Author: Purity Black PM
Complete! Several years after series 4, Jean has left the Institute. But anti-mutant crimes and a face from the past will change her life. . . JEANCE!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 15 - Words: 42,183 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 12-25-04 - Published: 09-24-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2069316
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thanks to Enfant-terrible for reviewing! Hope your Grandma is OK and your new year is better than your old year.
Author Note: I will have two new fics up in the new year, a humour called 'Viva Lost Wages' which is a humour fic and an end-of-the-world fic called 'And I Feel Fine' that should be good. Hope you'll check them out!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Jean woke up slowly, relishing the chance to lie in bed next to her lover. Lance was still fast asleep, breathing heavily in a way that couldn't quite be called snoring. She reached across his chest and began toying with his nipples.
"Mmmmm…" Lance put his hand up, still half-asleep, and caught her wrist.
"What's up?" Jean lowered her head to his other nipple and bit it gently. Lance finally opened his eyes and put his arm around her waist.
"Nothing at all." He pulled her across him so her body was sprawled over his, both of them naked after the previous nights shower, when they'd been to tired to do more than spoon.
When Lance's phone rang, Jean levitated it in the air with the unconscious intention of smashing it against the wall. She knew that Lance had to leave. But did it have to be now?
Without looking, Lance snatched the phone out of mid-air and put it to his ear. "What?"
"Fury? Do me a favour and fuck off."
Jean gasped at the blasphemy but Fury seemed unaffected. "Busy are you?"
"Then I'll give it to you short. We can't charge Creed with anything."
Lance sat up in bed, unable to believe his ears. He also managed to dislodge Jean, who was trying to reconcile herself to the fact that Lance was about to leave.
"It's the mutant thing. Until a judge in a higher court rules that mutants are humans, we can't charge him with a crime. On a positive note, we can charge Andrew Johnson with tampering with research."
"That doesn't help."
"And we can charge Guy Spears with tampering with water samples."
"If mutants can't be protected by the law, then we can't be used as evidence. You know that."
"I'm sorry." Fury actually did sound sorry. "We've got charges of attempted murder, terrorism, property damage – I guess this isn't helping either."
"Damn right." Lance glared at the wall while Jean tried to find her clothes. She wasn't going to drag out the goodbye. Maybe she could cry on Rogue's shoulder when the Brotherhood had gone.
"I thought all of you could use a break," continued Fury. "So you've got a weeks leave. But then you'll need to be back at work. There's a situation in Brazil that I don't think's gonna get better. And you'll be on call."
"Brazil?" Lance lay back in bed and stared at the ceiling.
"Gang of thugs beating tourists to death for their money. It'll be a cakewalk."
"So enjoy your leave and I'll see you at my desk at 0900 next Monday." Fury terminated the call without saying goodbye and Lance let his arm fall away from his ear, dropping the phone by the side of the bed.
He didn't want to leave.
It was hard for him to admit to himself. Ever since he got to Bayville he'd disliked the town and that grew to active hate when mutants were exposed. He'd stayed because he'd had nowhere else to go and left the moment something better was offered, but coming back had reintroduced him to an old enemy – and he'd fallen in love with her. There was no point in denying it anymore. An extra week might give them more time together but when it was over he'd still have to leave.
Jean had dressed in a hurry and was determined not to show that she cared. She'd heard Lance's half of the conversation before she decided to go into the living room and watch the news. Brazil? At least she knew where he was. And she had only herself to blame anyway. She was the one who'd come on to him. She didn't have enough sense to stay away from a man she knew would be leaving Bayville forever.
Lance opened the bedroom door just as Jean was watching the news. Graydon Creed was on the screen, standing on the steps of the Bayville Police station showing his delight about being freed without charge and announcing his intention to run for Governor. He cringed. He'd wanted to break the news to her gently before she could see it on the national news.
The picture changed, showing the newsreader. "In a related story, it has been revealed that a saboteur was in fact responsible for a laboratory finding soft drink Pow-R-8 toxic to humans. The drink is actually not harmful to non-mutants. The owner of the company, Guy Spears, had this to say."
Cut to Guy Spears, also outside the Bayville Police station. "It's saddening to think that some people are so determined to discredit Pow-R-8 that they would go so far as to doctor the results of an experiment because no evidence of toxic eliminators being harmful exists. I can reassure you all that Pow-R-8 is perfectly safe."
The newsreader reappeared on the screen. "That was Guy Spears earlier today. In other news, a local dog named 'Bingo' was the hero in a…"
Jean hit the mute button as she sensed Lance approaching her. "It never ends, does it? Spear's gets to suggest that I was the one who messed with the sample, not some one he was working with. No mention of those guys trying to kill us. No mention of an attack on a private residence. Hell, they didn't even say anything about the contaminated water!"
"Maybe they're trying to avoid a panic," said Lance.
"They're trying to avoid making those guys look like villains," said Jean. "If they're the villains, that makes us the heroes. They can't let that happen."
Lance walked around the sofa and sat beside her, outing an arm around her shoulders. "It won't always be like this."
Jean leant against him. "I want to believe that, but at times like this I wonder."
"Don't say that! You're one of the few people who really believed that humans and mutants could live side by side. Being here the past few days made me think that maybe you were right all along, maybe we can find a place in the world."
Jean allowed herself to be comforted by his words and the feel of his body close to hers. "So, uh, it sounded like you're going to Brazil."
"Not yet," replied Lance. "We're going in a week. We've got some time off."
"So…you'll be staying for a little longer?" Jean felt hope blossom within her and crushed the emotion. Lance no doubt had a place of his own and stuff to do there.
"I was thinking…" Lance trailed off as he tried to think of a way to say what he wanted to. "Maybe I could stay here until I have to go back. And then I could get a place in Bayville."
Jean sat up in a hurry, turning to look into his face so she could be sure he wasn't joking. "You want to come back to Bayville?"
"Hell no!" Lance took a deep breath. "But if it's where you are then it's where I want to come back to. If you want me to come back to you that is."
"Of course that's what I want!" Jean threw her arms around him. "You mean it?"
"I don't want to quit SHIELD," said Lance. "The Brotherhood are my family. But if I have to quit I will. I know it's gonna be hard with me being gone so much, but if you'll be here then I'll always come back."
"I don't want you to quit," said Jean. "I know you love your job. But if you'll come back, I'll be here."
"I'll always come back – I want to be with you." Lance felt uncharacteristically shy. "And in the meantime, I've got a week or so before I have to go anywhere. You want to get the hell away from here for a while?"
"Where would we go?"
"We'll hire a car, drive around for a while. I'll switch off my phone, you can leave your communicator behind and we'll drive around America, talk, book into whatever hotels we come across, do anything you wanna do."
"That's reckless and impulsive. I love it!" Jean kissed Lance on the lips. "Give me ten minutes to throw some clothes into a bag."
"Wait, who said you needed clothes?" Lance tightened his arms around her and kissed her back more probingly.
Jean finally came up for air. "Let's get out of here before someone disturbs us."
Lance thought of the Brotherhoods ability to break in to apartments, the abilities of Kitty and Kurt. "You're right. The last thing we need is for anyone to find us."
Jean ran into the bedroom and began throwing clothes into a bag. Lance picked up his phone and glanced at it – and as he did it began to ring. Wanda's name appeared on the screen. For a moment Lance just looked at the phone and then he cut the call off mid-ring and hit the off button. He had a pager if it was urgent. In the meantime he had no desire to make small talk with the others. He was going to spend the rest of the free time they had doing something just for himself.
He looked up as Jean came back into the room, holdall in hand. "Are we going then?"
"Damn right." Lance considered packing some clothes for himself and then decided they just had to leave. There would be somewhere on the way he could pick up fresh clothes. In the meantime he wanted to give himself and Jean some time together without any interruption and the longer they stayed, the longer they risked that.
They walked to the nearest car dealership and her paid in cash for a beat-up looking jeep that reminded him of his first ever car. Then they drove it away, not bothering to look back.