The Face that Strikes Fear ~ by Crunch

Semi- pointless Jean/Scott angst/fluff, but eh. . . I'll post it anyhow. Read, review, and enjoy, as ever!

Disclaimer: Pepsi, Cocoa Puffs, Wile E. Coyote, Cyclops- don't own any of them. Not yet. . .

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I will show you fear in a handful of dust - T.S. Eliot


Cyclops likes his Pepsi black.

It's nearly eleven in the morning on a balmy Saturday when I rouse myself- I'm not usually a late riser, but I was up late honing my skills, and hours upon hours of telekinesis, moving everything from plates to the professor, really takes the wind out of your sails. Cursing the white light that streams through my window, I peel my body from between the sheets and stagger down the hall, stopping only to grab a bottle of Pepsi from the nightstand. . an unsavory habit I picked up from one of the kids. Then, still scrubbing the cobwebs of sleep from my eyes, I make my way to the main level in search of civilization and breakfast to go along with my cola.

I find Scott plopped on the couch in the vacant Rec room, in a black terry cloth robe spread to reveal his boxers- red, with Scooby Doos and Shaggys dancing across them. I've never seen this pair before; he's usually a black satin type of man, not that I'm complaining. Cartoon underwear sort of becomes him. He smiles, his handsome face aglow in the light of the Saturday morning cartoons turned down low on the tube. In his lap sits a half emptied bowl of suspiciously chocolate cereal.

I seat myself beside him, lifting my bottle of soda- the same shade of crystalline blue I imagine his eyes to be behind the ruby shades. Of course, what goes on behind those shades is the eighth wonder of the modern world, but I can't help guessing. "Did you know they made blue Pepsi?"

"Nope." He crunches down a spoonful of cocoa puffs, not tearing his eyes from the TV. On screen, the roadrunner beeps and drops an anvil on the coyote's head. Old Wile E. never sees it coming. "I thought Pepsi was black. Or really dark brown."

"So did I. But they make it blue now, too."

"Yeah? What's it called?" He still doesn't turn my way, but I know better than to assume he's not looking. You just never can be sure with Scott.

"Pepsi Blue."

"Huh. Pepsi Blue. Imagine that."

"Yes. Imagine that." I study the bottle for a moment before throwing back a pregnant swig. The label doesn't lie- it is a blast of berry cola fusion. I offer up the bottle, and he takes it in his spoon-free hand, taking an experimental drink, then staring at it bemusedly.

"But why did they change it?"

"I don't know, Scott. I guess they wanted prettier Pepsi."

"Prettier? It's not prettier. It's weird. It's the mutant of the soda world." He frowns and hands it back, and I can sense an unscheduled brooding session coming on, so I smile and ruffle his hair, for once not sculpted to perfection. In my opinion, he looks even cuter with bed head.

"It's just Pepsi, Scott. I don't think it means what you think it means."

He shrugs and turns back to the tube, and I ponder this as I swig my Blue. I must've eaten my philosophical Weaties for breakfast, because his tangent has got me thinking. Cyclops isn't a normal human being. Cyclops isn't even human, for God sakes. The world thinks he's "weird"- I just like to think he's prettier.

"See that? That would never happen." He gestures towards the TV with a cocoa pasted spoon. The coyote has just launched a boulder sky high, only to have it fall upon his very own head. "That cardioid arc when the boulder was launched at a direction angle of the vector. . ."

And as he rambles on about the trigonometric impossibilities of a backfiring boulder (he's blessed with a gift for numbers, so I let him have his moment), it occurs to me- this is the boy that strikes fear in the hearts of men? This face- achingly pretty behind the requisite ruby shades- this is what keeps mutant haters awake at night, bathed in an icy sweat and fearing for their lives? This boy eating cocoa puffs in his Scooby boxers?

The thought would be laughable, if it weren't so painfully, breathtakingly tragic.

"What? What's wrong, Jean?" I realize I've been staring. A second later, I realize I've been crying.

"Nothing. Long night." I lean in and kiss him, an unusually bold move for me in a public place, and after the initial shock, he leans into it too. Even as we lock lips, I have to smile through my tears.

The boy tastes like Cocoa Puffs and Pepsi Blue.

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Oh, I know it's pointless, and a walking advertisement for Pepsi Blue, when I think about it, but feedback is still mucho appreciated, flames if you have them! Thanks for your time!