nobody wants me. I didn't want to cry. I tried to get up, but it just hurt so much. What if Mick was right? What if I am just a ... * Scott paused as he tries to remember the word Mick used, *... a Nancy Boy? Whatever that means. I don't want to stay here forever, Lex. Dave and his little jerk buddies keep picking on me, and picking fights with me and Nathaniel. One of these days, I'll learn to stay out of it when those two get into it. When will Nathaniel learn to keep his big mouth shut around Dave?*


Still caught up in his thoughts, Scott doesn't see the small blond-haired boy approaching. *Why are the Smith's being such ..., jerks. I just want to talk to you. They act like I'm gonna turn you inta some kinda rebel punk or something. Mr. Smith actually said I was a bad influence on you. He thinks I'm bad, just like Mick does.* Scott felt the tears well up in his eyes, but he refused to let them fall. He heard a noise below him and looked down. *Aw man, not him ... not now.* Scott groaned as he saw the boy that had disturbed his thoughts.


"What do you want, Nathaniel?" Scott asked as he climbed down the tree. He didn't hate Nathaniel, not really, he just didn't like the boy much. He was nosey, pushy, and an all around pain-in-the-butt. He also had a knack for getting himself, and Scott, into trouble with the older boys like Dave.


"Oh, nothin' in particular. I was bored and I heard you were back early ... again. So I thought I'd come say hi, and see why these people dropped ya off early. Same as last time huh? That makes, what ... six times in less than a month?"


Scott sighed, jumping from the lowest branch and landing on his feet. "Nine. Nine times," he answered. Nine times Scott had gone to stay with a family; and nine times he'd been brought back. Only once had he as long as he was supposed to. That had been a three-day weekend visit last month. That was also the only visit where he hadn't been either hit, cursed at, or both. For a moment, he'd let his hopes be raised that maybe, just maybe, they'd want him forever. But that wasn't to be. He'd snuck into Ms. Branson's office and hid in the closet, hoping against hope that the nice young couple would want him . . .


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Scott quietly opened the small hidden door in Ms. Branson's office. He'd discovered it about two months ago, and as far as he knew, no-one else knew about it. Not even Ms. Branson. He was careful not to bump anything or make any noise as he listened to the grown-ups talk.


He liked this couple. Theirs was the fourth home in two weeks that he'd visited. It was the only one he honestly liked. The Coppers were nice to him. They didn't curse at him like all the others had, or hit him like some of the others did. They also didn't get angry when he had one of his bad headaches. They had a nice house with a big back yard and a dog! A German Shepherd they named Cookie because she used to steal cookies from people as puppy.


"He's a very quiet, very polite boy Ms. Branson," Mrs. Copper began, "but we just don't think it would work out."


"Scott has some ... issues ... we just don't think we're qualified to handle," Mr. Copper added. "He really is a very nice little boy, and we did enjoy his visit, but we feel we'd do better with a child that hasn't had such tragedy's in his life. We really hope you find a good home for Scott. It just can't be our home."


Scott held his tears back as he listened to them talk. Just as quietly as he had entered, Scott left the office. He ran to his and Alex's tree, climbed to their favorite spot, and let the dam burst. He cried for only a minute, then wiped the tears away and forced himself to regain control of his emotions. *Come on Scott. Stop cryin' like a little baby. You didn't really think they'd wanna keep you, did you? Just 'cuz they're the only people who took you home with them and didn't curse at you or hit you since you came to this crummy place doesn't mean they'd actually want to keep you forever,* he thought bitterly.


*Three months! Three months I've been here, and I've been to about a million homes, and none of those people wanted me.* The actual number was nowhere near a million, but it sure felt that way to the lonely little boy. *What made me think these people'd be any different? Just 'cuz they were nice to me and brought me Ice cream, and let me stay up late and help take Cookie for a walk. Just 'cuz Mr. Cooper didn't call me a baby and curse at me like all the others, or hit me like some did. Just 'cuz Mrs. Cooper let me lick the spatula after she mixed the cake, and didn't get mad when I got one of my bad headaches and dropped her glass mixin' bowl. Just 'cuz they were just really, really nice, I shouldn'ta thought they'd actually want to make me their forever son.*


"There you are." Mr. Cooper called up to Scott.


Scott climbed quickly down the tree. He felt his hopes start to rise again. *Did they change their minds? Please, please let them have changed their minds,* he prayed. His hopes were once again dashed as he reached the ground.


Mrs. Cooper gave him a quick hug, and then said, "We've been looking all over for you. We wanted to say good-bye before we left. We really enjoyed having you stay with us, Scott, but we can't take you back home with us."


Tears formed in Mrs. Copper's eyes, but she didn't let them fall. *Maybe we're making this decision to quickly,* she thought. *Maybe we should take him for another visit and try a little harder to help him.* As quickly as that thought went through her mind, another one entered. *No, we just can't handle a boy like him.* She was puzzled for a moment. It was almost as if that last thought wasn't her own, as if it was planted in her mind. She pushed that notion aside though as her husband began to talk to the boy.


"We're sorry, Scott, we just don't think it will work out. It's not your fault, Scott. Do you understand?"


*Oh yeah,* Scott thought, *I understand. You want a nice, normal little boy, not one with a screwed-up head.* Scott wanted to be angry with them. He wanted to hate them like he did the others, but he couldn't. They'd been to nice to him, and though he was only a kid, he could tell it hadn't been an easy decision for them. He nodded yes.


Mr. Cooper gave the boy a quick, hug then stood up. "Good."


Scott put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a small plastic figure of a German Shepherd dog. "Do you want this back?" he asked, a slight quiver in his chin. They'd stopped at Walmart on the way to the Cooper home on the first day, to pick up a few things. On the way to the hardware department, they passed the toys and the figure had caught Scott's eye. It reminded him of a dog he barely remembered that his grandparents had had.


"Do you like that?" Mrs. Cooper had asked. Scott had nodded.


"Then it's yours." Mr. Cooper had said, and they had bought it for him. Scott sighed quietly at the memory.


Mrs. Copper knelt in front of Scott again. "No, Honey. We bought it just for you," she said as she closed his hand around the plastic dog. "Good Bye, Scott." She hugged the small boy again, and then stood.


"Good-Bye, Scott," Mr. Cooper said as he gave Scott's shoulder a squeeze.


"Good-Bye," Scott whispered as they walked away. The tears threatened to fall again, but he refused to let them.


x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Scott glared at Nathaniel as the boy knocked on Scott's head several times and said, "Hello, Earth to Scott, anyone home?"


"Knock it off, Nathaniel."


"Hey, it's not my fault you were off in La La Land. So, that makes, like, twenty-five times since you got here, huh? I think that's some kinda record."


"Yeah," Scott answered, pushing a lock of brown hair out of his face. "Something like that. Look Nathaniel, I just want to be alone right now, okay?" Scott walked away without waiting for an answer. He headed for the orphanage.


A sinister smile crossed Nathaniel's face as he watched Scott walk away. "Yes, Scott Summers," an inhuman voice whispered. "I'll leave you alone ... for now." The voice laughed harshly. His plan was moving along nicely.


End chapter 2

Part 3

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