I've moved away from future glimpses to shortly after we last saw our friends in Ascension. That's not to say there isn't more future stuff. I'm just in a younger mood. This is based on something that does interest me. If Jean can sense Scott when he's in distress and looking for help when he's in Mexico of all places, what about when he's just down the hall? Hope it's enjoyable.

~*~

Variations on a theme. A red tinted world littered with dead bodies, most recently dead, most he had been forced to watch die. His parents were laying off to the side, together, broken. Alex was a few feet away from them. Paul, even if they had been estranged, was among the dead too. Kurt, Kitty and Rogue lay broken as well. And currently, the murder had placed his hand on Jean. Scott was trying desperately to get free, to get to her, but there was nothing he could do.

"No…please."

A light touch came to his forehead, moving his hair away from his eyes. "Shh, it's just a dream, Scott," a familiar voice came to his mind and comforted. "I'm here."

The dream drifted away and consciousness came. He was laying in his bed, covers over his body were twisted, and the hand was still stroking his forehead.

He didn't open his eyes because he knew he'd taken his glasses off before going to bed. Instead he reached a hand up to where her voice was coming from and practice from the three years he hadn't been able to open his eyes and knowledge of the girl by his bedside, he found her face perfectly. "Jean."

He heard her fidgeting with something on his bedside table and felt her put his glasses on. "Another nightmare?"

Scott sent her a look that clearly said 'you should know,' once he opened his eyes, before feeling a bit guilty. It wasn't her fault, exactly, that they had a telepathic link, and that when they slept there wasn't much of a way to keep his thoughts from filtering into her head; even over the rooms that separated them. He just hoped she'd sensed his distress not seen too many of the images.

He quickly shifted himself up into a sitting position, hating to feel like he was in a weaker position. There was concern hanging in the eyes that were staring at him. 3...2...1...

"You're sure you're okay?" She asked, her hand squeezing his harder. "They haven't been getting worse have they?"

"No. If they were worse I'd be screaming." Which he used to when he was younger. He still remembered blasting a good portion of the ceiling and roof away when he had awoke after a particularly vicious nightmare during his first month there. She had often wandered into his room when she had shown up to check on him when he screamed in the night. It wasn't much longer after that that he managed to keep himself from crying out and from radiating his pain out too much in the presence of telepaths while he slept. It had taken a great deal of practice.

"I think the connection is just getting stronger." Which it was. He could feel her, and he knew she could feel him. In the time since Mexico the connection, the instant ability to just share things with her by just wanting to, had evolved into something that was just another part of his consciousness. "How much did you see?"

"Not much. It was feelings mostly. Panic, pain, fear. I saw death…some faces." Jean hesitated, and he knew she wasn't sure what kind of ground she was treading on. "Your parents," she said finally.

The deaths that had been haunting him the longest, next to Alex. He dropped his gaze from Jean's and then raised them back to try and say something to her. "I just…I…It's hard…I…"

"You don't have to say it. I felt it." Her arms tightened around him, and as nice as it was to feel her arms around him, Scott hated being in this position. He had worked for control for years, because there were several areas in his life without any, like the death of his parents, like his mutation. And with that control came strength. Here there was none of that.

"You're not alone," Jean's voice whispered in his ear. Feelings of love and comfort that she had been sending to him since she'd entered were now overwhelming him.

"Jean."

"You're not. Scott." Jean pulled away slightly and folded her legs underneath her body. While the physical contact lessened the mental one didn't. "You're not alone here, and you won't be again. You have friends, you have me. You've watched me lose control of my powers, Rogue lose control over hers. And I do understand."

Grief of her own flowed to Scott and he remembered the story of how Jean's own powers had manifested. "Annie."

"Yeah," she whispered and ducked her head. Even if he couldn't see her face, he knew Jean was crying.

Scott pulled her to him, glad that it was his turn comfort. "Hey, hey, I'm sorry," He stroked her long hair as Jean turned her head into his shirt. "I shouldn't have said anything."

"It's alright. I started remembering." Jean pulled away from him and wiped at her tears. Scott reached out and got one she'd missed. "Would you mind if I spent the night here though?"

"Isn't Logan patrolling?"

"We're eighteen and college students. If we were living out of the mansion we could do this whenever we wanted."

"You make an excellent case for moving out. Come on." He pulled back the covers and waited for Jean to slip her legs underneath with his. He slouched down until he was laying back on the bed and Jean's head was pillowed on his chest. He began to lift a hand to his face. "Do you want me to leave the glasses--"

"Close your eyes." He did as she asked, and while her hands never left his chest, his glasses floated off of his face and he heard them land on the table beside them. "There," Jean murmured, snuggling in closer to him.

"Thank you."

"Not a problem. Now sleep, and think only happy thoughts."

He wanted to tell Jean that with her in his arms that was all he was going to have. But the exhaustion that had been at bay when he had first woken up began to engulf him. Instead, Scott tightened his embrace around his girlfriend and ran a hand over her head. He could seriously see himself doing this for the rest of his lifetime. It wasn't such a scary thought.

The sound of a baby's cries caught Scott's attention and caused him to look up from the book he was reading.

~Scott could you get him.~

The sound of his love in his head caused Scott to smile. "No trouble," he called to back to Jean aloud.

Scott put the novel aside, his page clearly marked and stood from his chair. He walked into the next room, where next to a queen bed a cradle lay. He bent over the cradle and looked at the squalling child inside. The baby's face was red and screwed up from crying. "Hey there little man," Scott murmured, dipping his hands inside to pick up the baby. "Did you have a nightmare Nate? Everything is going to be alright now."