Emma:

I don't think I've ever truly been in love before. Sure, I have come close, but never truly love. What I feel now is a feeling of helplessness and I resent it as much as I embrace it. This is my weakness, the only flaw in an otherwise perfect diamond. Scott Summers.

I never would have seen it coming, never in a million years. Since the day I met Scott Summers I've thought him a handsome man, but never a suitable mate. After Genosha was destroyed and I came to the mansion, I picked him out of the bunch for entertainment. It began mostly as a fun way to irk Jean Grey, my long time adversary; but it became much more. I fell in love with him.

On this particular night I've roused from my slumber to use the toilet and on my way back to bed I take some time to simply watch him sleep. He's wearing sleeping goggles, which look extraordinarily silly on him, but I don't mind because love forgives these things.

His jaw is shut tight, muscles in his face flexing; he never relaxes even in his sleep. I let myself smile at the sight of him, because nobody is around to see. This is my time. I toy with the idea of going into his mind, if only to see what is making him grit his teeth this way. To be perfectly honest I've never gone into Scott's mind before, at least not for serious digging. My conscience whispers, "Bad girl, Emma" and I bat it away. Luckily, I'm not hindered by the trite morality that is spewed from the lips of my fellow X-men- I decide to take a peek, just for fun. If I'm careful, he will never know I was even there.

I slip in slowly and wrap around his mind like a mist, seeping through the barriers becoming an all-encompassing fog.

I find, perhaps comically, that he is dreaming that Hank is showing him up in the Danger Room. Hank is giving better directions and out-performing in all tasks. Oh, the insecurities we carry.

What I really came here for, was my own self-interest. Dear Scott, what do you think of me? I flutter around until I find my image- it's practically giving me an orgasm. At least I know he finds me attractive, I'm encased in such an intense feeling of need and lust that it's hard to breathe. I dig deeper looking for other thoughts- and there are old memories of seeing me at the Hellfire Club.

Shouldn't there be something else? Don't feelings of love fall somewhere between lust and bitter memories? I begin ripping through frantically; looking for his love and when I find it- it covers like a warm blanket. I want to curl up and sleep here, but I find that my space is taken up by something else.

Jean.

I stare into her innocent, jade, doe-eyes with disgust. What is she doing here in his love? This is where I belong- only I cannot find myself here. Not one image.

This revelation shakes me to the core. Why doesn't he love me? Why her? Must everything in my life be a façade? These feelings I have, they aren't reciprocated and I want to know why! So, I dig deeper- every layer I uncover tearing at my heart a little bit more.

I see memories of silly things, things people do when comfortable around one another. These silly things endear her to him. I see flashes of Jean singing into a hairbrush; eyes full of laughter, blushing at the age of sixteen when Xavier catches her staring at him in class, crying from joy at their wedding, and oddly enough burping loudly and then laughing about it. These are the things he remembers fondly of her? Strange memories to be certain.

I peel back another layer and there is that same lustful intoxication I'd discovered on myself earlier. Memories of Jean whispering his name and her face screwed up in the throes of passion bombard me and I rip that layer back and toss it aside. I can't take seeing that- if I get anymore emotional he may realize I've been snooping.

I'm digging now, with my nails and my desperation. I need to find something here in his love, something that has my image. Finally, I stumble across myself and I relax. Upon further inspection, I realize it is a memory of me hitting Jean with a psi-bolt. He's terrified for her safety and wishing I didn't exist.

I'm on the verge of hysteria now, I feel so betrayed, so ashamed. How could I let myself love him, why was I so vulnerable? And why didn't he love me? I feel my psyche is becoming unstable and pull out of his mind with a jolt. I'm back in my own head now, staring down at him.

He must have felt the sudden withdrawal, because he is shifting around and yawning. I lay my head down next to his and fight back tears. Feeling the tingle in the back of my nose, I know I can't stop them- a few tears roll out silently.

He rolls onto his side and in the darkness I can tell he's cracked his eyelids by the glow coming from the goggles.

"Hey," he says groggily, blinking and throwing an arm around my waist. I'm staring right into his eyes, and I'm thankful his glasses are obstructing the view of my tears.

The light goes out again after a moment and I know he's fading back into sleep. I cuddle up close and though I know better- I open my mouth to say, "I love you, Scott."

I need to hear it back, I need for him to tell me that I'm loved in return- what I saw in his mind was all a mistake…

"Mm-hmm" he smiles without opening his eyes. He's asleep again.

Fresh tears slip through my tightly pinched lids and I muffle my sobs. I'm so ashamed that I've let myself be used. What's more shameful perhaps, is that I am willing to let this continue. When he wakes up, I will pretend nothing happened; I can't lose him. I love him too much.

I know now he doesn't love me, but I will let him use me because love forgives these things, even when you're only second best.