In The Heat
An X-men: Evolution fanfic by Lavender Gaia
Chapter One: Telepathy
Disclaimer: I do not own X-men Evolution or any of its characters. They are property of Marvel.
Jean stared intensely at her side of the game. "E5."
"Hit," Bobby grumbled, fitting a red peg into his battleship. "You know, it's no fun if you're going to use your powers."
"Well, then stop thinking so loud."
Bobby raised an eyebrow. "Thinking so loud? How about you just shut off your telepathy!"
"I can do that just as well as you can stop your heart from beating!" Jean snapped.
"Hey, Bobby, Kurt and I are gonna get something to eat. You wanna come?" Kitty asked from the doorway, trying to relieve the tension.
Iceman glanced at Jean, then stood up and walked out. "Yeah, just a sec. I was sick of playing anyway."
Jean rested her head in her hands, massaging her temples and groaning softly.
Scott looked up from the book he was reading on the couch. "Jean, are you ok?" He asked, gently pulling her up on the sofa to sit with him.
She lay against him, closing her eyes. "I just have a headache and my telepathy's been off." After a second, she sneezed. "It's probably because I'm getting sick. I should apologize to Bobby later."
Cyclops rubbed her back. "Why don't you go lay down and I'll bring you some chicken soup?"
Jean smiled at him gratefully. "You're the best. I think I'll take you up on that." She sat up, kissed his cheek and went upstairs to rest. So many thoughts were racing through her head, and hardly any were hers. Finally sick of it, she went to her closet and pulled out her CD player and headphones, jamming them in her ear and turning it all the way up, as if trying to drown out the voices invading her mind.
When Scott came in, it went completely past her, until she heard in her head, 'Heh, she's so cute…and beautiful…' Jean opened her eyes and looked at her boyfriend standing in the doorway, staring at her happily. Pausing her CD player, she said, "Well, thank you."
"It's just heating up soup. No big deal." He set the tray of soup on her nightstand, along with a glass of ice water and two Tylenol.
"I meant for thinking I was beautiful."
He blushed. "Well…I mean, you are. Anyway, I'd love to stay with you, but I promised Amara I'd take her to the mall to meet Tabitha."
Jean winced. "Go ahead. Trust me, she's desperate and considering melting your car if you don't go soon. Apparently they're having a huge sale."
"Ooook, then." He leaned over and kissed her lightly. "Take it easy and feel better. I'll check on you when I get back."
"Thanks, Scott. Go save your car." He waved and left, closing the door behind him. This left her in the dark, as she had closed her blinds. The brightness of the sun had just been making her headache worse.
When Sam and Roberto started fighting about something, Jean groaned and put her headphones back on, concentrating very intensely soup before she remembered the aspirin. Cradling them gently, she slipped them down her throat, washing them down with the water. It cooled her all the way through, which she was thankful for. Recently, she felt a series of heat running through her body, as if she were on fire from the inside.
Though Scott wasn't much of a cook, he had surpassed Kitty at least: The soup was edible, unlike her friend's latest concoction. Jean was hungrier than she had realized and finished the bowl in a matter of minutes. Not wanting to leave the empty dish in her room, she reluctantly removed her headphones. This was followed by a sigh of relief; everything was quiet.
Jean brought her empty bowl and glass downstairs to the kitchen, sticking them in the dishwasher as Professor X rolled in. "Ah, hello, Jean. Scott told me you weren't feeling well. Any better?"
She nodded. "Much better, actually. Either everyone's stopped thinking, or I just needed something to eat."
He chuckled. "So, it has to do with your telepathy?"
"I've just been hearing everyone lately. It's probably just because I haven't been feeling well enough to keep up a mental block. But, now that I remember, Scott let me work on my telepathy with him the other day. I felt so…lost. I don't know if it's his memories or it's just me, but…I dunno. It's probably nothing."
"Why don't I work on it with you? We could do it now, if you'd like, since you're feeling better," the professor offered.
"Really? That'd be great. If you don't mind, of course," Jean answered eagerly.
"Of course not. Let's go to my office." He wheeled through the halls to his office, Jean in tow. "Please, take a seat."
She relaxed in one of his comfortable chairs and he settled in front of her, nodding the go ahead. Jean took deep breaths as she rested her finger tips gently on his temples. Suddenly, she had left her body to be surrounded in the very essence that was Charles Xavier.
She recalled his marriage to Gabrielle Haller, never knowing that anyone could yell at the Professor like that. Jean saw him arguing with his brother, playing chess with Magneto when they had been friends, meeting a poor, blind Scott.
Emboldened, she pushed deeper, into his feeling and repressed memories. The pain that thudded in his chest whenever he thought of his son David. Sensations of using Cerebro for the first time, the power filling his whole body, almost to the point of bursting. The fear that made his blood run cold when he faced Apocalypse.
Something seemed to reach for her, directing her to a certain part. A part that was hidden, shielded from her. A part that she finally broke through with the last of her reserves.
Magneto levitated a ball to Rahne as she slid down a slide of ice, made, of course, by Bobby. Sentinels flew past, heading to orbit. She saw the Brotherhood, grown, looking as if they always did. Before her eyes were her friends: Mr. McCoy, Kitty, Kurt, Piotr, Bobby, X23…since when could Rogue fly?
There was something in the back of his mind, though for some reason she could tell he had remembered it often. She realized suddenly that it was her. Screams. The pain the memory held resonated through her physical being. Ripping her apart, until there was nothing left. And power burst from her body.
Jean was jolted back to the present, hands falling to her sides as she sat there, opened mouthed in horror. "That's what Apocalypse showed you."
The Professor opened his eyes. "Jean, I…"
Before he could finish his statement, she was up, bolting from the study as he called after her. "Jean, please! Wait! Jean!"
She pushed back Cyclops as he walked through the foyer, stumbling up the stairs with all the strength she could muster as her boyfriend looked after her in surprise. Forcing the door open with her telekinesis, she collapsed on her bed as her legs finally gave out, letting the door slam behind her as she clutched her bedspread.
There was a hesitant knock at her door. "Hey, Jean?" Scott's loving voice filtered through. "Are you alright?"
The only functions her body was able to do right now was breathing and letting blood pump through her body. Even blinking was beyond her. Eventually, she gained enough control to close her mouth to whisper, though even the simple action hurt.
"I'm going to die."
The knocks were harder, more frequent. "Hey, what's going on? C'mon, let me in."
Her whispers got heavier, raspier, desperate. "I'm going to be ripped apart from the inside."
"Jean, if you don't open this door I'll blast it open! Please, talk to me!" Scott was pounding now, prepared to force it off its hinges with his bare hands.
The scene played over and over again in her mind. The power from the memory alone was overwhelming in ways she couldn't believe. Her heart pounded in her ears, as she was desperate to silence the deafening organ. Voices were heard, outside her door and in her brain, forcing out all thoughts she needed to get a hold of herself.
A screamed ripped through her, quite like the Phoenix had in the memory. It vibrated through everyone's heads, as if she was shooting their brains with bolts of pain. But she would do everything, ANYTHING to block out her mind.
When he gained control of physical actions again, Scott lifted his glasses and shot through the door. It startled her hold on it, allowing him to push in and catch her as she dizzily fell off the bed. "Jean!"
Xavier pushed through the crowd and rubbed her forehead. "Rest for now. It can all be addressed another day."
With that, she finally lost consciousness.
When she finally awoke, there was no light. Everything was dark. Her head thudded in pain, as she tried to forget everything that had happened. The room was too hot, the air stifling.
Jean opened what was left of her door, peering out into the dark hallway. Unsurprisingly, everyone was asleep at four o'clock in the morning, letting her slip downstairs without hassle.
The gazebo had forever been on of her favorite places. It always seemed to receive the nicest breeze. When she sat there, her mind was at ease, allowing her to think thoroughly. So she sat in the gazebo, huddled in a ball. Jean decided to concentrate on her breathing before she decided to proceed to anything else.
A scent was blowing in the wind, towards her. Turning around, she realized it was pizza, and an even more comforting smell: Scott.
"Hey…" He whispered softly. "I figured you might be hungry, so I warmed up some pizza for us."
She moved over, giving him ample room to sit down next to her. He took the invitation, then handed her a plate of pizza and a can of soda. "Thanks. You know, I really don't deserve you."
He kissed her softly. "You deserve so much more. I just want to make sure you're not hurt or anything. I mean, earlier you…were less than fine."
She shrugged, eating her pizza. "I'm sick, I told you that."
"You've been sick before and you've never barricaded the door and refused to talk to anyone."
"This is really good pizza. New place?" She asked, desperate to change the subject.
"Stop it. Please." He stroked her face. "Talk to me. I don't want you to hurt anymore."
She ate another bite, chewing it thoroughly and swallowing it. "The Professor said that he had gotten a glimpse of the future from Apocalypse. When I was working on my telepathy earlier, I saw it too. You looked good, by the way. And I loved Kitty's new hair cut. Magneto was playing with the kids. Sentinels flew through the sky."
He reached over, taking her hand in his, stroking it with a callused thumb. "That can't be all."
"Then…then there was me," She choked on the words, as if her mind was trying to force herself to forget them. "I was in pain. That's what I remember the most. It was so…so intense. I don't think I'll ever forget that feeling. It was burning. Everything was burning. And I couldn't take it. My body gave out. I was forced apart, from the inside. This heated power just exploded inside me. And it…I was over. Dead."
"No!" Scott yelled, grabbing her shoulders. "No!"
"S-Scott…please…" She was yanked clear off the seat as he pulled her into his lap, hug practically crushing her.
"It will not happen!" He said gruffly, staring off in hatred. "I will never let it happen? Do you hear me? As long as I'm alive on this Earth, I will never let anyone hurt you!"
She breathed in his clean, crisp scent. A smell that never failed to calm her, no matter what the circumstances. "I…I believe you," she told him, mentally yelling at herself for lying to the person she cared about most in the world.
"I love you…I can't lose you…" Scott whispered to her, holding her closer, as if trying to blend them into one being.
"I love you too. Scott, you know I'd never leave you. But if someone pushed us apart, I can't…I don't think I can stop it."
"Don't think like that. Please, Jean. We'll…we'll go out tomorrow. See a movie, go out to dinner. It's summer now; maybe we can visit Alex in Hawaii. Take a vacation. Drive down to Connecticut and see your parents. Anything you want." He pulled away slightly in order to smile at her encouragingly.
"That…that would be nice, Scott." She laid her head against his chest, needing the solid muscle as a bed of support.
A tinge of pink touched over the horizon, gently spreading light over the grounds. "It's late…early…We should go to bed." He whispered, kissing her brow.
"Not yet. Let's watch the sun come up," she requested, snuggling close.
"If that's what you want," he said, hugging her close. "I'd do anything for you."
"I know…I know…" Jean settled back against him, feeling safe in his arms. There were three things that would always be true: the sun would rise in the east, set in the west and Scott Summers and Jean Grey would always be in love.
But even she knew that love may not be enough.
A/N: My shot at the Phoenix Saga from the comics. I'm trying to make this all my own without any major influences. If you like it please let me know!
Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.