Scott woke instantly upon hearing his alarm blaring in his ear, and immediately regretted it. His head was pounding almost worse than when his powers had first come online, his mouth tasted like he'd been chewing on one of Evan's seldom (make that never) washed gym socks, and…
A soft murmur from next to him made Scott pause. His eyes opened wide with shock as he caught sight of the source of the noise.
…and Jean Grey was asleep next to him, wearing nothing more than a smile, a mint green tanktop…and presumably, underwear. Scott couldn't tell for sure. Her lower half was hidden by his sheets – although he could feel one smooth bare leg intertwined with his.
Suddenly the morning seemed a whole lot better – or worse? He was, after all, in bed with the girl of his dreams.
However, he couldn't remember anything about last night.
This sucks, Scott decided, frowning. Instantly, the action caused more pain to slice through his head, and he groaned loudly.
The sound of his pain reverberating through his room – he checked; yes, it was his room. They hadn't somehow ended up in a Las Vegas honeymoon suite – caused Jean to stir from her slumber. Blinking her blue eyes – they looked purple to him, but then he saw everything through a red haze; luckily, he'd learned to make allowances for color or he wouldn't be able to drive – at Scott sleepily, Jean froze when she caught sight of him.
"Er…good morning?" Scott offered lamely. He tried to smile, but quickly found that that caused him almost as much pain as frowning did.
Or maybe it was the open curtains, letting through that bright, eye-shattering sunlight.
Jean shot straight up in the bed, clutching the covers to her chest. She blinked at him in horror – and winced, moaning and screwing her eyes shut.
Looks like she's just as hungover as I am, Scott thought ruefully, then started. Hungover? Thinking back, he could vaguely remembering drinking something sickeningly sweet, with a distinct alcoholic bite underneath.
That explained the headache and the sweat socks taste in his mouth. And why he was having a hard time remembering last night.
Hissing through her clenched teeth, Jean cracked one eye open. "Scott?" she asked faintly.
Scott made to nod, then thought better of it as his head reminded him of its precariously painful state. "Yeah, it's me, Jean."
"Are we in your be– room?" she corrected herself, obviously uncomfortable.
"It appears so," Scott said, because even he wasn't entirely sure. His vision was muzzy, and what he could see of his room was unusually messy – but then he didn't normally have Jean's clothes scattered on the floor, the desk, the chair…
Scott gulped, flushing as he caught sight of what appeared to be a black lace bra. He hadn't known Jean wore lingerie like that.
Jean's panic poured off of her in waves – she tended to telepathically emote when she was stressed, and now was no different – and she looked wildly around. "What happened? What did I do?" Looking down at her lap, she gulped as she took in her attire – or lack of same. Eyes flicking across to him, she blanched as she realized he was only wearing a threadbare T-shirt and – hopefully – a pair of boxer shorts. "What did we do?" she asked, voice strangled in her throat.
"I don't know – to all three questions," Scott supplied truthfully, though not helpfully. Though whatever it was, I wish I could remember it.
Jean's panic increasing every moment, she stared at him beseechingly, as if she expected him to have all the answers. "Did I…did we…?" She gestured helplessly to their state of undress.
"I have no clue," Scott replied. I wish I did.
Jean whimpered and her breathing speeded up. "Oh, God… I could be…if we didn't…"
Oh, shit! Scott was very familiar with Jean's thought processes and he had a pretty good of what she'd been about to say. "Don't panic," Scott told her, alarmed. Taking her shoulders in his hands, he shook her none-too-gently. She was starting to hyperventilate, and he didn't think he had any paper bags in his room. "Panicking will not help." If we did…and she is… It could just make things worse for her to get so stressed out.
Jean glared heatedly at him. "That's easy for you to say. You're not the one who might be preg…preg…" She took a deep, but not calming, breath and said, almost defiantly, "Pregnant."
"I don't think you are," Scott said. His brain had finally been jolted out its slumber by his apprehension, and his mind had joined the rest of him in the world of the waking. Looking at the situation from a logical standpoint – instead of an 'Oh, my God, what have we done!' one – had done much to calm him down. "I don't think we had sex," he stated, and only a little part of him was disappointed at that fact.
After all, when he lost his virginity, he kinda wanted to remember it.
"I thought you said you didn't remember?" Jean said, her voice hopeful.
"It's starting to come back to me," Scott hedged. Last night was starting to come back to him. He hadn't, however, remembered how they ended up in bed together. He suspected it had something to do with being drunk, however. "But that's not what I meant." Continuing before Jean's legendary redhead temper could come to the fore, he stated baldly, "The room doesn't smell like sex." Not that he knew what sex actually smelled like, but his room didn't smell like anything out of the ordinary had taken place. And sex couldn't smell all that much different from masturbation, right?
Jean blinked, took a deep breath – and blushed. At least, he thought she blushed – her face turned a darker shade of red; for all he could see, she might have been about to throw up and had turned green. "You're right," she admitted.
Thereafter followed several tense moments of silence. Scott didn't know what do – it wasn't like he had any experience with 'morning afters,' after all.
No time like the present to figure it out, he decided and turned to Jean. "Jean, I don't know exactly what we did last night, but whatever it was, I know I don't regret it."
Startled, Jean turned wide eyes on the boy. "Scott…?" she asked questioningly.
He knew he was blushing furiously, but Scott needed to get this out. He hadn't ever come out and honestly told Jean how he felt – she was a telepath, and surely she knew. But then, people thought about all kinds of things that they'd never do in reality… "Jean, I've been in love with you since junior high," he said bluntly. Actually, in junior high, it had been blind adoration, but it had grown over the years, and he never had figured out the exact moment when puppy love had blossomed into true love.
Jean's face paled and flushed in turn, her complexion changing so quickly that it worried Scott. "I… I don't know what to say," Jean finally managed to squeak out.
It's not reciprocation, but it least it isn't rejection, Scott thought, even as his heart fell and bottomed out somewhere around the center of the Earth.
"I…I mean, I care for you, Scott…" Jean continued.
…just not like that, Scott finished in his head, heart sinking even further. It was now drifting somewhere in outer space, possibly around Venus.
It looked like that would be the closest to love he'd get today.
Jean broke off, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She set her jaw and stood her ground – or, rather, sat her half of the bed. "No, I'm not going to lie to myself anymore," she murmured, and if Scott hadn't been sitting so close to her he wouldn't have heard those whispered words. Her blue eyes flicked open and focused on his, holding his gaze steadily, even as her words tripped out over each other in a clumsy dance of honesty. "Scott, I…I think I l-love you too, Scott."
She thinks? But then, they were only nineteen; just because he had been an early bloomer in the love department didn't mean that Jean had her own feelings figured out as well.
Scott could wait; he'd been waiting for five years. He could be patient a little longer.
"Then why has it taken us so long to get to this point?" Scott asked her, scooting over so they were sitting side by side and wrapping one arm around her shoulder.
Jean sighed and smiled ruefully as she leaned into his embrace. "You mean, why has it taken me so long?" she corrected him.
Scott's lips quirked up of their own accord and he nodded slightly against her mussed red hair. He hadn't wanted to make it seem as if the change in their relationship hinged on her acceptance of it, but…it did. Scott knew what he wanted – her – now it was only a matter of finding out what Jean wanted.
"It's just…you're my best friend, Scott," Jean said plainly, looking up at him from underneath her lashes as she cuddled closer to him. "You've always been my best friend. And I didn't want to lose that." She looked disconsolately down at her lap, fingers twining with each other in an outward expression of her inner nervousness.
"Jean, don't you know?" Scott couldn't help but ask. Wrapping both arms around her and taking her fidgeting hands in his own, he squeezed them comfortingly as he promised, "You could never lose me." Quirking a wry grin, he added, "If you having a psychic breakdown didn't make me leave, nothing will." Not to mention having to watch from afar as you dated Duncan Matthews for a year and a half.
Jean laughed through her tears. "I know that, Scott, it's just…" She sniffled once more. "I could live with just being your friend, but…I don't think I could if you weren't."
Scott felt tears pricking his own eyes, but manfully held them back. Jean needed him right now more than he needed to cry. "I'll always be your friend, Jean," he reiterated his promise. "No matter what."
Giving him a wobbly smile, Jean said, "Then I think…I'd like to try becoming more than friends." She faltered. "If you…still want to?" she asked tentatively, obviously unsure if his feelings were still the same after all this time.
Jean had to know how long he'd felt for her – it was no surprise that she wondered if he'd moved on. Even though Scott never would have brought it up this morning if he'd changed his mind about wanting a relationship with her. "I'll always want you, Jean," Scott said in a rare moment of total honesty. He normally wasn't that sappy, but Jean brought out a side of him he hadn't had much use for before.
"Me, too," Jean said, and leaned towards him.
And then they were kissing, just a simple pressing of lips to lips, nothing more, nothing less. Scott was privately glad of that; he didn't want to inflict his bad breath on her, and he had no doubt her breath was as bad as his own. That, plus the lingering headache let him know that yes, this was real.
Synapses fired in his brain as his mental processes heated up. A few more fuzzy images of the previous night intruded on his thoughts, letting Scott exactly how he and Jean had ended up in bed together. While he was grateful for it having happened, Scott vowed never to let it happen again, before he pushed those thoughts away and concerted on kissing his new girlfriend.
Next time Bobby dared him to do Jell-O shots…he was going to say no.
After all, he already had the perfect girl as his girlfriend. What more did he need?
However, hopefully, the mornings after this wouldn't be so…confusing.