Notes: Nothing here belongs to me, blah blah blah.
Jean smiled sweetly as she approached Bobby. She handed him a bottle of suntan lotion then took a seat in his lounge, long legs straddling the chair, her back facing him. She was wearing a black string bikini. She gathered up her long, silky red hair and pulled it over her shoulder. She turned and smiled at him, her large blue-green eyes capturing him completely. "Bobby, I burn so easily, I was wondering if you could help me rub some lotion on my back?"
Iceman smiled back suavely and took a sip of his strawberry daiquiri. "You don't look burned to me," Bobby said as he lightly touched his finger to her golden tan back. He slowly traced it along her spine, smiling as he felt her shiver with pleasure.
"Please Bobby?" She asked as she cocked her head to the side.
"Sure thing," Bobby said as he unsnapped the cap of the lotion. He squeezed some into his hand then gently touched it to her back, just between her shoulder blades.
"Here, let me make this easier for you," she said softly as she reached behind her and slowly untied her bikini top.
With a huge grin on his face, Bobby brushed it off of her body.
"Can I be next, Bobby?"
Bobby looked up to see Kitty standing beside him in a blue bikini, twirling a piece of her hair in her finger and looking coyly at him.
Bobby winked at her, "Don't worry, ladies, there's plenty of the Iceman to go around."
They both giggled.
Jean shot up in her bed, almost hitting her head on the top bunk. She clutched her pillow and brought it up to her face. "Goddamn you, Bobby Drake," she mumbled against her pillow. She swung her legs out of bed and made her way out of the dark room. In the bunk above her she could hear Kitty's light snoring. Jean clipped her shin against the corner of Rogue's bed. She let out a strangled half swear and took a deep breath.
"What's yoah problem?" Rogue's sleepy voice asked in the darkness.
"Nothing," Jean replied in a short voice. "Just the perverted dreams of an adolescent hormone crazy ice cube."
There was a pause. "Excuse me?"
"Never mind," Jean muttered as she continued toward the door.
As she left her room and stomped down the hallway toward the room that Bobby was sharing with Ray and Roberto. Dreams are private, she reasoned, it's not his fault that he projects them. I shouldn't be taking this out on him, Jean thought as she stopped in the middle of the hallway.
She closed her eyes and tightened her fist, resisting the urge to scream. Instead, she stamped her bare foot down on the metal floor. She hadn't had a decent night of sleep since the mansion had been destroyed and all of the students had been forced to move down into the sub-basement. Not only did she sit up all night for fear of levitating things in her sleep and hurting her roommates but, when she finally succumbed to exhaustion, she was plagued with the projected dreams and nightmares of all of her teammates.
Some were bizarre and hilarious, like Evan's whip cream ocean dream last week. Some were terrifying and woke her up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Logan's weapon X dreams were the most frightening. Then of course there were Kurt's nightmares about being burned at the stake and Scott's about the orphanage.
But the ones she hated the most were the ones that featured her. She always tried her best to be understanding. They were teenage boys, they thought about sex 24-7, unfortunately while the young telepath was able to shield herself from most of those thoughts when she was awake, she couldn't keep them from projecting into her mind when she slept.
Jean sighed and rubbed at her forehead. She was starting to go crazy from lack of sleep. Two weeks ago she had been woken by a dream of she and Rogue kissing. When the team had assembled around the breakfast table before the danger room session, Jean had been unable to ignore the dopy look on Ray's face when he looked at either she or Rogue. Jean had taken it out on him in the danger room, throwing him a little too hard against the wall.
"Did I do something to piss you off?" Ray had asked her in a heated voice later that day.
Jean had resisted the urge to rant at him and instead played it off. She apologized for being a little too rough and promised that it wouldn't happen again. As she watched him stalk off she fervently hoped that the danger room session wouldn't inspire any S&M dreams.
Then it was Kurt, last week, who had bamfed into the girl's locker room, thinking it was empty. He had caught a quick peek of both she and Kitty, still in their towels, about to get into the shower before he shrieked his apology and quickly teleported away. He had been dreaming about it ever since. And ever since, Jean hadn't been able to take a shower without feeling like he was somehow watching her.
Only Xavier knew that people's dreams were being projected to her. The professor had tried to help her get it under control, but he had not yet had any success. Her powers had grown too much, she was becoming too sensitive. What she needed was intensive one on one training sessions with the professor, like the ones she had when her powers had first manifested. But he was just too busy right now so she had tried to downplay her situation.
Her room in the mansion had a good amount of psi shielding built into it, which made it easy to sleep without others broadcasting into her mind. Her room had also been very sparse, and had been reinforced with steel beams, which made it easier to clean up after having telekinetic fits in her sleep. She wanted to explain to Rogue that the reason she didn't have a roommate, couldn't have a roommate, was because she might drop a bed on them in the middle of the night, or accidentally throw them out a window. She had hurt herself in her sleep a few times, and she had the scars to prove it. But she kept it to herself. She would rather they think her a snob then know the difficulty she had controlling her powers. How would they be able to trust her on the battlefield if they knew that she had already broken five beds and three ribs since her first night's stay at the Xavier Institute?
She sighed and decided not to strangle Bobby, at least not tonight, she amended with a dark smile.
Xavier was away in Washington, speaking with Congress about the mutant phenomenon so Jean would have to live with the projections for the time being.
She had averaged a total of three hours of sleep a night over the past few weeks and didn't know how much longer she would be able to handle it. Suddenly, she felt like crying. She sat down in the middle of the hallway and buried her face in her hands, not actually crying, but shutting her eyes tightly and forcing her breath through her nose.
The worst part about it, in her opinion, was the fact that it made her look at people differently. Yes, she knew it wasn't fair, but it she didn't think it was very fair that she had to be forced to watch as Bobby put his hands all over her naked body. Her body. And it wasn't just Bobby, it was all of the boys...and even some of the men. She couldn't stop them, she was forced to sit and watch helplessly. If she wanted any sleep at all she just had to endure it. Rationally, of course, she understood the difference between their fantasies and reality but it still felt like a violation. It felt like rape.
Of course, the girls had their dreams too. Kitty was always dreaming about Lance and that Cajun guy seemed to pop up in Rogue's dreams every now and again, along with Scott. Well, not at the same time, Jean thought with a small laugh. But the girl's dreams tended to be less graphic than the boys and, as of yet, had not included her in that way.
"Not fair, not fair," Jean mumbled to herself. Dreams are irrational, everybody needs their privacy, and everybody is entitled to their own fantasies. If only I didn't have to see them, Jean thought bitterly. But when she was asleep she couldn't concentrate on shielding and relax her mind at the same time, it was impossible.
When she was awake, it was so much easier to block out projected thoughts. It took effort, especially around people with weak shielding and loud thoughts, but she could do it. Even when people were awake, she understood that their thoughts weren't completely rational. But they scared her nonetheless.
Recently she had had several 'conferences' with Principal Kelly and after each she had come out close to tears. His thoughts were so vile, so bigoted and disgusting and, though she was trying her hardest, she could never quite shield herself from all of them. He had taken away her MVP trophy, she was banned from participating in school athletics pending an investigation into the nature of her telekinetic powers and she had been put on academic probation because Principal Kelly believed she was using her telepathic abilities to boost her grades. She had pleaded with him, explained to him that she was starting to look at colleges, that she needed to be able to release her grades.
"As of yet, Ms. Grey," he had said in a stern voice as he removed his glasses and rubbed them clean, "they have not banned mutants from attending college. I believe that Mr. Summers will be attending Columbia in the fall?"
Jean had nodded.
"But, you see," Kelly said with a fake smile, "We went though Xavier's files and found that his particular mutation in no way impacts his academic performance. Yours is a different story," he said in a hard voice.
Jean had closed her eyes briefly and felt his thoughts rush into her mind. He wanted all mutants to be rounded up. He wanted them in concentration camps, or sent off to an island somewhere. He wanted them to be tested, to be experimented on. He wanted them to be sterilized so that they could never make more of their disgusting kind. She opened her large green eyes and shifted her gaze to the floor. Principal Kelly hated all the mutants at the school but he loathed her the most. The speech she had given at the school board meeting had caused the board and the parents to override his decision to kick mutants out of the school. He had worked for everything in his life, but she had it all. She had the grades, the athletic ability, the beauty, the popularity, but only because she was a fucking freak.
He smiled at her. "You understand, don't you, Miss Grey?"
She shivered as she remembered the cruel smile on his face and the dark thoughts in his mind. He wanted to take everything away from her. He wanted to humiliate her, to degrade her; he wanted to teach her a lesson for messing with him.
And he wasn't alone.
Jean felt some tears sneak past her lashes and run down her cheeks. She sniffed and closed her eyes for a moment. Slowly she lowered the rest of her body to the cold floor and curled up on her side, continuing to cry softly. Her tears turned into hiccups as she tried to fall asleep.
She was right on the edge of slumber when an image flashed into her mind. She was trapped, underground. There had been an earthquake, she could hear the debris resettle around her, the dust filled her lungs and made her choke. It was hard to breathe, heavy, like something was pushing against her chest. And it was dark, totally dark. She could feel the chunks of concrete closing in tighter and tighter around her. With a silent scream, Jean opened her eyes and sat up. She took a moment to gain control of her breathing. She placed a hand on her chest and wiped at the tears on her face.
She rose from her position on the floor and walked to the closet and grabbed some pillows and some extra blankets. She headed down toward the danger room, at the end of the hallway. The danger room had psi shielding built into it, maybe as much as her room had had. It would be uncomfortable sleeping on the cold metal floor but at least it would be quiet. She had been meaning to try this for a few days, but had always convinced herself that she would be able to get to sleep in her own room.
She entered her personal access code and allowed the security system to scan her fingerprint and retina. The metal doors slid open and she stepped inside. She arranged her blankets and pillows into a little nest and curled up inside them as the doors slowly slid closed.
Her mind was still buzzing with the thoughts she was having earlier, but she was thankful to find that they were her thoughts and only her thoughts.
What about me, Jean asked herself. What about my dreams and fantasies? She snuggled further into her nest of blankets and pillows.
She couldn't remember the last dream she had had that was truly her own. Even the ones that she believed to be her own, she could never be quite sure of. The only ones she knew for sure were hers were the nightmares about Annie's death.
Jean settled more deeply into her pillow nest as she tried to fight the memories she was having. The screeching of the tires, the thump, then the spreading pool of blood. She could still feel it in her mind. Annie's pain, her fear, her terror as she slipped away into death. It was like a white-hot poker, shoved into her brain, searing agony into every inch of her mind. And as a telepath with a photographic memory, each moment could be relieved in excruciating detail.
Jean pushed her tearstained face deeper into her pillow and squeezed her eyes shut. She felt like she was falling apart. Everything in her life was going wrong.
She shifted around in her blankets, trying to find a comfortable position. But with each new position she grew more and more frustrated. She was too tired to fall asleep. But they had a team Danger Room session in the morning. She glanced quickly at her wristwatch. It was four in the morning; she only had two and a half hours left to sleep. She sighed and flopped over envisioning how she would destroy Bobby in the scenario.
She could feel her cheeks burning. In her white tank top and gray sweatpants she felt as if she were burning up. She flipped off the top blanket and pulled off her sweatpants and tossed them to the side. Sighing, she sprawled out on her stomach, wearing only her tank top and red underwear. I'll never fall asleep, she thought to herself as she bounced her face against the pillow.
Jean rolled over in her nest of blankets and pressed herself closely to the warm body beside her. She smiled sleepily as an arm draped over her waist and pulled her a bit closer. She mumbled incoherently against her pillow.
"Morning, beautiful," a voice whispered in her ear.
Her eyes fluttered open in surprise and she found herself face to face with Scott. Scott with no shirt on.
Jean opened her mouth in surprise. "Scott?! What's going on?" She was suddenly very conscious of the fact that she was wearing only a tank top and pair of underwear.
He smiled at her and kissed her lightly on her forehead, "What's going on is that I have the girl of my dreams in my arms."
Jean felt herself melt into his embrace. She felt so warm, so safe, so perfectly comfortable. She furrowed her brow and searched his red-tinted sleeping goggles for his eyes. "But how did you-"
Jean rubbed her eyes and opened them slowly, focusing on the cold steel wall of the Danger Room. Ugh, another dream. Must have been mine, she thought to herself with a small half smile. She half sat up and shook out her long red hair. With a deep breath she arched her back and lifted her arms up to stretch above her head. She let out a gasp of contentment and slowly closed her eyes again.
The sound of a foot scraping against the metal floor echoed through the Danger Room, followed by a small cough.
Jean froze. Then, remembering that she was wearing no pants, pulled the blanket up tight around her waist. Then she felt a warm tingling in her mind and knew it was Scott behind her. She smiled to herself and turned around to face him.
He stood at the entrance of the Danger Room, dressed in full uniform complete with visor and stern expression.
She smiled at him and ran a hand through her messy hair. "Was that yours or mine?" she asked him, thinking of the 'dream' she had just had.
He cocked his head to the side and raised one eyebrow over the line of his visor. "Yours or mine what?"
Jean blushed and looked away. Must have been mine, she thought as she pulled the blanket more tightly around her waist.
"Yours or mine what?" Scott repeated.
"Nothing, never mind," she replied, clearly flustered.
"What the heck are you doing in here anyway?" Scott asked as he gestured toward her pile of blankets.
"Sleeping," Jean murmured as she stifled a yawn and looked around for her sweatpants.
"Well, obviously," he replied, a bit irritated, "but why? Isn't that what your bed's for?"
Jean frowned at him and bent forward to snatch her pants from the floor.
"You look like you got hardly any sleep at all. Jean, we have a Danger Room session in half an hour. You need to be well rested and in good condition, the whole team depends on you just as you do on them. I don't want you making any stupid mistakes because you're tired," Scott said.
Jean tightened her fists around her sweatpants and stood to face him, dropping the blanket around her waist as she did so.
Scott caught a quick glance of red bikini underwear and long, athletic legs before he jerked his head upwards, "Jesus, Jean," he mumbled as a blush spread across his cheeks.
Not bothering to put her pants on she stepped toward him and grabbed his chin. She jerked his face down to meet hers, "You're such a jerk!" she yelled at him then released his face. She balanced on one leg and slipped her sweatpants on, long hair falling in her face as she did so. She flipped it back and looked up at him once her pants were on.
He looked at her, still blushing, clearly confused at her outburst.
Jean sighed and pinched her eyes shut. She felt like slapping him after that little speech he made. She took a deep breath and looked at him once more. He looked like a kicked puppy, which only made her angrier. "Look, Cyclops, I understand that you've been under a lot of pressure lately and you want to keep the team in peak condition but I don't need any lectures from you."
"Jeez, relax. All I'm saying is that you need to take better care of yourself. You've really been on edge lately. Have you been getting enough sleep?"
Jean moaned and pressed her face into her hands. She sucked in a quick breath and clenched her hands together. "No, Scott, I have not been getting enough sleep."
"Well, ideally, you should be getting at least eight hours a night," he said, slipping into lecture mode again.
"Sounds good to me! Eight hours would be great! I would love eight hours!" she replied in a shrill, slightly insane-sounding voice.
Scott took a step back.
Jean moved closer to him, "If only my eight hours weren't interrupted by images of me and Storm making out! Or, how about being fully conscious during an extricating operation. Being burned at the stake, smothered to death in an earthquake, or falling though my bed into the center of the earth."
"Huh?" Scott said dumbly as he watched his friend totally loose it.
Jean closed her eyes and broke down into silent sobs that shook her entire body.
Scott took a step closer to her and reached out his arms to her. She let him embrace her and snuggled up against his chest. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she mumbled against him, through the tears of exhaustion.
"It's ok," he said as he pressed his face against the top of her head. He released her and held her at arms length. "I'm just worried about you, Red," he said in a soft voice.
She smiled slightly at the sound of her nickname and sniffed back some tears.
The stood in silence for a few moments. "So, what's been going on? What were you talking about? You and Storm making out?" Scott asked, then blushed at the thought.
"It's my powers, Scott, they're acting up again," she admitted, looking down at her feet. "It's getting harder and harder to shield people when I'm awake and it's totally impossible to do it while I'm asleep."
Scott frowned, "Have you talked with the Professor?"
Jean nodded slowly, "There's nothing he can do until the mansion is rebuilt."
"What do you mean?"
Jean bent down and began to gather up her blankets and pillows, "My old room used to have a lot of psi shielding built into it to block me from people projecting dreams and nightmares in their sleep," she admitted softly.
Scott stared at her, awestruck by this new information. "Jean," he said softly, now beginning to understand her previous outburst and the frustrations behind it. "God, Jean, I didn't know."
Jean nodded and cradled the mass of blankets in her arms, "Yeah, well, I asked the professor to keep it a secret. Not only do I get dreams projected to me, but I've started having telekinetic fits in my sleep again."
Scott knew about those, she had had a lot of them when she was younger. Once she had even injured herself quite severely. But he had assumed that she would have grown out of those by now.
"I'm worried that I might accidentally hurt Rogue or Kitty in my sleep," she said, knowing that Scott would know exactly how she felt. He lived in constant fear of losing control of his powers and accidentally hurting one of his teammates. "And I don't want to..." she frowned as an image forced its way into her exhausted mind. It was of her in a gold metal bikini, a chain around her neck... she sighed in frustration and pushed out the intruding image by consciously strengthening her shields.
"You don't want to what?" Scott prompted her to finish her sentence.
"Sam was watching Star Wars last night, wasn't he?" Jean asked glumly.
"Yeah, I think, why?"
"Never mind," Jean said as she stepped around Scott and made her way toward the open door.
"Wait, Jean!" Scott said as he turned and followed after her, "Is that why you were sleeping in the Danger Room, because of the psi shielding?" He asked as he fell in step beside her.
"Yeah, I thought it would help," she said as she opened a closet and shoved in the un-folded blankets and extra pillows.
"Did it?" Scott asked as he watched her close the closet door.
"Yeah," Jean said, realizing that, in fact, it had.
"Maybe we can get a bed in there for you or something," Scott said as he placed an arm around her shoulders.
She wrapped her arms around his waist, "Thanks, Slim," she said as she gave him a quick squeeze.
The stood in contented silence for a few moments before Scott spoke up. "Um, Jean?" he asked cautiously.
"Hmm?" she replied as she led him, still holding on to his waist, toward the refrigerator.
"Do I project things to you in my sleep?" Scott asked.
Jean released him and opened up the refrigerator. She grabbed the milk and set it out on the table. "Yeah, Scott, you do. Everybody does."
Scott was about to respond, but Jean cut him off.
"You don't have to apologize, Scott," she said with a sigh as she reached into the cabinet for a cereal bowl. "They're just dreams. Most of the time they're not even rational at all. And everybody should be entitled to their own private fantasies, even if they do play out like the plot of a homemade porno movie," Jean said with a small laugh as she sat down and used her telekinesis to float the box of Lucky Charms over to the table.
Scott took a seat at the table across from her and glanced quickly at his watch. The session was scheduled to start in ten minutes and nobody had come out of their rooms yet.
Jean propped her head up against her hand and leaned on the table as she used her telekinesis to pour the milk and cereal into her bowl.
"Do any of the boys ever have dreams about...uh, you know...you and...uh..."
Jean slurped milk from her spoon and watched him stutter for a while. "Of course, Scott," she said with a sigh as she separated the marshmallows from the cereal.
Scott frowned and looked toward the closed doors of his sleeping teammates. He clenched his fists together at the thought. He watched as Jean concentrated on picking out pieces of cereal to eat, her eyes half closed with fatigue. He hated to think of any of the other guys dreaming of Jean in that way. But I do it too, he admitted to himself. "How do you deal with it?" he asked, tipping back in his chair.
"I don't," Jean replied, "which is why I've been so irritable lately."
Scott nodded absently, not entirely sure how to respond to that.
A door creaked open and Roberto came shuffling down the hallway, followed by Bobby and Ray. The three of them, dressed in full uniform, made their way toward the kitchen area to grab some quick breakfast before the Danger Room session.
Jean ignored them and ate in silence.
Scott was watching them like a hawk.
They milled around the kitchen in a sleepy daze, fixing bowls of cereal. After a few moments another door opened and Rogue and Kitty joined the rest. Soon, they all sat around the table eating breakfast in silence.
"I should go get dressed," Jean said as she excused herself from the table. She dumped her bowl in the sink and walked down the hallway toward her room.
"All right, team, let's go, Jean can meet us in there," Scott said as he stood up and pushed his chair into the table.
His fellow students grumbled and did the same, lining up to take care of their dishes before following their leader into the Danger Room. Just as they made their way in, Jean came trotting after them, dressed in uniform.
"Man, is there any way we could practice in the afternoon? Ah don't know about y'all but I am working off of zero sleep right now," Sam complained as he stifled a yawn.
Jean glared at him.
"I know we were scheduled to do a capture the flag scenario today but I've decided we're going to work on something a little different," Scott said as he took a seat, cross-legged on the floor. He gestured to the space around him. Cautiously, the rest of the team joined him in a circle on the floor: Jean, Rogue, Kitty, Sam, Roberto, Bobby, Amara, Jamie, Ray and Kurt.
"Are we all going to hold hands and sing, like, kumbaya or something?" Kitty asked with a giggle.
"No, Shadowcat," Scott said with a small smile, "We're going to practice some of the mental shielding techniques that the Professor taught us last week."
Bobby groaned, "Come on, Cyke! We can do those on our own time. Let's do some combat drills!" Bobby said as he turned into his ice form.
"Those mental exercises are too hard," Ray moaned, "they make my head hurt."
"And why do we need them anyway?" Kurt asked as he looked around, "None of our enemies are telepaths."
"Yeah, but one of our teammates is," Scott answered.
The whole team stared at Jean, who turned beet red under their scrutiny.
"And if we want to be the best team we can be, we have to help each other out. For Jean's sake we need to learn how to keep our minds to ourselves a little bit more. It'll help us out too. Strong minds, strong bodies, right?" Scott said, mimicking the phrase that Wolverine used before Friday morning meditation.
"All right team, let's all start with the first exercise- building up mental shields. Jean," Scott said as he turned to his left, "why don't you go get a little more sleep, I think you can sit this one out," Scott said with a smile.
She nodded, trying to hide the elation she felt. She wanted to throw her arms around him and kiss him right there and them. But she knew that now, in uniform it would be totally inappropriate. *You are my hero, Scott Summers* she thought to him.
His smile widened a bit.
"What?! How come she gets to ditch the training session? I need more sleep too!" Bobby frowned and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"Shut-up, Drake," Rogue mumbled. She knew what it was like to live with people in her head and, from the comment Jean had made to her that night, she was pretty sure she had figured out just what the 'hormone crazy ice cube' had been doing that had pissed Jean off so much.
"You shut up," Bobby countered.
"Gawd, Drake! You're such a child!" Rogue sighed.
"You are!" he countered.
As they bickered back and forth Jean rose and made her way out of the danger room.
Ray sat up a little taller, blatantly staring at Jean's ass.
"Ray!" Scott barked at him.
Ray flinched at looked away.
Ray frowned and smacked Jamie in the shoulder, causing him to multiply. Nine Jamie's rubbed at their shoulders simultaneously said "Oww!"
*Sweet dreams, Red* Scott thought to Jean as she walked through the doors.
*Just as long as they're all mine* she thought back.