The man who can't be moved
Scott never did announce when he was leaving, and he preferred it that way. He just wanted to slip out undetected and without anyone noticing. He wanted to save everyone the effort of faking sadness or feeling the obligation to bid him farewell. Well, might as well do it tonight when everybody least expected it.
"Sounds like a plan". He commended himself.
After doing a lot of soul searching throughout the day, Scott came to the realization that he barely remembered his life prior to the orphanage. Even the plane crash that claimed the life of his family was a distant and foggy memory. He knew though, that as a kid he idolized his father. From what little Scott can remember, his father had been a pilot stationed in Alaska. This tiny piece of information he knew of sparked a new sense of purpose for him: Join the air forces in Alaska. Maybe then he could find more about who he was and where he came from.
Decision made, Scott went to retrieve his suitcases from the guestroom he was currently occupying while making sure he was quiet as possible. He almost succeeded hadn't he bumped into Ororo on his way out.
"Going somewhere?" The beautiful African woman asked him, crossing her arms in front of her chest and glaring intensely at Scott after she noticed the suitcases he was dragging along with him.
"I just wanted to..uh.." Scott stumbled. He was caught red handed. It was pointless to lie.
"I understand that you've been hurt Scott, but I thought you would've at least considered our feelings by telling us when you were leaving so we can get the chance to say goodbye. But instead, you have decided to sneak out in the middle of the night like some sleazy criminal". She was clearly upset. Her voice was tainted with disappointment and hurt.
Scott couldn't blame her. He would feel the same if someone he considered to be a dear friend did that to him.
"You're right. I'm really sorry 'Ro. I just.. I didn't want any dramatic displays or awkwardness. I'm not used to being the center of attention like that." He tried explaining his hasty decision.
"Why do you shy away from love, Scott?" The ex-goddess genuinely asked him, meeting his eyes with a look bordering heart break.
For a moment the question hung in the air. So heavy and so sudden that Scott felt paralyzed, like he had been thrown into a lake of frozen water. His lungs wouldn't draw air; chills ran down his spine, electrifying his nervous system as he felt a small tremor rush through his body all in a matter of seconds. It was a harmless question, yet it took him by surprise and engulfed his mind in a thick fog. Willing himself to snap back to reality, he got over the initial shock of the question and answered Ororo truthfully.
"I dared to love Jean haven't I? And look at how that ended"
Ororo sighed in frustration and proceeded to press her point.
"I was not referring to Jean, Scott. I was referring to me, the professor, and Hank. You push us away. You won't tell us what bothers you, you won't let us worry about you, and you won't accept any kind of help from anyone.
Do you hate yourself so much to deny it from affection? Do you hate yourself that much that you think nobody would love you? Or are you afraid of losing something?"
Scott felt trapped. He didn't know how to navigate his way out of this conversation. It was clear from his body language how uncomfortable he was. It was evident in the way he was averting Ororo's eyes, tapping his foot restlessly, and fidgeting. Still, the African beauty wasn't going to let him off that easy.
"Even Jean, who you proclaim to love, has not seen your weaker side. I just wish I knew why you're so cruel on yourself! God knows you deserve happiness as much as anyone in this mansion, if not more.
You may find it to be safe the way you are now Scott, but you will never truly be happy. Ask yourself, the walls you keep raising up are they worth your suffering? You might think you're strong and tough for locking up your feelings, but I just think that those who dare to get hurt are stronger than you.
They risked more.. While you haven't risked anything"
She could tell that she hit him where it hurt, but in her defense he needed a wakeup call, even if it required a little bit of toughness from her part.
"If this journey is indeed a new beginning for you, don't make the same mistakes again Slim"
She gave him a sad smile that held her silent blessings. As she turned to leave, Scott pulled her back in his direction. To Ororo's surprise he gave her a strong hug that conveyed his deep appreciation.
"Thank you". He whispered next to her ear. She patted his back, trying to fight off the tears. Ororo wished things didn't end this way, she hated losing a friend. All she can do now though, is hope he finds what he's looking for.
"Scott left? Why hasn't he told us when he was leaving?" Jean asked in confusion. She found out the very next morning like the rest of the mansion has, but the exception of Ororo of course.
"He did not want a fuss surrounding him" Ororo explained.
All the teachers and X-men members were currently gathered in the professor's office discussing this latest turn of events.
"You knew and you didn't tell us?" Jean accusingly directed her question towards her team mate. The Ex-goddess found it rather funny that Jean, of all people was being judgmental towards her.
"It was not my place to tell, and I almost missed his departure. I ran into him by coincidence when I couldn't sleep and went out to breathe some fresh air."
"Or it simply might have been a gut feeling". Her mind added. Her mind also reminded of a small little detail that was currently poking her upper leg.
"Professor, I found this on Scott's bed. It is addressed to you". She handed her mentor an envelope that was resting in one of the pockets of her pencil trousers.
The sad British man opened the letter and started reading it out loud
"Dear professor X..
I'm sorry I left like this. I'm just over whelmed with everything and I didn't need the pressure of formalities. I hope you can forgive me. I couldn't leave though without telling you how grateful I am for everything you have done for me, even if my latest stunt doesn't seem to convey that"
The professor sighed. He didn't doubt Scott's loyalty; he just wished his boy would've given him the chance to express his gratitude back. He wanted to tell Scott in person how proud he was of him. He wanted to give his boy a nice reminder to hold on to before he left so he can shift his focus a bit away from the negative turn his life took.
Getting his attention back on the piece of paper he held in his hands, the professor continued reading:
"I would also like to say I'm sorry if at any point I hurt any of you or made you feel like I didn't acknowledge your support and friendship.
Hank, you always understood me when no one else could and without words needing to be voiced. I know you always had my back and I can't tell you how much this means to me.. Sappy huh? You bastards sure know how to beat it out of a man"
The occupants of the room smiled. Partially because it sounded funny when the professor read it, and partially because they welcomed a little humor break with all the stress surrounding the situation. All but Jean and Logan that is.
"Ororo.. When my head is too far up my ass, you're always the woman for the job. You pull me back to my senses and make me tone it down a notch. I thank you for that. You are a valuable gem in people's lives"
Ororo grinned. It was nice to see Scott in a playful mood. She'd almost forgotten he had one.
"Finally: my fellow X-men. I trust you that are more than capable of protecting the future of human-mutant Co-existence. It was an honor for me to work besides you.
Rouge, you are brave and fierce and you have blossomed into an independent spirit that can't be held back. You are the definition of strength even if you don't seem to think so. Believe me, I'm not one to flatter.
Bobby and Kitty, take care of your team members. Always look after each other and never screw over a partner. You're each other's family now.
As for the rest of my team members, thank you for all the times you had my six in battle and to all the contributions you have offered to mutant kind.
The professor finished reading and folded the piece of paper gently.
"That's it?" Jean asked.
"I believe that was all Jean" Professor X answered.
"You really expected him to include you in his letter Jean? What were you expecting him to say?" Ororo commented on Jean's ridiculous question.
"I know I hurt him, a lot. But he can't treat me like I never meant something to him or didn't even exist in his life. Truth is we were going to break it off sooner or later. Things just went cold between us.
That doesn't mean I don't care about him, I still do.. after all we've been together for eight years!"
"Are you kidding me?"
Everyone's eyes shifted to the person openly expressing their irritation. To their surprise, it was none other than Rouge.
"Stay out of this kid" Logan whispered to her.
"No!" she pulled away from him and her face contorted in anger and disbelief.
"Actually I want you to listen to this too Logan.
Both of you are so high up your horses like you did nothing wrong! All of us can see that professor Summers was trying! And heck we even felt sorry for him because we knew Jean had her mind already set on Logan. So don't you dare use this as an excuse.
You didn't even put in the effort to fix your relationship. If anything this was the obstacle you needed to get over to make your band stronger. Relationships are always tested, but they will never work if only one person was trying.
You were selfish Jean"
"no pun intended" Bobby joked on the side.
"I heard that!" Rouge seethed at him and he just lowered his head in embarrassment.
"Do you know what you were doing? I'll tell you what.
Scott is legit, stable, and he's everything a girl could ever ask for. Logan is the thrill, the excitement. You wanted both. That's why you kept it a secret.
Well Jean, you can't have everything. You should've realized that and took a decision instead of shattering someone's heart to pieces. At least he would've had a little respect for you if you'd come clean.
As for you Logan, wow. I never thought you'd settle for being a rebound, a second choice, or just being used like that. You both make me sick"
Rouge unloaded on the Wolverine and his red headed mistress. The weight of her words created a heavy silence as the rest of the listeners were digesting what she said. Although rouge was out of line in her approach, the professor and Ororo were secretly satisfied from the inside. The southern girl did well. She was so wise for her age.
"Alright, everyone is dismissed" Charles Xavier announced.
Everybody went their separate directions except for the Wolverine who was tailing behind Rouge.
"Hey kid! Where did all that come from? I thought we had each other's backs" He exclaimed.
Rouge turned to look him straight in the eye and she explained why she suddenly switched sides.
"You were never around when I needed someone, Professor Summers was. Even though I treated him like dirt in the beginning because of the influence of your personality on me back when I drained your powers.
He's not the way you think he is. If you had bothered to learn more about him you'd be ashamed of yourself for judging him like that."
Suddenly without any warnings or indications, tears started flowing down her pale cheeks. Logan was taken back. There was something more to the situation than Rouge was letting on.
"Calm down kid. Take it easy. I can tell there's something more that's bothering you. I'm sorry I wasn't around.. please Marie, tell me what's wrong"
The girl suddenly started openly sobbing and Logan grabbed her gently and placed her head on his chest, soothing her and rubbing circles behind her back.
"I can't sleep.. ever since one of our missions we ventured to a month ago" she whispered.
"What happened?" Logan urged her to talk. Genuinely concerned and just hating to see the sweet girl he came to know and admire in any kind of pain.
"we were outnumbered. During battle professor Summers' visor broke. We barely managed to defeat the troops and as we were heading out, the building was falling apart and our pathway got blocked. Jean was too weak to use her telekinesis, Kitty could only save herself, and Bobby's powers weren't gonna help us. Ororo and Hank were guarding the jet, and Professor X was using Cerebro to sense any intruders. That left me and Professor Summers" Rouge sniffed and collected herself as she carried on with retelling the events of that horrendous day.
"If we used Professor Summers' powers with their full velocity, we would be buried under the rubble. We needed enough power the clear our pathway, but not cause the roof to fall over our heads. He couldn't control his powers without his visor. So I suggested that I drain his, since I could most probably control it and get us out of there. He was extremely against it and kept insisting there was another way. It was strange how strongly he objected to that solution considering the circumstances" Rouge shuddered.
"At that time I thought he was scared of me, or scared that something might happen to him because of my powers. I was so hurt and mad at him and I thought he was a pathetic selfish coward. Eventually we all pushed him to agree because all of our lives depended on it and time was running out" The southern girl suddenly went silent, trying to reign in her emotions before continuing.
"I touched him.. and I got sucked into his previous life. It was so horrible, like a black hole or a grip of death that you couldn't escape. I was drowning so fast in his mind and in his memories, like quick sand that swallows you whole and wouldn't let go. I thought I'd never get out.. that both of us would never get up, until Bobby pulled me away" As much as Rouge tried to control her feelings, she started sobbing again. Logan slowly rocked her back and forth, whispering soft spoken words and telling her that it's ok.
"I barely managed to concentrate and get us out of there. After that I collapsed and Professor Summers didn't wake up until two days later. I acted as if nothing happened. I wanted him to keep his dignity and his pride. I could tell he was so ashamed of his past life, he never wanted anyone to know about it. But I didn't only know about it, I felt it.. I lived it..
Every night I would get violent nightmares where I'm getting hit, starved, and sexually assaulted. I can't talk to anyone, and the memories just won't go away. It feels so real.. I can't take it anymore.
The worst is that endless despair and grave sadness that you'd never think a child is capable of feeling. Logan, there were days where he just surrendered to death, but he wouldn't die and he'd start crying because he's not dead yet. At times I felt like doing the same because my mind is jumbled. Sometimes I think that's my reality not his.."
Logan was speechless. It must've been hell for Marie to experience violence without actually being subjected to it. A part of him was pissed at One-eye for not making sure the kid was ok, but Marie had just told him that she convinced him she hadn't seen anything. Still, he should've made sure.
"I'm so sorry kid. No one should ever go through that. You are so brave and selfless, but you should've gotten help. Especially now that it's making you contemplate suicidal thoughts. I'm telling Chuck and I don't want to hear a word of objection from you" the short Canadian slowly steered the distraught girl back to the Professor's office.
"You should know, Professor Summers did check on me a couple of times. But I kept shrugging him off. I've never seen him broken. It was disturbing.. I was so used to the fearless leader act, but now I know he's just a scared kid like most of us are" Rouge added
Logan mentally agreed. It was so easy to forget that jackass was only 25. He suddenly felt bad for him. It couldn't have been easy to feel responsible for everyone. If it were Logan, he'd feel suffocated. Except.. it is actually Logan's responsibility to look after the school now.
"That son of a bitch.. He fucked me over before he left. I can't be tied down like this!". The wolverine grunted at that bitter thought. Momentarily lost in his resolve, he didn't notice the office door open.
"Come on in child. Thank you Logan, I'll take it from here" Charles addressed Logan and accompanied Rogue inside. After making sure Marie was safe, the Canadian stomped across the school to reach the gardens. He needed a cigar, this has been one hell of a day.
(A/N): lots of heavy emotions in this chapter huh? Well hopefully the next one would be more of a spiritual journey. Please leave reviews and let me know of your expectations. I love seeing readers' fantasies. Until next time loves xoxo.