Pairing: Ultimate Scott/Warren
Archive: Eiluned, as always. Anyone else, please ask first.
Author's Note: Bad language. Pain. Touching. Conversations. And, finally, the end. Events in Ultimate X-Men certainly won't go this way, but hey, that's why its fanfic.
This is the final installment in the series and follows: "Ultimate . . Choice, Flight, Designs, Denial, Tasks, Mercy, Thoughts, Hope and Need" 7/29/01
New Improved Disclaimer: Characters belong to Marvel Comics. This story is not sanctioned by them. Nobody makes any money here, so your over-priced and bored lawyers should just consider this free advertising. However, I might actually convince someone (besides me) to buy an issue of your silly marketing ploy thinly disguised as a new title. . . even if it's just so they can make SURE none of this happens.
Song Disclaimer: The lyrics at the end are from the CD "The Screen Behind the Mirror" by Enigma. All rights reserved to them. But I love it so much, I just had to put it in. This series couldn't have been written without the inspiration of their incredible, poignant, seductive music.
Scott Summers huddled in the darkened cockpit of the Blackbird, wedged between the pilot's seat and the far bulkhead. His forehead rested on his drawn-up knees, his arms wrapped around them tightly. He could feel the stinging of tears in the cut on his cheek. There didn't seem to be any way to stop the steady flow.
"Scott?" Jean's voice echoed from the door of the jet. "I know you're in there."
"Go away, Jean," he said hoarsely.
"No fucking way, buddy," she muttered, climbing inside, her slim figure obscuring the light from the hanger bay briefly. Then she was fumbling her way across the poorly lit cabin until she dropped into the pilot's seat above him.
"What's going on?" she asked softly.
"Leave it, Jean," he groaned.
"Warren wanted to come after you. I told him I'd fry his brain if he tried before I talked to you," she said gently. He didn't respond. Mind blank of obvious thought, he simply endured the pain, the mortification that rolled through him. That she had seen him this way hurt.
"It explains a lot, actually," she said. "You and him. I've been feeling this tension between you two forever. I thought you hated him."
"I might," he said, provoked suddenly. "He's a bastard."
"Oh, but a very charming one when he tries," she said, forcing a laugh. Scott just closed his eyes in pain, shuddering slightly. Warren had never used charm on him. So why he. . . why he cared he didn't know. She sighed deeply at his silence and he felt her mind tentatively touch his own. He flinched and slammed up his shields, making both their heads ring with the backlash.
"Don't!" he snapped, lifting his head sharply. She recoiled back in the chair, earrings glittering in the faint light as she shook her head.
"Sorry, I just. . . this isn't like you, Scott." The words confused, meek; not like Jean at all either. They just made him madder.
"Stay out of my head!" he snarled, desperate, hurting. "Damned telepaths. You think it gives you the right to mess with other people's thoughts, their feelings, their lives. Well it doesn't, so just stay the fuck out of my head!"
"Whoa!" she said, giving an odd little laugh. "Okay, even I can see that's not aimed at me. Not directly anyway. What did the Professor do?"
"Not just him," he said, anger deflating as suddenly as it had arisen, helpless pain flooding him again. He let his head fall back against the bulkhead with a hard thump, staring blankly up at the roof of the cockpit. "Me. Oh, God, I don't know! I screwed up, Jean. I screwed up bad and now I don't know what to do about it."
"Fix it," she said starkly. "That's what you do, Scott. You fix things and make them work again."
Her words hit hard, weighing heavily on him. Because that was what he'd always done. Fixed things for others. Taken care of the ugly messes. Put up with unpleasantness and viciousness and even horror to try to make things right again. To make the world a better place. Because he had to. It was the only way he knew how to stay sane.
But who would fix things for him?
They sat in silence for a long while, Scott lost in his tortured thoughts, Jean wondering, watching, worrying. Until she finally shifted in the seat, sliding out of it and standing up to stare at him, biting her lip.
"I'll go," she said softly. "But if you ever want to, Scott, you can talk to me. About. . . whatever . . . about Warren. We're friends, remember?" He didn't respond, hearing her words, but not feeling them. Knowing in his heart that there wasn't any way he could ever burden Jean with this. No matter how well intentioned she was. He couldn't hurt her that way. She, at least, was the better for his decision that day. Even if he and Warren weren't.
After a moment, she turned away, sighing heavily. Then she climbed out of the plane, leaving him once more alone.
Later, much later he heard a noise in the hangar outside. Footsteps. Someone was approaching. Someone that he hoped would just turn around and leave.
"Scott?" Warren said from outside the Blackbird. "Jean told me where you were."
He didn't answer. Couldn't answer. Just groaned inside, cursed Jean, and wished, willed the other man to go away. Wings blocked the light, crushing his hopes, renewing his despair. Warren climbed inside the cabin, pausing by the door.
"Geez, it's dark in here," Warren said, then before Scott could say anything, he keyed on the lights. Around the edges of the cockpit cabin, half a dozen hidden fluorescent bulbs flickered to life. Exposing him in his corner. He groaned, rolling his face toward the front of the plane, away from Warren. Not wanting him to see him like this. To see the evidence of tears and blood and pain on his face.
The other man moved through the cockpit carefully, taking the copilot's seat across the aisle, rather than dropping into the seat directly above him like Jean had. Giving him space. Warren stared out the front window, not even looking at him. He could see him from the corner of his eye, and had to struggle not to look at him.
Warren held up his left hand, at the edge of his field of view, displaying his splinted finger. It was swollen and black and blue through the windings.
"All fixed. For now. Jean wants to do the surgery first thing. Before my bones shift any more and make a bigger mess in there. All those fragments," he said, conversationally. But the information just made Scott sicker inside. Knowing he'd caused the damage. "At least she dulled the nerves or something. It doesn't hurt at all right now."
"You have to be even more careful then," he said, surprising himself. "You can make it worse and never know it." His voice sounded harsh, from crying, from disuse. Warren turned to face him finally, blue gaze looking him over thoroughly.
"You didn't have Jean look at that cut," was all he said, expression hardening. "Damn it, Scott. I wasn't the only one hurt." He turned, looking around the cabin purposefully. Then he slid out of the seat, moving to the back of the cabin, rummaging in the rear lockers for a moment before coming back forward, the first aid kit in his hands. He did sit in the pilot's seat then, looking down at Scott gravely.
"I bet you're a lousy patient, aren't you?" he said accusingly. The words made Scott finally turn his head, looking up at him, desperation and pain and longing on his face. Warren's expression didn't change. He just reached down and hauled him up out of the corner with his good hand. Scott came because he didn't want to risk hurting him further with a struggle, and because he wanted, needed the touch. Even if it made his heart ache.
Warren moved back, pulling him up, then settled him in the pilot's seat. Digging into the first aid kit, he found gauze and antiseptic wipes. Ripping them open, he stared hard at him for a moment before grabbing his chin and wiping his cheek, his face clean with surprising gentleness. He closed his eyes behind his glasses, letting his head fall back against the seat as Warren cleaned him up. Even the stinging of antiseptic in the scrape on his face didn't make him flinch. Or the sticky pressure of a piece of tape across it to keep the short cut closed. Warren's touch felt good. And he shouldn't, couldn't give in to it, be seduced by it.
Warren finished up, wadding up the trash, then closing the kit and tossing it onto the copilot's seat with a thump. Scott opened his eyes as Warren caught his arm again, tugging him out of the pilot's seat and toward the exit.
"No," he said suddenly, bracing himself against the last seat, Warren turning to face him beyond. "It really started here, so it's got to finish here."
"What started, Scott?" Warren asked, gaze intent. He shuddered, looking down at the deck between the seats. Remembering the nightmare that had happened there, the intense aftermath. The understanding and forgiveness shared that had then been sacrificed to compassion and good intentions. Desire and need and pain. Fear. Fear of losing control. Fear of being manipulated. Wanting so much to just have the answers given to him for a change and knowing he'd never accept them if they were. And wondering where, suddenly, if anywhere, he could ever fit into the other man's life. Or if he should even try, or just continue alone. The silence stretched out.
"I made a mistake," he said finally, looking up, staring at the other man hopelessly. "I told you to forget something, to let it go. But I shouldn't have."
"Why?" The single word breathless and sharp.
"Because that was when I fell in love with you."
Warren was silent. And still, so very still. Scott turned his face away, unable to keep looking at him after his admission. Feeling as if he would break if he moved or even breathed. But there was so much else to say, to explain.
"Something happened here," he said, gesturing around at the cabin of the Blackbird. "It was ugly. And it wasn't your fault. . ."
"It was Betsy Braddock, wasn't it?" Warren interrupted sharply, his face pale, his wings trembling slightly behind him. "It happened. I raped her, didn't I? No wonder you were so damn afraid of me."
He looked up sharply, seeing that sick self-disgust on Warren's face again and his heart thudded painfully in his chest.
"No! Damn it, that's not it. Not exactly."
"Then what? I have to know now, Scott." He met Warren's anguished gaze, seeing his anxiety, his pain. And something else, perhaps hope. But hope for what? He looked away as he started to speak.
"She projected her nightmares, her fears through her telepathy. Onto you. And Jean. Made you both attack her on the flight over. When you got here, you were both so helpless, so desperate. And the Professor . . . no, it was me. I thought it best to have you both forget it. So I asked him to alter your memories - to spare you. It worked for Jean. But you." He drew in a sharp, ragged breath before he went on, feeling the tremors in his hands, his body as he spoke. Fear. But he had no choice but to continue. He'd admitted too much already. Looking at Warren he went on. "You fought it, kept dragging it all back up. I couldn't figure out why. Except we had a few minutes together . . . here in the plane . . . alone. When I kissed you."
Warren stared at him, eyes stark with need and hunger and anger.
"You kissed me willingly? Then wanted me to forget it? Fuck!" he spat. "Do you know how long I've wanted you to do that? My dreams then. . . no wonder I couldn't really forget them. . ."
He moved over to him then, hands reaching out and cupping his face, hard, the splinted finger scraping slightly at his cheek. Warren leaned forward, slowly, so slowly, his grip loosening, giving him plenty of time to pull away, to escape if he wanted to. But he didn't. Warren's lips settled on his, soft and tentative. Seeking. Pleading. He responded with a soft sobbing sound, reaching out and resting his own hands on Warren's shoulders. Fingers slowly clenching, tightening. Then he was pulling him close, and their mouths fused together, wild and hot, passion and frustration spiraling high between them. Warren's wings closed around them, like an extension of the embrace, shielding them, pressing him closer.
Finally, Warren pulled away enough so he could speak, his breath washing over Scott's cheek. But still holding him tight, with arms and wings.
"Since Soho, I've wanted you," he said, his voice shaky. "Then at that mutant rights fundraiser, you were there with Xavier. Looking so damned good . . . I wanted you on your knees in front of me again. But I don't like men and it pissed me off that I wanted you. Xavier approached me later, to recruit me. And I jumped at the chance. To be around you, to see what it was about you that made me want things I'd never wanted from a man before."
Scott trembled, his heart sinking at Warren's words, his breathing speeding up. Wanting to hear, not wanting to hear. Wanting to forget and knowing it was impossible, useless.
"Upstairs in the hall that first day. Oh, Christ, do you know how many times I've wanted to go back and do that day over again differently?" Warren said, his voice cracking, his arms clutching tighter as he felt Scott tensing against him. "I'd never do that to you now. Never. I know . . . how much it hurt you. I was a fucking stupid greedy bastard and I'll never understand how you fell in love with me."
He pulled back slightly, staring into Scott's glasses, obviously frustrated that he couldn't see his eyes. But Scott had nearly stopped breathing, listening to him. His mind frozen, unable to fully grasp the import of his words yet.
"But I'm glad you did, because then I'm not the only one."
Scott shuddered hard then pushed against him with his hands, pushing him back. Warren resisted for an instant, clutching at him, then relaxed with a conscious effort, letting his wings fall away and allowing Scott to push him all the way across the small cabin and back against the wall. Scott seemed almost to be unaware of what he was doing, just pressing forward on the other man's shoulders, now holding him against the bulkhead as shivers wracked his body. His face was pale and drawn.
"You what?" he finally said, voice hoarse. Warren tilted his head back, his face working hard with mingled anguish and longing and regret. His eyes closing briefly only to open again and stare pleadingly into Scott's glasses.
"You aren't going to make me say it, are you?"
"Hell yes I am," Scott ground out. "Bastard. You don't get off easy again. Ever."
Warren swallowed hard.
"Say it," Scott demanded, pressing in on his shoulders. Warren gave a desperate laugh, a rueful smile curving his lips. Then his hands came up, slid slowly up Scott's sides, to his shoulders, pulling him in, pulling him close enough so that their lips just barely touched, blue eyes gleaming with something warm and real, but his face flushing faintly with embarrassment.
"I love you, Scott Summers," he said, then kissed him, hard. Lips seeking, opening; mouths working on each other as Scott responded, drawing him in, sucking on his tongue, moaning deep in his throat. Warren moaned too, drawing his tongue back to trace it around the inside of Scott's lips, coaxing his own tongue into his mouth, then sucking on it in return. Hands skidded over bodies, pressing close, closer, craving contact but clothing got in the way. Scott felt the other man's erection pressed against him, hard and hot. But there was no panic this time, no fear. Just desire, flashing through them both.
They drew back at the same time, gasping for breath, amazed.
"Your room or mine?" Warren asked, his voice husky, smiling seductively. And so stunningly beautiful, so typically direct that Scott just gave a regretful laugh, hard and short, shaking his head. But wanting, wanting badly and honestly for the first time in his life. To be with someone who cared for him. To be with someone he cared for. Loved. The idea staggered him. But there were some things he just couldn't ignore.
"Not with that finger we aren't."
Warren blinked, then lifted his hand, staring at his splinted finger in puzzled surprise.
"Jean blanked the pain. I don't feel a thing."
"It's still broken, Warren. No."
"God, you're a pain, Cyclops!" The tone pure exasperation, frustration, and rueful acknowledgement.
"Yes," he said, leaning forward, pressing himself against the other man, letting him feel the urgent pulse of his own erection. Drawing a shuddering groan from him, making his blue eyes flutter closed and his mouth part with need. Scott bent over that perfect mouth, breathing against it softly, "But you aren't suffering alone. Angel."
The Gravity of Love
Turn around and smell what you don't see
Close your eyes . . . it is so clear
Here's the mirror, behind there is a screen
On both ways you can get in
Don't think twice before you listen to your heart
Follow the trace for a new start
What you need and everything you'll feel
Is just a question of the deal
In the eye of storm you'll see a lonely dove
The experience of survival is the key
To the gravity of love
The path of excess. . . leads to the tower of wisdom
Try to think about it
That's the chance to live your life and discover
What it is, what's the gravity of love
Look around just people, can you hear their voice
Find the one who'll guide you to the limits of your choice
But if you're in the eye of storm, just think of the lonely dove
The experience of survival is the key
To the gravity of love
I. Choice by paxnirvana
II. Flight by paxnirvana
III. Designs by paxnirvana
IV. Denial by paxnirvana
V. Tasks by paxnirvana
VI. Mercy by paxnirvana
VII. Thoughts by paxnirvana
VIII. Hope by paxnirvana
IX. Need by paxnirvana
X. Resolve by paxnirvana
XI. Requiem by paxnirvana
XII. Tolerance is a Six Letter Word by paxnirvana
XIII. the Place Beneath by paxnirvana
XIV. the Visionary Hand by paxnirvana