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cyndrarae

Rebelling against Reality since 2003

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JM: Striking blue eyes
cyndrarae

X-men fic: The sweet kindness of strangers

Title: The Sweet Kindness of Strangers
Character/Pairing: Scott Summers
Verse: X-Men Movie mostly, canon + fanon
Rating: PG (Gen)
Summary: Scott Summers had a harrowing childhood until Professor Xavier took him in. But Charles was not the first person that Scott felt safe with (contains OFC).
Author Notes: Part of the snapshots!verse (rest of the stories in order can be found: here). Mild warnings for language. Sorry if I got the woman's accent wrong, I went purely by net research *shrugs*. Please point out mistakes if you see any, and I'll fix them. 
Theme: Alpha#37 Sweet
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
Word Count: 2050

****

“Hank! Get that foolish boy out of here!”

Scott froze in his place, stood as still as he could, not sure what he’d done this time to invoke Erik’s wrath.

“I got him. Here, Scott…”

Hank’s voice reached his ears, deep and resonating and not really angry, just… exasperated. Scott stood quietly and let the plus-sized doctor take his arm, who then quickly turned him around the way he came and started walking him out. Out of wherever it was he’d gotten himself into.

“What happened?”

“You walked right onto the construction site. Erik could have killed you with that heavy slab of adamantium he was moving.”

“Adamantium?”

“It’s a kind of metal, very strong and very heavy. Nearly indestructible.”

Scott kept walking, easily ushered along by the large hand in the small of his back. He usually hated being ushered, but bit his lip into silence and let Dr. McCoy have his way.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize…”

The hand softly patted him then. “It’s okay, son, not your fault. Putting the Cerebro together needs the utmost concentration and Erik Lensherr isn’t a man of patience to begin with, as you know.”

Yeah. He knew. Professor Xavier’s big, damn ambitious project to build a machine that could track down more of their kind from all over the world, yaddi yadda. They’d better put his name on the patent, he mused. After all, wasn’t the mini-version, Cyberno something, first tested (and successfully at that) on Scott?

Hank’s words brought him back to the present. “You really shouldn’t wander off on your own. You’re not used to the layout of this place yet.”

“How am I supposed to get used to it without getting around?”

The doctor sighed, and Scott snapped his mouth shut though not quickly enough. Under normal circumstances, he’d never talk to his benefactors this way and risk getting thrown back out on the streets again. But, damn it this was just so frustrating! Seemed like everyone in the mansion went on red alert every time they saw him approach.

Got shooed out of the garage yesterday when he bumped up against a Rolls Royce convertible the guys were working on. Spilled a whole jar of lubricant onto the vintage leather backseat, although technically it wasn’t his fault. What was the fucking can doing on the hood anyway? The stable guys were constantly freaking out that he might stumble and fall on a rake or something. And Xavier’s butler stalked him whenever he stepped out, getting jittery and shrieky if he ventured anywhere near the damn lake.

“I understand you might be feeling a little restless with all the idle time on your hands, Scott. I’d try and enjoy it if I were you, because it won’t last forever.”

Scott turned right when the hand prompted him to, and then left towards a winding staircase he recognized. The Oakwood texture of the railings was solid and familiar beneath his fingers, providing a reference point in his head around which he’d been trying to map the rest of the mansion.

“I can handle it from here.”

“You sure?”

He bit his lip in time this time, the big nerve in his throat twitched and that was the only indication of annoyance he allowed himself to show.
 
There was amusement in Dr. McCoy’s voice when he spoke next. “I assure you, the Professor will be back in no time. You miss him. Don’t you?”

Scott tried to roll his eyes behind his duct-taped eyelids. He still didn’t quite trust Xavier completely, but Hank was right – regardless of his pretenses to not give a damn, he really did miss the old man’s voice in his head, his enthusiastic yammering about the theory of evolution and his endless string of quotes from books and authors he’d never heard of before.

The streets of Brooklyn were loud and chaotic, and enough to overwhelm people with regular hearing even, let alone someone like him. His lack of one sense left the others acutely tuned in, so much that sometimes he struggled to block it all out. New York City was such a relentless onslaught of smells and noises from so many different directions. In the beginning it bugged him (scared him) when he couldn’t trace each one back to its source but eventually he figured most of them out, classifying them – separating the threatening ones from the ignorable ones and such.

And see, therein lay the problem with Xavier’s mansion… there were hardly any sounds or any discernible smells to speak of, or classify! The utter lack of everything left him feeling somehow more helpless and lost than in the anarchic world outside. So much he didn’t know and couldn’t identify, that the vast unknown had him sequestered in a narrow prison where he was completely alone and there was nothing he could do.

“Patience, Scott. Patience.”

“Yeah.” Whatever.

Scott bid farewell to Hank and started to walk up the stairs back to his room with drooping shoulders. Hoping maybe this time he’d find something to play on his discman that he hadn’t heard twenty thousand times before.

On the twelfth step, he heard the sound of two giant doors opening somewhere behind him, but that’s not what made him pause.

A faint whiff fluttered through the still mansion air all the way to his nostrils. Brows pushed together, he closed his mouth and took a deep, aromatic breath, mind already computing at top speed to identify the source – cinnamon. Unmistakably cinnamon. Also apple, and just a hint of nutmeg. Something warm, something delectable. Something tantalizingly… sweet.

Scott turned and started climbing down again. His stomach rumbled and his lips curled up as he suddenly realized there was still one place left in these premises he had not been thrown out of. Yet. 

The kitchen.

With left hand outstretched to feel his way, the plastic cane in his right softly tapping a fairly regular rhythm on the polished floor, Scott slowly inched towards the doors to sensory heaven. The whiff got stronger the closer he got, only to get meshed with a hundred other scents housed under the roof. Spices, condiments, fresh fruits, last night’s brilliant turkey, something awesome baking in the oven and… ew… boiled zucchinis.

And then a loud, resounding female voice floated out from inside and it made Scott freeze, just for a second.

“Antwon? Is that you lurking in the corridor again?”

He stopped tapping his cane, bit his lip as he heard the footsteps thundering out towards him, surely planning to send him off even before he’d reached his destination. Damn, and he was so close.

“Boy, you get your lazy ass out of mah… OH!!”

Scott winced, tried to smile. The woman was obviously large, judging from the solid thudding sounds her shoes made, and clearly taller than him considering that’s about where the voice emanated from.

“I’m sorry, I thought you was my youngest. Sure can be a pain sometimes…”

He gulped, wondering if he could possibly duck around her to get inside just for the heck of it. Damn that cinnamon bread (or whatever it was) sure smelled good. Scott didn’t realize his head was tilted towards the kitchen, giving away his evident craving.

“Would you like somethin’ to eat dahlin’?”

“Uh… if you don’t mind?”

The woman chuckled, full-bodied and clearly amused. “Well aren’t you the polite one! Come on in, you poor thing. Still a ways to go till supper but that don’t matter in here. A little extra feedin’ can only do ya some good.”

And before he knew it, the woman was taking his arm and gently tugging him towards the kitchen. Ushering him again, but strangely, this time he didn’t seem to mind.

The potpourri of a thousand different aromas, some exotic and others not, hit him all at once, filling his head and sending his OCD brain into overdrive. Soon as he entered, he was completely disoriented, losing count of his steps and no longer sure which direction he was facing anymore. Scott panicked.

“Shhh, easy boy. There, hold on to my little island right here…”

His left hand came in touch with a wide granite slab at chest-level, and he quickly gripped it. His cane clanked gently with something on the floor to his right.

“That’s a bar stool. Take a seat, dahlin’.”

The hand still holding his arm was warm and comforting. It calmly steered him until he could hoist himself up onto the stool, where he made himself comfortable and folded his cane into three. He still was lost and lightly wheezing, not liking how he was at the mercy of this woman and right now, not even sure why he wanted to come in here at all.

“Awright, now I want ya to listen to me carefully, boy. You’re bang at the center of the room, and right in front of ya ‘bout five yards north is the door we came in from.”

Scott started to breathe easy. Blocked the odors out for the moment and concentrated on the woman’s voice beside him. It was full of such kindness without being patronizing.

“Now my name is Lily, and I’m the head chef here. And you’re Scott, right? Welcome to mah’ beautiful office, dahlin’!”

She was smiling, wide and pleasant, he could hear it loud and clear.

“Th-Thanks Lily.”

“You’re very welcome! Think you’re taller than my boys so if you reach up with a hand, you might knock off some of mah lovely wine glasses. So do be careful now, will ya sweetie?”

He ducked his head shyly before nodding a quick assent. Relaxed back against the granite behind him.

“Everything hot is three yards to your right, that means the ovens and the open stoves and two boiling pots of water. Everything to your left is cold, the freezer’s about seven o’ clock if you feel like a popsicle, and the sink’s at nine o’ clock if you want a drink of water. There’s a ton of little glass bottles of all mah magic ingredients on this table behind ya, so don’t go leanin’ back too far and we’ll be just fine. Alright?”

She waited long enough for Scott to realize it wasn’t a rhetorical question. He nodded quickly, too stunned to use actual words.

“Good! Now… how would you like a slice of my freshly baked apple cinnamon cake with a big scoop of peach ice cream on the side, hmm? It’s a Lily Jackson signature dessert, I tell ya. You won’t find it anywhere but in here!”

Scott grinned so wide, his cheeks hurt for the next two hours. That may have also been because he sat the whole two hours right there in Lily’s kitchen, listening to her chattering away about everything and nothing at all as she went about her usual chores for the day.

She told him about her two boys, Thomas, seventeen and Antwon, twelve. She talked about how she came about to work for Charles, why she referred to him by his first name. She rambled about her favorite recipe for beef stew and her favorite Oprah episode and the time she almost made it to Chicago for one of the tapings, and she talked about how much she loved cooking and feeding young’uns like himself.

“Aw, bless your heart, dahlin’!” She exclaimed when Scott once got up to put his used dishes in the sink. “Would you like a drumstick?”

Scott listened to her intently, every word, storing the sparkling sound of her voice in his mind for future reference. He pulled deep breaths off her shoulder when she hugged him goodbye and sent him off to find something better to do with his time than sit around yakking with the help. Cherishing the beautiful scent of Lily Jackson – sweet and warm and cinnamony – Scott created a new category in his head to file his collection of smells and sounds under. Never could have imagined there’d be another besides threatening and ignorable. He called this one – Safe.

Two weeks later, Scott came down to the kitchen sporting red glasses instead of pitch black ones. And Lily Jackson was just as he’d imagined. Beautiful, comely, affectionate, and like the Professor, yet another source of incomprehensible kindness that he would never ever possibly forget.

Years later, when she was no more, Scott often woke up in the middle of the night and tiptoed down to the kitchen, sat there on his old bar stool with a beer in hand, or maybe a piece of cake. And he'd close his eyes, and reminisce the soothing sounds and scents of Lily Jackson.

"Bless your heart, dahlin'."

And sometimes that was all he needed, in the middle of it all... to feel safe once again.


*** END ***


A/N:
Thank you so much to my dearest Liz sg_fic, who is just awesome and who's writing this beautiful Deception/Hairspray crossover verse (Wyatt/Corny) that you can find here. The way she wrote Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah's character in Hairspray) was basically the inspiration behind the OFC Lily Jackson. Liz you rock!! *smishes* :)


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Oh, but this was just too good. Scott needs more Lily's in his life. :-)

Thank you sweetie! :) I'm glad you liked.

Scott needs more Lily's in his life. :-)
Absolutely! I figured the sprawling mansion had to have some normal people around to manage it right? :) So this just popped up out of nowhere.

cheers hon :)

lovely nice woman ,
after what he had to face after his parents death scott really deserve to feel loved and safe ^_^



:) Thank you so much for reading sweetie! That's true.. he went through so much, I figured there has to be some happy moments in his life as well.

I always love your X-Men stories. This is really good.

Thank you so much sweetheart :) You're so awesome to me! And I'm glad you enjoyed this *hugs*

I squeed like crazy when I saw your post! (It's xmmff! It's Jimmy!! :D It's a fic by cyn!!! :D :D) And I LOVE this story! I enjoyed Scott's blind journey through the mansion - very sensual and vivid, and as always, whenever I think I can't love Scott Summers even more, you write him young, proud, vulnerable and clever and I melt!! The mental image of him with duct-tape over his eyes and a cane was heart breaking; your Erik, with his single line, was deliciously wicked; Hank is Hank and therefore I must love him; and your OFC made me want to hug her forever! Then, just to make it perfect you added the words "adamantium" and "lubricant" and made my day ;P ^^

I swear, I can read this verse forever, and the pic in your icon makes me wish for a time machine so that JM could play the part! Thanks for sharing this wondeul story hon! *hugs*

:D Liz!! You totally made my day with your beautiful feedback sweetie!!! *clings to you* :)

And you know you were my muse for this story.. or rather the way you wrote Motormouth Maybelle in your Deception series :D I just liked that character so much and I kept thinking about your verse all day and then.. I dunno how.. this happened :D Lily Jackson is Scott's Maybelle in the Xmen verse!! :D:D So this one's totally for you sweetie :) Oh hell I forgot to put it in the author notes, will do it now! :)

and the pic in your icon makes me wish for a time machine so that JM could play the part!
Oh God yeah!!! See why I'm having trouble accepting that other possibility of a different Scott! :( I just don't see it happening.. it has to be Jimmy or nobody else!! :)

Thank you so so much for being so kind to me!! It's weird.. I don't know what I'd do without you, really *hugs* :)

What a heart-warming story. And a nice moment in Scott's life. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you so much sweetie :) I'm glad you liked it!! *hugs*

Thank you so much for writing this little fic. It made my day! So heartwarming. Your version of Young Scott is so endearing and wonderful! Thanks for sharing him with us!

Awww, thank you so much for reading and reviewing hon. Your lovely feedback's made my evening so much better ! :) Young Scott is just adorable isn't he? :)

Lily is just that kind of woman that Scott needs in his life, someone to take care of him, even pamper him, because our boy has a bigger responsibility resting on his shoulders than anyone else.

Exactly. I'm sure there were people in his life we never got to know or read about.. I just wanted to write a happy moment for Scott. Thank you for reading hon :)

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Vincent!! I can't believe how wonderful you are!! :) Thank you so much for reading hon even if this isn't your fandom *hugs and kisses* :) I LOVE YOU MORE!!! :D

I wanna Lily now.

This is unbelievably sweet! I winder if Lily ever taught Scott how to cook for his lonesome. <3 Did wolvie ever meet her? lul, she would'a given him a run for his money.

Logan: *reaching out to grab some icing*
Lily: *her backs to him* Don't you even think about it boy,
Scott: *stifles snickers*

:D Thank you for reading and reviewing sweetie!! :) Did Lily teach Scott to cook? You betcha she did :P I'd say Scott would have taken avid interest himself, wanting to spend as much time with her as possible. At least in the beginning heh.

Logan: *reaching out to grab some icing*
Lily: *her backs to him* Don't you even think about it boy,
Scott: *stifles snickers*


LMAO!!! I love it!! :D Maybe you should write more of this sweetie :)

cheers!!! *hugs*

Ooh, I like this one. :) I've always *known* the mansion had to have a real cook somewhere.

I'll bet Jean is a little haphazard with it, Scott can make the bare basics as necessary, the Professor is probably a pretty decent cook but never has time, Ororo can fend for herself but doesn't know how to prepare half the American dishes the kids would want, and Erik was probably an excellent cook, but once he left, no one else could dream of taking his place, so they had to hire someone as far from him as possible so it wouldn't hurt quite so bad every time they walked past the kitchen and saw someone else at work there. . . . and now I think I have myself a whole characterization bit. *smacks forehead* I need to stop tempting myself to write my fic right now, 'cause I have homework to do . . . :P

Well, looks like your fic isn't only wonderful to read, it's apparently good for brainstorming. *g*

Aww, thank you so much sweetheart :) And I'm really really happy it is encouraging you to write!! We need so many more Xmen stories and XMen writers in the world, we do we do!! :D

You really think Erik would be a good cook? Hmmm :) I have to think about this but its such an intriguing idea!! Pls do write this out hon :) Once your homework gets done of course ;)

cheers hon.

.... I'll keep this one short this time. (eep. XD Sorry)

I feel exactly like Scott when reading this. I have that insanely warm feeling grow inside my chest, and I feel so darn safe with it. I'm somewhat melancholic because of the nostalgia here... and the passing of time never fails to depress and astound me. I'm such a sap LOL.

Lily is an absolutely wonderful character! I can totally imagine Queen Latifah playing her, :DD. She's such an able, confident and ridiculously welcoming woman with the sweetest voice!

I'm somewhat melancholic because of the nostalgia here... and the passing of time never fails to depress and astound me. I'm such a sap LOL.

Aww, yeah, Scott sitting alone in the kitchen and remembering Lily Jackson is a strong emotional image, if I can say so myself? *sheepish* Glad to see it works for you too hon.

I love Queen Latifah!! She's just so extremely adorable and I just HAD to write something centered entirely on her while also bringing her into Scott's universe heh :D So glad you enjoyed this sweetie. And really, thank you so so much for all your comments. You've totally made my day!! :) *smishes*


Thank you to the icon? ;) Haha seriously, thanks hon!

I like this series immensely; each snapshot is a wonderful reading experience. I cannot explain why Scott became my favourite character in the first place, but your stories made me love him even more. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

Thank you! :) So glad you enjoy this series hon, sorry I haven't gotten around to updating it yet.

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