Wow, has it really been this long? I am so sorry. That's really all I can say to those of you who have followed "Scott Summers: Murderer?" for so long. Those of you who were reading from the beginning know that I've endured my fair share of troubles in writing this story. I've faced everything from two computer crashes to writer's block to simply not having enough time. And, I am sad to report, that the time issue has finally won. Okay, technically it won months ago. I meant to post this note a long time ago, but once again, time slips away. Despite what I always intended and what I really want to do, I simply do not have the time to finish writing this story. I hate that, but life is hectic and my grades and relationships have a higher priority than writing a fanfic. However, I will not leave you, my fans, in suspense any longer. I may not be finishing this story, but I will tell you how it ends (finally).

First, obviously the very next thing that would have happened in the plot was that Scott would return to Bayville. After a lot of soul-searching, he decides to go to the Xavier Institute and reunite with the X-Men, although not as a team member. Back in the X-Mansion, Scott would find a few troubling situations. First, Kurt will be leaving the X-Men to attend Seminary School in a few short months in order to become a priest. It doesn't take Scott long to realize how alienated Kurt seems from the rest of the X-Men. He eventually learns from Rogue that it was only a matter of weeks after Scott's departure that Kurt learned the identity of his true mother, Mystique. This new information, coupled with the loss of his best friend, drove Kurt into a deep depression that Rogue doesn't believe he ever fully recovered from. Despite this, Kurt was now the oldest boy on the X-Men and therefore became a sort of co-team leader along with Jean. Kurt took these responsibilities very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that soon his relationships with the other X-Men began to drift apart, leaving Kurt more and more alone and depressed. This confuses Scott, since Kurt seems to be acting the same as he always did when Scott had known him before. But according to Rogue, Scott's return has caused a change in Kurt's disposition and the smile that Kurt wears now is the first one he has worn in years.

But before Scott has time to talk to Kurt about whatever might be happening in his life, he runs into Jean. He is immediately reminded of his feelings for her and suddenly realizes that now might be his chance to finally share those feelings for Jean. He begins to talk to her and, after a long conversation, admits his feelings to her. He tells Jean that it was his thoughts and memories of her that helped him survive the first few years on his own. At this point, Jean breaks down into tears. Confused, Scott takes her hand in an attempt to comfort her. That is when he realizes what's wrong. On Jean's finger, he can feel something he wasn't expecting. He lifts his hand to make sure, and there finds an engagement ring. Jean explains that over the last three years, she has grown closer and closer to Logan and the two are planning to be married in just a matter of months. Scott is distressed by the news and spends about a week in one of the deepest depressions of his life, though he refuses to let anyone see it. At the end of that week, Logan returns from his mission in Europe and, for the first time, Scott is able to see the relationship between he and Jean. In watching them, he realizes four things. First, Logan and Jean are in love with one another. Second, Jean seems happier with Logan than he's ever seen her before. Third, he doesn't know Jean anymore. He hasn't seen her in nearly nine years and knows nothing about her life aside from what she was like as an 18 year old high school girl. Finally, he realizes that there are consequences we all have to face for our actions. Nine years ago, Scott ran away from his problems hoping they would disappear along with his identity. Now he comes to realize that had he stayed, he might have had a chance with Jean at some point. Now, he never will. But he eventually comes to accept this as he sees how happy she truly is with Logan.

But while those little subplots are fun and interesting, the question all of you want answered is, "did Scott kill Duncan?" Well, shortly after his return to Bayville, Scott tells the X-Men that he is innocent and has returned to find the real killer. He begins an intense search into the past, but soon finds all the trails cold. Kurt begins helping Scott investigate and adds some interesting evidence that he found years ago after Scott left town. Included in this evidence is a particularly interesting bit of information. The 911 call made from the mansion was not exactly what it seemed. Duncan's voice never actually answers or even acknowledges the 911 operator. Kurt and Scott decide that the murder must have been recorded on a tape by the murderer, and then the 911 call was placed as Scott pulled into the driveway, possibly hours after the murder actually took place.

Here is where I must apologize to my readers once more. I haven't had this story on my mind in almost a year. As a result, I've forgotten a lot of what I planned to do with the rest of the story. Unfortunately, I never wrote a very detailed plot for myself. I had it all in my head. At any rate, Kurt and Scott begin feverishly looking for the real murderer. Finally, after months of investigation, they find the person they're looking for. I'm a little embarrassed that so many of you guessed correctly. It was, in fact, Mystique who killed Duncan Matthews. However, nobody ever guessed Mystique's motives. She murdered Duncan in order to frame Scott and separate him from the X-Men. This all comes down to revenge. Mystique was exacting revenge on both Scott and Xavier. Keep in mind that I said in the first chapter that the story started out during the first season of the show. That season started with Rogue joining the Brotherhood, but eventually deciding she'd rather be an X-Man. According to this fic, Mystique blames Scott and Xavier for this. I shouldn't have to explain why she blames Xavier. The reason she blames Scott is that she is aware of Rogue's strong crush on Scott and believes Rogue's feelings for him to have played a large part in her switching sides. (Season 1 featured an unspoken, but very obvious crush on Scott on Rogue's part.) By killing Duncan, Mystique was able to essentially ruin Scott's life and steal Xavier's favorite student.

But the question remains, how did Mystique do it? Without going into tons of detail, she overheard Scott threaten Duncan outside her office. She immediately consulted Destiny, who told her about the coincidences that would be happening that evening. Scott did leave the mansion of his own accord, and purchased the handgun with the thought of killing Duncan on his mind. Mystique, thanks to Destiny, knew he would be buying this handgun. She posed as the gun shop owner and sold the gun to Scott, then immediately left the gun shop with an identical model as the gun Scott just purchased. While Scott drove around Bayville seriously contemplating actually killing Duncan, Mystique went straight to the mansion, called Duncan while claiming to be Jean, and asked him to come over. When Duncan arrived, he found "Scott" there waiting to kill him. Mystique intentionally let him run through the mansion frantically before cornering him in the room where she had left the tape recorder, then came in to kill him. Sure, Mystique could have killed Duncan and then called 911 and mimicked his voice, but she wanted to make sure Duncan's voice in the 911 call sounded sufficiently terrified. She threw the murder weapon out the window. Then, when Scott arrived, Mystique slipped into his car and stole the gun Scott had bought so that he couldn't prove the murder weapon was not his.

So the only unanswered question I can think of that's left is "why did Scott take the rap for Duncan's murder when he knew he was innocent?" Basically, Scott knew he hadn't killed Duncan, but he felt responsible anyway. He had seriously considered murdering Duncan and bought that gun with every intention of doing so. After driving around town for a while, Scott parked his car across the street from Duncan's house (after Duncan had left for the mansion) and sat looking at the house for an hour while he struggled internally with whether to kill Duncan or not. There was a period of time while Scott was in prison that he began to doubt his own innocence. He began to wonder if he had simply blocked out the memory of killing Duncan subconsciously, but ultimately realized he was innocent. But he still felt so stained by the guilt of considering murder that he decided he could never be an X-Man again because, in his mind, he had failed the Professor and everything the X-Men stood for.

After discovering the true killer, the Scott and the X-Men hunt down Mystique and bring her to justice by turning her over to the Bayville Police. Scott is cleared of all charges, but ultimately decides he can't stay with the X-Men. He agrees to be a part-time X-Man, but leaves Bayville before Mystique's trial. He readopts the name Oculus and vows to protect the innocent around the world.

So that's where this story was headed. Again, I'm very very very sorry for not finishing a story that I swore I would finish. Hopefully you can all forgive me.