Summary: Scott in grad school. Caffeine, pizza, comps and orals, and a woman’s thoughts about the man she's learned to love again. S/J, adult. Here's the sequel I said I wouldn't write to "Micky Blue Eyes." c. 5000 words
Warning: This is a 'sex story' in that it's about the impact of the physical on relationships and people. We are more than our minds. If sexual description in stories bugs you, don't read it. It's not a PWP romp, however.
Notes: I don't know if it was one too many requests (which got me thinking), or if it's sheer nostalgia for ye ol' "grad student thang" but this is more follow-up than sequel. My original reason for refusing a sequel was because I couldn't think of anything further that needed to be said without being anticlimactic. One key to writing is knowing when to enter a story and when to leave it so it's not deflated by it's own denouement. Rather than a sequel, this story assumes events in that one and begins about a year and a half later, roughly four after the close of the movie. You can read it without reading "Micky Blue Eyes," but it'll make more sense to read them as a set. (For instance, you'll know why Scott is in grad school and not wearing glasses.)
Disclaimer: The X-Men Movie, of course, belongs to Marvel and 20th Century Fox. No infringement is intended, and god knows, no money is being made.
Scott remembers with his body.
It's partly his mutation, partly a relic of two months of blindness. He has a gift for movement, placement, direction. He doesn't see like you and I. Some of it is lack of color. But I've looked at the world through his eyes and it's more. Movement is sharper; it leaps out. Like black and white photography of marble. Photographing marble in color runs it all together in cream and white and reflected light. Using black and white lets the grey in, puts form and definition on the edges.
Scott sees in black and red. If something moves in a room, he's aware of it, can locate it, place it. He tracks motion at speeds which to most of us is a blur. This allowed him to use the visor and helped surmount the problem of missing peripheral vision, before Hank gave him his eyes back. He remembers direction with uncanny precision and he's rarely so distracted that he loses track of where he is. It operated for him even before his mutation manifested.
Once when we were driving through Virginia, and weren't in a hurry, he asked if I'd like to see where his grandparents had lived, an old house on a little lake. He'd spent summers there as a boy. Of course I said yes. He so rarely shares his past with me, I was a child at Christmas. He took a turn off the interstate and what proceeded is something I'll never forget. He felt his way there. He couldn't recall any street name or highway number. Nothing abstract. It was all concrete. Turn here where the road twists this way, and turn again at a count of two past a little iron-covered bridge. That's the road; I remember that oak tree bent like that. He found it. I was amazed. I'd figured us lost at least ten times, but he found it. I asked him when was the last time he'd been there. "Eight," he said. He was twenty-four when he felt his way back.
The place was a beautiful location, though the house had disintegrated to time and been boarded up by posted order of the fire marshal. We broke in to walk through. Old faded calico wallpaper and rotted wood. I couldn't see if he was crying, but I think he was. When he spoke, his voice was rough. I'd held his hand and he'd gripped it like a man about to fall. It was one of the most intimate things we've ever shared, walking through that old condemned house. Far more than shedding our clothes for the first time in front of each other.
Scott lives in his body more than most people would believe. He seems so controlled, intellectual, even calculating. But he remembers with his body.
"Jean, where's the book I left on the right hand side of the coffee table?"
Not, "Where's Crisis Counseling with Children and Adolescents?" or "Where's the grey psych book I was reading?" Of course, he can't see grey. Grey is a shade of pink to Scott. But that's beside the point . . . or maybe not. In any case, it's not by title or color or author or picture on the cover that he remembers. It's by place. He remembers where he puts things. It's only if there are two books there that he might use another way to distinguish which he's after.
Body memory. Physical space. Direction, speed, trajectory.
Nobody plays pool with Scott. We all lose.
Me, I can get turned around in a big department store, or exit a shop in a mall and promptly head back in the direction from which we just came. Scott laughs at that. He can't understand it. It's a dreamy world that I inhabit. I fall into windows and pictures and impressions of things whatever has caught my imagination. I forget where I am because I exist in my mind. Feelings, instinct. It's the telepathy. He lives securely in the physical world. We once took that Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator, just for fun. Very Jungian. I came up INFP introverted, intuitive, feeling and spontaneous. I could have told anyone that in advance. Scott was ISTJ introverted, sensing, thinking, judging. Which I could have told anyone, too. So opposite, but we complete each other. He needs me; I need him. He keeps me from losing myself. He grounds me.
I have to remind myself of that, when I see his young face. It's not a young mind behind it. He's regained himself, in this last year. Regained his easy smile, regained his passion and centeredness. These are parts of him that got lost somewhere along the way to Xavier's dream, got lost behind rose quartz. The man I once loved had been a mannequin of who he really was, but the visor had hidden that, hidden him from all of us, permitted him to remain a child in some ways.
It's easier to live someone else's dream for you than to risk living your own.
Xavier has had to let him grow up; so did I. Even telepaths can have blind spots. And Scott has grown up. Become a man. Not even one so different from the one I thought I knew. But there's an ease to him now, a laughter that was missing. He's not always afraid of losing his glasses or visor. It lets him relax. Such a small thing to make all the difference in the world.
Are we back together? Yes. But he didn't move back in with me. In fact, he moved out of the mansion altogether, into a little garret apartment near CUNY. We kicked him out. If he was at the mansion, people asked him for things. Scott, fix this; Scott, do that; Mr. Summers, can you help me with . . . . He's no good at saying 'no.' That was always his problem. He wants to please us all so desperately. So we moved him into the city where he stays during the week. On weekends, he comes home. Then he shares my bed, but mostly to sleep and let me take care of him. He doesn't eat enough (Scott's idea of cooking amounts to microwaved hotdogs, or boiled water and ramen noodles), and he doesn't sleep enough, drinks too much coffee. His place is a scattery of books and unwashed dishes and double-stuff Oreos, papers and pizza take-out and his computer.
He's not neat. That's a myth about Scott. In his appearance, yes. He keeps his hair combed, dresses conservatively and his clothes fit him well, but he makes sure to buy things that don't need pressed. Truth be told, he's a mess. I was the one who kept our room in order. He's too focused on other things, and too lazy, frankly. He has that body memory. He can find things no matter how cluttered his space and has no incentive to clean up after himself. He complains at me if I pick up his apartment because then he can't find whatever it is he's looking for. Scott is anal about what he does, not where he lives. There's a difference. He subscribes to the theory, "Do it right the first time, or don't bother." That has nothing to do with keeping his shoes in the closet and his clothes off the floor.
I love him anyway, I love to watch him when he's working, or thinking, the way his brows draw together over eyes I can see now. He frowns a lot. He wears a baseball cap backwards on his head, sprawled legs akimbo with his books on the beanbag chair that is nearly the only furniture his garret apartment has besides futon couch-bed and desk. He marks paragraphs, annotating in the margins with his square engineer's script and talks to himself sometimes. And frowns. I told him once that his face was going to freeze that way. He laughed at me, got up and came to kiss me, then pulled me over to the beanbag chair and made love to me with one book digging into my thigh and another under my back. We scattered his 3x5 cards all over the carpet.
I don't spend much time in his apartment, though. I have my own work, and all of us have more class responsibilities since he left. We took them gladly; I don't think he expected that. He underestimates how much we love him. He gives and gives and gives, and never thinks to ask for himself. Finally he did. He asked to go back to school so he could study what he loved, not just what we needed. Children can be unconsciously selfish, but they want to please their parents. And Scott had thought a man's maturity measured by responsibility, by a burial of his own dreams in favor of the professor's needs.
But it's not. Maturity is to know who you are. And he didn't. He only knew who he thought we wanted him to be. And we, blind with our contentment and desperation, had pretended that he was what we wanted. Cyclops. Not Scott.
But Cyclops disappeared with his visor. Storm leads the X-Men now, at least for the time being. Logan isn't a leader, even though he's eldest, and Hank doesn't want to do it, so it fell to Storm. We set Scott free. The professor set Scott free, acted as the father he is in his heart, instead of the mastermind which necessity so often demands. He's always spent the coin of Scott's loyalty with ruthless force, asked him for too much. So I bullied Charles into freeing him. I ranted in his office for half an hour, yelled and cried and accused him of coldness. Scott had been back at university two months, trying to live at the mansion, trying to keep up his studies and his practice in the danger room, called away at odd times to go on a mission because he was field leader and couldn't say, "I have a class this morning; the emergency will have to wait." He'd already taken one failing grade on a language exam due to a crisis he couldn't explain to the course instructor: "Oh, I was out fighting mutants, can I take a make up?" Charles had released him from teaching at the institute, but Scott had still been leader of the X-Men. What point, I asked Charles, in letting Scott return to school when he could only half commit to it? It was tearing him apart. I swore at Charles and said that I hated him for his cruelty. Keep Scott or let him go, but please decide.
So the professor had called Scott into his office and asked him to bring his uniform. Baffled, Scott had come. I was there, too. Charles asked him for the uniform back. Scott thought he was being punished and almost cried until Charles made him kneel down and cradled his head in long hands, kissed his brow. "I want you to be Scott Summers for a while," he said. "The universe will go on without you watching over it. You're free. Go fly for me." Then Scott did cry. But he turned over his uniform and moved out.
That was the day he became a real man instead of just an X-Man. And that was the day I fell hard in love with him all over again. Someday he'll return to the team. Cyclops is still part of him, a part he'll never lose. But for now, he needs to reclaim what he lost. So he sits on his beanbag chair or at his desk, puzzles over bronze composition analyses and old copies of Archaeology Reports. He writes his grant proposals and complains about funding cuts to NEH. He studies biological anthropology, which he hates, and field methods, which he loves, and quantitative analysis in anthropological data, to which he's indifferent. He sleeps in the library, listens to Led Zeppelin while he types out papers, and eats cold pizza for breakfast. It has nothing to do with mutants or saving the world. He's free, at least for a while. He hasn't forgotten us, turns up at the mansion frequently on weekends and always for holidays, plays basketball with the boys, takes me out on his bike. Last weekend, he helped Hank fix one of the hot water heaters in the kids' wing. But for now, he flies free and hopes his grants come in, plans to spend the summer digging in Cyprus. Bobby and St. John have volunteered to help him and Scott arranged for them to get college credit. I don't even want to think about the trouble they could get into, at Cypriot bars where they're old enough to drink beer and ouzo even at twenty. Scott says it'll be good for them to get out of the country, see how people live in other places. He's right, but I worry. I suppose I shouldn't. They'll have Scott to keep them in line. They think they're going for a holiday to swim in the Aegean and oogle dark Turkish girls sunning themselves topless on Cypriot beaches, but I know him. He'll work their asses off.
But before he does his digs, before he starts his field research, he has to pass his comps and orals. He did nothing but read for them for three weeks after classes ended, didn't come home at all, just stayed in his apartment. He read until five in the morning, then fell asleep, woke some time after noon and began to read again until just before sunrise. It's his natural rhythm, I suppose. I never thought of Scott as nocturnal, but he couldn't be, at the mansion. Another example of him doing what was expected, not what was natural. Left to his own devices, he's a night creature.
Comps and orals are a hell unique to grad school, like internship and residency to med school. All one's years of effort (and money) depend on one's ability to pass three or four written exams and later, a two-to-three hour oral grilling. In Scott's case, they're letting him pick up the test, giving him twenty-four hours to take it home and use his books, then return it. Naturally, they'll expect more out of him, too. But it helps him, since he had such a gap between starting his degree and finishing it. Books are, to Scott, like a security blanket to a toddler. Body memory, again. He knows where to find the information in books. Ask him a question and he walks to a bookshelf, pulls down a text and flips to the right place, looks at the correct side of the page, finds the line or paragraph. He knows where it should be, can see it in his mind but he needs to get his hands on it. So as long as he has his library in its state of mild disarray, he feels more confidant.
Which is a long way from saying he's sanguine. I've seen him cooler facing the Brotherhood of Mutants.
I wanted to come in to the city to stay with him while he took the tests, but he said no. "You don't want to be around me right now, Jean."
"Whatever happened to 'for better or worse'?"
"There's worse, and then there's beyond sane. I'm in the latter category right now. I picked up my first exam the day before yesterday at noon, wrote all afternoon and night seventeen pages then took it back to turn in, came home and slept for fourteen hours. There's not a lot you could do to help."
"I could make you eat, at least."
"I am eating."
"Scott, be honest. Do you not want me there because you think you're no fun, or because I'd distract you? I don't care if you're no fun."
A pause on the phone line. "Because you'd distract me," he admitted finally.
"Okay. Then I won't come. Call me if you need anything."
So I wait, frustrated. I wanted to be there for him like he was there for me. I used to call him in the middle of the night, when I was doing my residency and he was in grad school the first time. We were friends long before we were lovers. Sometimes, I think that's why he quit and came home to New York, because he thought I needed him. I can even name the event that decided it. The night I lost my first patient on the table. It's something every doctor faces, and something none of us can prepare for, to feel life slipping away under our hands and not be able to stop it. You never forget. It was a man in his forties, brought in to the emergency room after a bad accident with a semi. His sports car had folded like an accordion with him still inside. They'd had to cut him out of it, and I doubt anything could have been done to save him with that much blood loss and severe internal trauma, even if they'd got him to us sooner. But that's reason talking. It can't counteract the heavy-gut feeling when that line goes flat and nothing you do makes any difference. I was the resident in charge and I blamed myself. After I went out to tell his wife that she was now a widow, I found a dark closet and cried until I was sick, called Scott on my cell phone and woke him up. He talked to me for an hour, until my beeper called me away again. I've never forgotten his patience as he told me over and over that death was part of life, and even doctors couldn't save everyone. It wasn't so much what he said, but that he was there for me in that dark closet. He held me with his words and his warm voice. A month later he was home to hold me in his arms.
But he hasn't let me do that for him. I wait, and I don't like it. It's been three days since I talked to him. I hope he's eating. He gets shaky when his blood sugar goes too low.
I'm in the lab running DNA samples when my cell phone rings. I flip it open. "Hello?"
"Jean. Can you come down here?" His voice sounds odd, tight.
"Are you okay? Did something happen?"
"Nothing happened. I just I need you."
"I have a test I'm running in the lab. It'll be an hour. Is that okay? Do you want me to bring you something to eat?"
"An hour's fine and don't worry about food. I'll probably be asleep, but I'll leave the door unchained. Just come in."
So I rush through the rest of the analysis and leave the lab, let Hank know where I'm going. "Is he okay?" Hank asks.
"I don't know. He says he is."
"Go take care of him, Jeannie."
Traffic is bad into the city, but it always is. Finding a parking space is even worse than usual. By the time I reach his apartment door, it's taken me three hours and the sun is setting. I let myself in. The place smells like pizza and burned coffee and unwashed Scott. He's left his stereo on but the CD played out long ago. He's asleep on his back on the futon couch; he hasn't even pulled it out. The blinds are closed and a light is on. Books are scattered around and he needs to do his laundry. I set down my purse and the bag of bagels I brought him even though he said not to bother. Picking my way through the mess of socks and papers, slides and journal articles on the floor, I kneel down beside him, watch him sleep. He hasn't shaved in days. His lashes are dark on sharp cheekbones and I see his eyes move under his lids, back and forth. He's dreaming. I wonder if he's dreaming of me. One hand lays limp on his chest. His chestnut hair needs washed; I smooth it back and kiss his brow.
His eyes open. So blue in reflected lamplight. I'll never tire of seeing his eyes. "Jean?"
"Yes." I smile.
He smiles back, that glorious white smile that stole my heart. He moves a little, inviting me up beside him on the couch and I join him, fitting myself against him, our legs intertwined. He needs to brush his teeth, but I don't mind. Much.
"Body's a bull, brain's a lion," he whispers. "Kill one to feed the other. I still have one more test tomorrow. I need my brain back."
I know what he wants now, what he called me there for can feel it pressing insistent against my hip. Leaning in, I kiss him and he gives a small sigh. A release of breath against my mouth, a release of himself into my hands. He needs me to satisfy his lust so he can return his mind to what he must concentrate on.
Like I said, Scott lives in his body. He needs sex like he needs air. It's not something he likes to admit; it implies he's not in full control of himself. I wouldn't say he has the strongest libido in the world, but there are times desire consumes him and he hates to masturbate for relief, finds it faintly ridiculous. So he uses my body to scratch his itch. He's not rough it's not in him to be rough. But it is all physical, all in the flesh. It clears his head. Then he gets up to get something to eat, or goes to sleep. I'd find it annoying if I didn't understand him so well. I'm not an object to him, never that. He loves me. I'm as fundamental as breathing and eating. The six months we spent apart were the hardest of his life, harder than the two he spent blind. But sometimes hard is good. I'd do it again. I'd needed that time, and so did he. It made us stronger, it made us real.
But this tonight isn't love-making. It's sex. He needs a body to rub against, get lost in, find his memory through. I'm that body. And I don't mind.
So now, I let my mouth move absent over his, use my hands to loosen his t-shirt from his jeans, run palms up under it and over his belly. His own hands are all over me, my back, my hair, my shoulders, my hips, my breasts; he touches me with abandon, exhaustion-drunk. I get his shirt off, and mine. They land on the floor and he unhooks my bra so he can feel the press of my hard nipples against his chest. His breath has grown a little heavy, but not rough yet. He sucks at my neck and the unshaved beard scratches; I wonder what the students will think if they see Dr. Grey has a hicky. I work at his jeans. Damn 501 Levi button-downs.
"Maybe we should pull the bed out," I say. He grunts in answer and rolls over the top of me to his feet. I help him open it, and having him standing makes it easier to get his pants off, and undershorts, and me out of my skirt. His erection bobs a little; it embarrasses him. He hunches his shoulders when he's naked and never walks around our room without clothes on unless he's just gotten out of the shower. And not because he's afraid a student might burst in on us. My Scott is a prude, at least with regard to his own body. But I like to look at him. I caress his angles with my fingers and eyes, and now, make him stretch out on the futon so I can run hands over his warm skin. He closes his eyes, gives himself up to me and to what I can give him. I use my mouth all over him, make him murmur. He keeps trying to get hold of me, but I don't want to be held still. I want his body, I want to watch it respond to my tongue and teeth, I want to taste the salt on his skin and the faintly sour-electric of pre-ejaculate, like licking a dime. I make him cry out when I take his cock in my mouth.
I can't take him in far; my gag reflex is too well-developed. Instead, I've learned to suck hard and keep my lips over my teeth so they don't scratch sensitive skin. He's all purple and warm against my mouth. Soft satin. He is the first and only man I've ever done this for, the first I ever wanted to. I wasn't a virgin for him, and he wasn't for me. But there are certain things that belong only to Scott and performing fellatio is one of them. He makes me want it, to feel his pulse beat fast against my tongue, listen to him whistle indrawn breath between his teeth. But he doesn't like to come that way, and I don't much like it, either. I love him, but I won't swallow. The few times we pushed that far, I spit it out in the sink after, or into a tissue. Thank god he's not insulted by that. Semen in quantity tastes terrible.
Right now, he's pulling me up and away. I've got hair in my mouth and spit it out. He rolls on top of me and I spread my thighs, invite his body into mine. "Condom," I say. He fumbles in the drawer of the end-table beside the bed couch, pulls out foil and rips it. I help him put it on; he likes that, likes my fingers down his shaft, even with rubber between. Then he raises himself on an arm and angles into me, thrusts forward. There's always a moment my body needs to adjust, to widen and accept him. He knows this and waits three breaths, four. "Go on," I whisper then. "Fuck me."
And he does. That's what this is. Sex. Fucking. A release of physical tension, because he's more than his mind. He pushes into me and past himself. I take his body under and he makes me cry out from the friction of his cock against my cleft, from the pound of his pelvic bone against my clitoris, the rub of his chest against my nipples. My legs are wrapped tight around his hips and my eyes are closed, my head back against the pillows. I keen like a cat.
"Come on, Jean," he says. He doesn't usually talk in sex; it's a measure of his own need when he does, or a measure of his struggle to distract himself from his own approaching orgasm. "Come on. Come on. Scream for me."
And I do. It breaks over me like a wave and I tighten my thighs, hold his hips still and buck hard while I scream. My eyes are wide open to see his face. He's so beautiful when he comes. He lets out a sound somewhere between gasp and grunt and pushes me hard into the futon cushion. His mouth is open a little, as if he thinks he can hold on to the feelings that way.
When we're both done, he collapses on me, heavy, his breath little gasps in my ear. "Dead bull?" I whisper and he laughs.
"Very dead bull."
I get up and go into the bathroom to clean off. Normally, he follows but not now. When I go back out, he's asleep again, stark naked. At least he took off the condom first, tossed it in the trash. Smiling, I wipe him off with a sock and find a fleece blanket to lay over him, make sure his alarm is on. Then I kiss his cheek, his eyelids. He murmurs something. I get dressed, set the bagels where he'll see them when he wakes, and write an invisible note on his bare chest with my finger. Two words. "Love you."
But he knows that. I wrote it already on every inch of his skin. I wrote it with my lips and my fingers, my legs and my cunt that held him enclosed. He'll remember when he wakes. He'll carry my love with him to his test, his mind free to think because he has body memory. Sex isn't always love. But sometimes, it is.
Again, I am a shameless feedback slut.
Tell me you love me if you want me to write more; it's the only pay I