Pairing: Ultimate Scott/Warren
Archive: Eiluned, as always. Anyone else, please ask first.
Author's Note: Adult stuff. 19-year-old boys getting angry. Bad words. Events in Ultimate X-Men certainly won't go this way, but hey, that's why its fanfic.
Big thanks to Min for pulling my fat out of the fire. Your astute words meant a lot.
Follows in sequence: "Ultimate. . . Choice, Flight, Designs, Denial, Tasks, Mercy, Thoughts and Hope" 7/28/01
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.
//Scott Summers! Report to me in the library immediately!//
Scott jerked upright, away from Betsy's mouth, her hands, stinging from the lash of fury buried in Xavier's mental tone. Staring wide-eyed down at the woman tumbled on the bed below him. Betsy too seemed taken aback, a look of surprised shock on her face. The mental summons had been sent to both of them, apparently.
"The Professor," she said, her voice a stunned whisper. "He sounds angry."
Scott drew away from her, feeling duty and guilt and responsibility crash in on him again. What was he doing?
"I'm sorry, Betsy," he said quietly. Struggling to hide a worried concern that was mixed strangely with relief. "I have to go." He slid out of bed, looking down at her, trying to see if she was handling the interruption well. She seemed embarrassed too, drawing a pillow close and clutching it tightly.
"Y-yes," she said, a flush rising in her face as she watched him smooth down his shirt and tuck it hastily back into his pants. He paused a moment to smile reassuringly at her.
"It's okay," he said gently. "Don't worry and sleep well."
"Good night, Scott," she whispered as he turned and left her room.
He paused outside her closed door a moment, one hand frozen on the knob as he ground his free palm into his forehead. Idiot. Then he went to face the music.
Scott entered the library with grim determination. He knew what was coming. Xavier sat rigidly in his chair before the fireplace; his cat seated alert and focused on the arm of the chair beside him in an eerie reflection of his posture. The Professor's icy gaze was locked on him from the instant he entered the room.
"I expected better from you, Scott," were the first words he said. Scott flinched, chin lifting.
"Yes, sir," he replied, voice tight.
"Betsy is extremely fragile emotionally and sexual relations of any kind would be unwise at this juncture. Of all the students in this house, I would have expected you to understand that best, Scott. I am very disappointed in you."
Xavier's words struck hard. He stood silent in the center of the room, in a kind of numb anticipation, waiting for more. Knowing that no matter how the words cut, they were deserved.
"I do not normally feel it necessary to interfere in the casual sexual relationships between students, unless I see the potential for lasting harm. In Betsy's case, however, the normal rules are void. She views you as a protector, Scott. And she equates sex with payment for that protection. This is a cycle that needs to be broken for her own sake."
Xavier paused, looking over at his cat briefly before his hard gaze returned to Scott.
"With your assistance, Betsy has made great strides, and far faster than I would have believed possible. However, in light of this incident, I believe it would be best if you avoided excessive contact with her for a while. This will allow her to build up relationships with the other students as well. Healthy relationships."
Shame filled him. Shame and self-disgust.
"Yes, sir," he repeated. Clipped and cold. Feeling the weight of Xavier's disapproval crush in on him. He knew he'd screwed up, sensed it the moment Xavier interrupted them on the bed. Betsy wasn't reacting normally. Hell, she'd just survived another physical trauma on the flight over, and even though the memories had been suppressed, it didn't change the fact that it had occurred. And he'd selfishly forgotten that.
Xavier was eyeing him closely; he could even be monitoring his thoughts. He was taking this dressing down because he knew he deserved it. He didn't need the old man listening in to make sure it settled in properly. The thoughts made him stiffen, stirring the anger simmering close under the shame.
"You don't interfere unless you see harm? Then what's the deal with Worthington?" he spat, hands fisting at his sides. Xavier sat back, expression easing from cold disapproval to inscrutable once again.
"You have the ability to deal with Warren adequately on your own, Scott," he said calmly, lifting his hands to steeple his fingers together in front of him. Scott stared at him in blank astonishment, anger rising, fueled by remembered humiliation.
"Are you fucking kidding me?"
"Not at all. And your language is inappropriate, Scott," the Professor said mildly. Watching him with cool distance. A distance he adopted when there was more behind an event than Scott could clearly see at first. Or when he was working many moves ahead, plotting strategy.
"What are you planning?" he demanded, folding his arms over his chest, gratified to see Xavier briefly taken aback. But only briefly, and observed only because he was watching him very closely. A new skill he'd learned since the Savage Land.
"I have many plans, Scott, as you well know," the Professor replied coolly. Then his expression hardened again. "I believe any further discussion between us would be better undertaken in the morning, when emotions have been allowed to subside on both sides."
Scott glared at him for a long moment before nodding shortly in agreement. Then, without another word, he spun on his heel and stalked out of the room. Desperate to hide the dread that had risen suddenly inside him. About Warren. And himself. And whatever Xavier hoped to accomplish between them. As he well knew, Xavier was a master of manipulation. And his plans were often subtle and long-term.
He hadn't been able to stay inside. Instead he'd gone out, to walk in the night air as fast and as far as he could get from the mansion while still staying on the grounds proper. The more he considered it, the more he realized Xavier was up to something. Something that centered around him. And Warren. Both before and after his return from the Savage Land, Xavier had walked freely in his mind. He had to have seen flashes of his confrontations with Warren. And he'd definitely seen them from Warren's point of view when he did the memory alterations. It made him feel almost ill for a moment.
Scott came to a stop in an open clearing somewhere in the thin greenbelt that ran along the edge of the grounds, staring up at the stars and the newly risen moon, opening himself to the confusion and pain inside. Xavier had given him so much; he knew his intervention had most likely saved his life. But he also asked a great deal of trust and faith in return. The question remained, did he still trust the Professor enough to accept whatever plans he had in store for him and Warren were benign? And that he could freely choose to fight those plans, provided they actually existed? He pondered those concepts for a long while, allowing the residual rage and fear inside him to first surge up, then slowly subside as he came back to the reluctant concession that, more often than not, the Professor knew his business. He did no harm unless he needed to, as with Magneto. And was capable of great good, as with Betsy. And with him.
But the Professor was still human, like them all. Able to make mistakes. As he had recently demonstrated by underestimating Betsy's potential as a hazard before she joined them. So he would wait and see. And guard his mind.
But he wouldn't be coerced. Never again.
He came back to awareness of his surroundings when he heard a sudden rush of air, the hard rustle of feathers. He looked around just as a white wing hit him with staggering power, spinning him to the ground. He stared up at the enraged Angel looming over him, his ears ringing slightly from the force of the blow, drawing himself up on his elbows as he checked his glasses automatically.
"Did you fuck her?" Warren shouted at him, his face flushed with anger. "Did you?"
"That's none of your business!" he yelled back, enraged for Betsy's sake, if not yet his own, still raw inside from Xavier's lecture. Warren's eyes widened in stunned fury, as he lunged for him, fists locking on the front of his tee shirt, hauling him off the ground and back onto his feet. He stumbled slightly as the other man shoved his face into his, glaring.
"You can't say that any more," Warren rasped, voice low and dangerous. "Everything to do with you is my fucking business! Everything! I trusted you. God. I buried that shit in my head because you told me to."
"What the hell does that have to do with it?" he yelled back, even though he knew it had everything to do with it, wrapping his own hands over Warren's wrists, trying to pull his hands away. Warren released his shirt, but only so he could wrap his arms around his chest, tight and hard. Then white wings rose above, powerful legs bent, wings beat down hard and they shot into the sky.
"Stop it, Warren!" he shouted, dizzy with the frantic flight. But Warren was looking ahead, past his shoulder, his face hard with determination and concentration as he labored to carry them both higher. Scott's arms were trapped against Warren's chest. He could struggle, but that would be dangerous now. They were too far up. Warren felt the involuntary flex of his arms and glanced at him, his brief look hot.
"I could always drop you," Warren ground out warningly. He stayed silent as they circled higher and higher into the evening sky, fighting his fear, his anger, his dismay. It was chill and dark. And it was just the two of them, up in the sky.
"You don't want to kill me," he finally said, through a tight throat.
"Don't push me right now," the winged man replied, looking firmly away. Their flight leveled out and Warren began to glide, the motion nowhere near as smooth as his solo flight would be. Scott could feel his wings correcting constantly for the extra drag, the awkward hold he had on him, beating occasionally to maintain their height. He was looking down, searching. After a moment, they began to descend. Spiraling down steadily.
Scott looked down over his shoulder. His heart pounded sickeningly in his chest as he recognized the boathouse by the reflection of moonlight on the lake. Not there. Not again. Warren tightened his hold on him, constricting his breathing somewhat as he brought them carefully in for a landing on the dock.
As soon as their feet touched the ground, Scott dropped, trying to break Warren's hold. To his distress, the move only partially succeeded. He got an arm free and half jumped, half crawled away. Clawing at the dock beneath him for purchase, desperate. Warren snatched at his tee shirt, tearing it up the back, the sound terrifying him with its implication. Warren grabbed for him again as he hauled back on the one arm he did have control of still, spinning him toward the boathouse itself.
Frantically, Scott threw his free elbow back, hard, catching the other man a glancing blow across the arm and ribs, staggering him. But he couldn't contend with the wings. They swept forward, powerful and inexorable, and shoved him hard against the rough outside wall of the boathouse, Warren's body driving close behind, pinning him. A hard arm slammed against the back of his head and neck, grinding his face painfully into the wall, shoving his glasses hard against his cheek, splitting the skin and sending a warm trickle of blood down his face.
Then a hard knee was thrust between his legs, against the back of his own knee, forcing his legs apart, destroying his balance. He hung there, momentarily stunned, mind blank with dread. Trapped, with Warren's hot, panting breaths searing his face. But it was the feel of the other man's erection pressing against his ass that sent full panic shooting through him, old memories rising up to choke him. Of horror avoided once, but a fear that loomed forever large. He gave a guttural cry of terror and bucked wildly.
"Stop it! Scott! Stop fighting me," Warren raged, his voice harsh and low, breathless with exertion. Scott clenched his teeth and tried to surge back again, attempting to squeeze his arms between his body and the wall. To get leverage. To get away.
"So you can rape me? No way, you bastard!" he snarled, jerking futilely. Fingers scrambling desperately on the wall, breath coming in short, panting gasps.
"I won't. I won't," Warren chanted in his ear, his voice almost a sob. "Scott, I won't. I couldn't. Oh, God, please believe me. Scott - ."
Then, incredibly, Warren's lips were on his cheek, pressing against him. He felt the pressure ease on his neck as the deterring arm slid down, partially freeing him. He jerked his head back sharply, away from Warren's caress.
"Fucker," he snarled, beyond reason.
"No, I'm sorry, Scott," Warren said, low and desperate. "I didn't mean it to be like this. I don't want to hurt you, Scott, please."
"Then back off! Let me go!"
"Okay! Just don't run. Please, don't run," Warren pleaded as he slowly eased his weight off of him.
Nearly mindless with panic, Scott exploded away from the wall. Whirling and driving his elbow back again at the other man, feeling a satisfying crunch and drawing a sharp cry of pain.
Then he was finally free and running, only to be brought up short by those wings again; wings which swept him up and dumped him on his back on the dock with stunning force. The landing drove the breath from his lungs. He lay there, gasping, trying to remember how to breathe through the dancing stars and the pain.
Behind him, Warren was bent over, cradling his left arm against his chest, his wings now fluttering stiffly above.
"Damn, I think you broke my finger," Warren said through clenched teeth. Reason was slowly creeping back into Scott's mind along with the air into his lungs. The red panic faded. He groaned and rolled onto his side, gasping and wheezing. Then Warren was kneeling beside him, a hand on his shoulder, bracing him as he struggled to draw a full breath.
"You okay? Just the wind knocked out of you?" Blue eyes scanned him anxiously. The hand on his shoulder lifted and just hovered over his chest, afraid to touch him further. Afraid to induce that trapped-animal reaction again.
Scott closed his eyes and nodded, ashamed and shaken. He'd panicked and broken. Just flat freaked out. And he'd hurt Warren. Really hurt him. He'd felt the snap of bone under his elbow. Rejoiced in it at the time, but now he felt sick to his stomach around the lingering ache in his diaphragm.
"Shit, you're bleeding," Warren said, his fingers finally lifting to brush at his face. Scott trembled.
"I'm sorry," he said on a gasp, the first words he could manage. Warren flinched back, guilt plain on his face.
"Damn it, Scott, you have nothing to be sorry for," Warren said harshly. "I deserved it."
"No," Scott said, his voice stronger now, ashamed. "I freaked. Too much happened tonight. I'm sorry."
Warren's undamaged hand cupped his chin, lifting his face and then warm lips were on his, despairing and gentle. The kiss lasted for an eternity. He reached up and caught tangled golden hair in his fingers, twining them there firmly. Able to push away or bring closer, but he did neither, simply held on. Scott became lost in that endless moment, craving the rough scrape of stubble around Warren's mouth, the firm pressure of his lips, the spicy taste of him.
Then Warren was pulling away, lifting his head to stare into his glasses. The look on his face one of mingled surprise and need. The surprise probably because he'd expected him to freak out again. But the need pierced him, finding an answering yearning inside him. A yearning edged with fear. Scott stayed silent, his pulse throbbing in his ears, his breath short but not from hitting the dock.
"Not your fault, Scott. My fault. I'm sorry."
He stared up at Warren, the words, the insistence behind them sinking in slowly. But then Warren winced, sat back on his heels and hunched over his left hand. Scott sat up slowly and frowned at the other man in concern, his sense of responsibility digging at him.
"I really broke it?"
"Oh yes." The winged man shot him a rueful look. "And now it gets really interesting."
A tousled-haired Jean looked at Scott over the rim of her glasses and raised a single red brow. Warren lay beyond on his stomach under the gigantic medical scanner, stripped to shorts, his bruised and swollen hand stretched out in front of him. White wings covered him like a cloak, almost concealing him from view.
"Just sparring, huh?" she said dubiously, gaze flicking to the dried blood on his face. Scott nodded and stayed silent, standing with arms folded over his chest watching the proceedings. Trying to keep his gaze from straying to Warren's body. Even though the others couldn't see the direction of his gaze, he knew where he was looking. One more thing to feel guilty about.
Jean turned back to the scanner display, frowning at it rather than him for a few minutes. He almost breathed a sigh of relief but stopped himself. Jean was sharp even without using her telepathy.
"Do you know you have hollow bones?" she said pensively to Warren.
"No they aren't," he said, lifting and turning his blond head to look at them. "They're honeycombed."
"Makes them a real bitch to set," she commented dryly, flicking switches on the machine to alter her view of his injured hand. The images were difficult for Scott to interpret, filled with stripes of dark and light. Bones didn't look that way in his experience. But then, that wasn't his area of expertise.
"I know it," Warren grimaced. "Takes surgery every time. They're hard to break but when they do they kind of shatter."
"Done this before, have you? Broken bones 'sparring'," Jean said, shooting hard glances between the two of them. Scott tried desperately to keep from flushing and only partially succeeded. Luckily Jean had turned her attention back to the scanner again. But Warren's words made the guilt weigh heavier.
"No, I broke a few bones learning to fly," Warren said quietly, looking at them both over his shoulder with subtle amusement. "There aren't exactly manuals for it and my mother just couldn't show me how."
"I suppose she couldn't just push you out of the nest, could she?" Jean said with a roll of her eyes as she began to shut down the machine. Preparing to move Warren into the surgery, maybe. Warren gave a snort of disgust.
"Oh, like I haven't heard that one before," Warren said. Scott watched him, expression grim. And he knew Warren was joking with Jean to ease his mind, his guilt. But it wasn't working. The fact was he'd panicked and hurt him badly. Because he couldn't understand, feared even, the hidden desire that overshadowed everything they said and did to each other.
Even that tender kiss Warren had given him on the dock had been laced with fear. Because he just couldn't be certain of Warren's motivations. Or why he'd even come to the mansion in the first place. If it was really because of him, then was Warren party to Xavier's plan for the both of them?
"If you need to do surgery, you'll need Xavier's help," he said to Jean, voice tense. She glanced at him curiously, intrigued by the way he said the Professor's name. She could sense he had himself under tight control, but not why. And not knowing drove her crazy.
"I've already talked to him," she said lightly as she transferred files on Warren's injury from the scanner to the databanks, saving it for the next day. "The only surgeon to ever work on the winged wonder here is asleep right now - just like we all should be - and we need him awake to get to his surgical skill set accurately. Dream states really mess with recall. So Warren's gonna have to wait until morning. A cortisone shot to reduce the swelling will make surgery easier tomorrow anyway."
Warren turned over carefully on the scanner bed before easing himself upright with his good hand.
"Wonderful," he said dryly. "Do I have to stay down here or can I go back to my room?"
Jean glared at him, hands on her hips. "If you promise to be good and not jar your hand around, I'll put a telepathic block on your pain receptors there. Then you can sleep anywhere you want." Warren's hot gaze snapped up to Scott, who flinched back slightly.
Jean blinked once in astonishment, then her eyes narrowed on Warren before she turned and fastened a disbelieving stare on Scott. He had gone pale, his expression guilty and he knew it. And couldn't help it.
"I thought - all that tension - that it was Betsy. I was wrong, wasn't I? All this time, it was him," she breathed, shocked. Warren slid off the examination table, ruffling his wings behind himself, dragging Jean's gaze away from Scott.
Who took the opportunity to turn and walk stiffly out of the medlab, mind whirling with guilt and shame and anguish. And wanting only to be alone.
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