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I Guess It's All Right
Notes & Acknowledgments

Pairing: S / J / X by tension (Yes, you read that right)

Warning: This story is ADULT. It contains graphic descriptions of sex, albeit not violent or non-consensual. Still, it's there; read responsibly. When I got to the end, I was rather surprised by the number of sex scenes since I hadn't really considered this story to be about sex. But it is a story about new relationships, and sex is part of that. If such bothers you, don't read it.

Author's Notes & Assumptions:
A conversation on X-Fiction got me thinking that yes, fanfic does often focus on what leads up to romantic consummation, and sometimes on the challenges of on-going relationships -­ but rarely do we address that awkward little period that follows consummation while we find our feet, and the rest of the world figures it out. If one member of the pair is also the field commander, that just complicates everything . . . and makes it more interesting.

This story assumes only events in my tale "Chocolate Milk," but can be read without having read that first. It's not in line with the Elk River Saga, etc. Certain details of Scott's past are the same, but other details are not. He and Ororo are simply friends here.

The X-Mansion:  Since events here take place after the X-Men are free, I've had to make several assumptions, first and foremost that Xavier will rebuild the mansion; that seems to be a staple of the X-Men universe. How many times has the X-Mansion been destroyed now? [Now, see new note below.] Yet given how thoroughly the mansion burned at the end of issue #8, it couldn't be reconstructed in mere weeks. This story thus occurs some months after their escape. Timing is always iffy, but near as I could tell, they were captured during the summer and were in Weapon-X for 6+ weeks. Counting rebuilding time, that would put the events of this story in mid- or late autumn.

Who's leaving?:  Mark Millar has said that early in the Brimstone arc (to begin in issue #15), one of the team regulars will take a short hiatus in order to add Kitty to the group without increasing the total number of players. I've no idea when this person will depart or who it'll be.  As events here take place simply at some point before issue #15, I've chosen to include the whole team.

[Later addendum:  a preview of the issue #15 cover shows the whole team still intact, and also shows them in what appears to be the library of the mansion, so I think it's now safe to say that the mansion will be rebuilt, and including the whole team in this novella doesn't run the risk of instantly falling out of canon with issue #12.]

Jean's telepathy:  Jean's comments about her own telepathy are based on the Marvel Ult-X bible, and the implication that she may be stronger than Xavier is based on the core comics.

Jean and Ororo:  Millar has made Ororo a bit of a fashion hound while I can't recall ever seeing Jean in a dress, but waaaaay back in the core comics, Jean was the one with a career as a model while Ororo barely understood the need for clothes, much less had an interest in fashion. In the mini vignette "First Friends" (Classic X-Men 2) written by Claremont with John Bolton's art, it's Jean who takes Ororo clothes shopping as an overture of friendship between the (then) only X-Women. I had a bit of fun turning that inside out.

Historical References:  These kids are supposed to be students, mostly of college-age. But it's hard to write a trig lesson into an action-adventure story, so class work is assumed off-panel. Still, as with Storm's history class in the X-Men film, sometimes a school lesson can serve a symbolic purpose. In the core comics, Scott had an interest in political and military history, and I've maintained that for his Ultimate incarnation (at least until Mark indicates otherwise). The historian whom Scott quotes is W.W. Tarn, whose work isn't terribly respected these days, but whose comment about Rome is still famous. Casualty stats for the Battle of Cannae come from The Oxford Classical Dictionary, the passage Xavier gives Scott to read is from Plutarch's Life of Alexander, 47.5-6, Perrin's Loeb translation, and The Marshals of Alexander's Empire is a real book by Waldemar Heckel.

Cover Artwork for I Guess It's All Right was done, graciously, by Shana Nolan. The statue featured in the collage is the Braschi Antinoös from the Vatican, mentioned in Chapter One. Naomi, as always, edited the material, with additional comments from C&P. Thanks to all.

References behind (some of) the titles:
"I Guess It's All Right" is a song performed by the Canadian women's folk trio The Wyrd Sisters, off Raw Voice; I recommend them. (Full lyrics below)
1) 'Il bel tenebroso' means "Gloomy Beauty," specifically a man (it's in the masculine). There are connotations of emotional intensity and a tendency to brood.
3) 'Bad Desire' is a phrase from the Bruce Springsteen song, "I'm on Fire" off Born in the USA
5) 'Lean on Me' references the R&B classic of the same title, by Bill Withers. This is one of those songs everyone knows, but just in case you've been living in a cave <g>, some of the more significant lyrics include: Lean on me / when you're not strong / I'll be your friend / I'll help you carry on / For, it won't be long / till I'm gonna need / Somebody to lean on . . . Please, swallow your pride / if I have things you need to borrow / For, no one can fill / those of your needs / that you won't let show . . . .

"I Guess It's All Right"

I guess it's all right / I guess we've been lucky this far
Look what life's taught us, look where we are.
And you think we would know by now / That nothing's too hard
If we keep our hands on the wheel / And we keep our hearts on fire.

There will always be days / When you can only feel the weight of it all
When all you can see is the darkness falling.
It is in these days / That you just might find enough
That you just might realize . . . .

I guess it's all right / I guess we've been lucky this far
Look what life's taught us, look where we are.
And you think we would know by now / That nothing's too hard
If we keep our hands on the wheel / And we keep our hearts on fire.

I had a friend / Who could no longer lift her heart
Taking a deep breath felt like making a brand new start.
She had no idea / That she was more than her sorrow
She had lost herself / And her sweet, sweet dreams.

On a cold winter day / I went out walking alone
I could see the weight of the air / As it kept me down and slow.
I said, "I am stronger than this / And I just can't live this way"
So I turned my face to the wind / And I heard her say . . . .

I guess it's all right / I guess we've been lucky this far
Look what life's taught us, look where we are.
And you think we would know by now / That nothing's too hard
If we keep our hands on the wheel / And we keep our hearts on fire.

Lyrics by Nancy Reinhold
Wyrd Sisters Website

GO ON TO CHAPTER ONE: Il bel tenebroso

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