Disclaimer: All characters belong to Marvel. Nothing’s mine except the convoluted plot. Desperate need to vent drove me to writing this, no money involved.
Warnings: Language and slash
Rating: R to NC-17 in places.
Verse: X1 AU.
Pairing: Logan/Scott later, implied Warren/Ororo, implied Scott/Jean
Summary: It began with a love story… how Logan comes to join the X-Men.
Author Notes: Warren was part of the original X-men, then quit to do his own thing. Scott is in his early twenties; Jean is about 8 years older. The places mentioned in Canada are part real and part fictitious. (This is one of those epics I started a long time ago and never finished. Hopefully some feedback would help jump start my muses on this one. In any case, feel like putting it out there. Hope you enjoy.)
*** Scott ***
Westchester, New York
The Professor knew I was leaving. Jean didn’t. Won’t take her long to figure it out though, and I sure as hell don’t want to be around when that happened. I’m probably being a huge selfish, insensitive bastard, doing this to her so soon after… um. Yeah. So what if the relationship is over? Our friendship runs far too deep and much too strong to ever be remotely over. I think.
Anyway, where was I? Yeah, leaving.
My mutation’s gone. Possibly… no, probably, for good.
A month and two days now… our last run-in with the Right got me four bullet holes, three broken ribs, one punctured lung, one hairline fracture to my thick skull and eleven days in a coma. Jean had another extremely close call and nearly died, I hate it when she does that. Was back on her feet in three days though and together with Hank kept me down in the sick bay another week after I woke up. During that time, we all assumed my powers had just been temporarily drained out for lack of sun and such.
And how I loved it.
It felt amazing… in the beginning. A beautiful, painful experience of *actual* eyesight… wide, unrestricted technicolor vision. Seeing my friends was like seeing them for the first time. I went all over the school facilities I helped build but never truly *saw*… capturing all the vividness as memories I hoped to cherish long after I was back in the visor. And Jean… my lovely Jean… in so much more than red and crimson and shades thereof.
I wished I could just fall right back in love with her. Things could then be so simple… just as planned. Unfortunately by that time we both knew it wasn’t meant to be, and we harbored no more unrealistic fantasies.
Anyway. Where was I? Colors, yeah.
With the colors though came this acute sense of… vulnerability. Like a crucial guard knocked down. When you know nobody can see your eyes, you don’t realize how damn expressive they can be. I started avoiding everyone as far as possible… and everyone avoided me. They didn’t know how to deal with this… new me. Hell *I* didn’t know how to deal with this new me.
Everyone thought my power would recharge as it normally does with a little basking in the sun. It didn’t. Eyesight became a guilty pleasure… and I realized with absolute horror that – I’d been rendered useless. And see that’s just my problem. I don’t handle being a liability too well.
Charles appointed Storm as commander in my stead, with my approval of course. He still believes it to be a temporary arrangement. She’s very good, and I’m not just saying that. She’s calmer, and wiser, and stronger… kick ass powers and everything. The team respects her, looks up to her. Probably more than they ever did a so much younger, semi-blind former streetwalker.
Okay so not everyone knows I used to be a whore in a prior life, except Prof, and I never did hide anything from Jean. And… Hank subjected me to a thousand medicals when I first came to the mansion so I guess he must know. And then there is Warren… arrogant elitist bastard can smell white trash from a mile away. And since he’s such a *huge* fan of mine I bet he’s been generously providing me excellent publicity through the mansion and beyond. Any damn one left?
Okay so I wasn’t this pessimistic (or realistic maybe?) back when my powers were intact and yeah I understand I could very well be overreacting given my situation. I’d like to think the times that they did manage to look past my age and sordid history, they must agree that I was able, competent, and efficient… a damn good leader. At least, I hope they did.
“You’ve come a long way Scott.”
That’s what he always says, the Professor. But looks like this may be the end of the road for me. My blasts are gone and the rest of me is weak and perpetually exhausted because of it. Hank looked mystified and it didn’t help my confidence at all.
“Scott I can’t be sure…”
“But it seems you’ve been feeding off your mutant reserves of energy not just to power your optic blasts but also as the primary source of energy for your body.”
It’s true. I’d never needed food so much, back on the streets I was hungry all the time sure, but I could still keep going long after my buddies fell to sickness and often death.
“But the severe trauma you’ve suffered has somehow thrown this… remarkably unique mechanism out of commission.”
“Maybe after some time when your body gets used to the… absence of mutation it will start synthesizing food and generating energy for you the… uh… normal way.”
Damn I missed my glasses so much. It was so much easier to hide behind my glasses.
“I don’t want to get used to it Henry.”
He didn’t respond to that.
Fact’s a fact… I was a handicapped mutant, but I was mutant. I was useful and I was worthy, but not anymore. Someone up there has a truly warped sense of humor - flinging a virtual control freak like me to the deep end where I have no control whatsoever… oh yeah. Real funny.
When the Professor brought me to the mansion, for the first time I felt like I was part of something important… something that mattered. Here in Xavier’s home we’re like one family, with a common bond… of degenerate DNA if you will, keeping us together.
But you should see the way they look at me now… the X-Men, the kids… they just can’t get over the sight of my naked eyes. Makes *me* feel naked dammit, the way they stare… and then they get embarrassed and quickly look away, only to do it again. They can’t help but feel this strange mix of envy and pity towards me. Envy because some times, each of our mutations feels like a curse… pity because all other times, it’s undeniably the best gift we ever got. And don’t I know it.
Petty personal grievances aside, we got a bigger problem at hand. The X-Men need an upgrade… Big time… Right now. With me down and out, we’re one senior and critical member short and this void ideally cannot be filled by a student recruit.
Warren’s come back to help but only because it involves the Right. The group’s evil mastermind Cameron Hodge and he go a long ways back. Apparently they were friends and business partners or something but Hodge secretly hated him, can’t say I blame him.
All right, not just Warren… he hates all mutants in general. For years he’d been diverting funds from Worthington Enterprises and founded this Right group with the sole purpose to intensify prejudice against mutants. Warren got to know only recently when Hodge caused the Frisco earthquake (No, I'm not kidding). We managed to thwart his ultimate objective but Hodge got away.
You want more details talk to Warren… I don’t much care for his fucking sob story. Everybody knows he’s not going to stick around once we’re through with this mission. Besides he’s been away way too long and he was never really a team player. Especially since *I* came on the team.
The Right’s getting stronger by the hour, and my… incapacitation seems to have buoyed them up all the more. The X-Men have warded off three attacks in the past two months since then, but frankly we’re not doing too well. They kept a low profile after their disastrous debut last year but there’s got to be some new funding backing that organization now. How else do they keep coming back and so fast?
The material losses are sort of acceptable, but losing lives both human and mutant every time is taking its toll on the team’s morale. The Professor would rather not send any of the teenagers on active duty unless *absolutely* necessary. (Warren and me were exceptions… there was no one else at the time.)
Last night I asked Iceman to suit up, and Bobby was only too glad to get out there. Kid did well, really well, though the team barely managed to get the hostages out of the Right headquarters alive. I’m just glad no one got hurt. Too much.
But for how long?
Piotr has been asked to stand by for the next mission whenever it may be. I have faith in the trainings we provide our kids and yet… there is only so much planning and strategizing I can do sitting here at the mansion and not on the ground where all the action is. The Right fighters are such brilliant sneaks and our kids tend to play fair more often than not. Sometimes I feel we could do well to have a sneaky, no-rules kinda guerilla warfare expert on *our* side for a change.
Storm being the maternal, protective woman that she is, tends to expend herself more rapidly than others. And watching one’s leader going down is *so* not good, but she just wouldn’t listen. Warren seems to be falling for her (I’m surprised he isn’t moving in on Jean now that we’ve split – I was kinda hoping he would. Uh scratch that, no I don’t) and he doesn’t like me much anyway.
So every time I try talking to Ororo he hovers about, getting unnecessarily defensive on her behalf and stirring things up… accusing me of trying to undermine Storm’s authority. I refuse to ask Prof to intervene. Jean knows me, and knows better than to do that.
But then where does it leave me?
Things are rapidly getting out of hand. And there isn’t a damn thing I can do… except maybe to stay out of the way. And maybe to…
It’s now or never. I must leave right now, before it’s too late.
Next chapter >>
A/N: Let me know what you think?