Disclaimer: What else? I don't own X-Men Evolution or the characters therein. Happy? Good.
AN: Yeah, not sure if this is gonna be a stand alone or evolve into something larger. I guess I'll just have to think on it and figure where exactly I'd go with it. Anyways, enjoy.
Jean watched her parents go into Professor Xavier's study while she waited out in the hall. "Grown-up talk, sweetie," Daddy told her, even though she was fifteen. "We'll call you in soon." She didn't have to be a telepath to know that meant they were going to be talking about her and didn't want her to hear. It was probably something bad. She had almost gone into her father's mind, tried to pry the information he wanted to hide from her out of him. She always relaxed as much as possible before using her powers, the Professor must have sensed something because he gave her a pointed look as though to say, "No, we don't read minds here, people's thoughts are private". Rebuked, she had slid into the chair next to the door, crossing her arms like a spoiled child.
"So, are you a natural redhead?" The boy's voice snapped her out of her pouting. She looked down the hall where he leaned on a doorframe. Jean had seen him when she first arrived at the mansion. He had been spying then as well, hidden down a side hallway. She had felt him gawking at her.
"Yes, I am," she snapped, "not that it matters all that much at the moment."
He shrugged. "Just curious, no need to get upset."
"I'm not getting..." a vase shuddered on the table next to her and she stopped, taking a deep breath and letting it out. "I'm just nervous."
"Apparently," he smirked
"So," she asked, " you do what, exactly?"
He tapped his ruby red shades, "Optic Beams." Noting her confusion he shrugged, "it's not really indoor friendly, but I'll show you later."
"I'm not staying," she told him. " Professor Xavier's going to fix my powers and I'll be normal again. You just wait, you'll see."
"I don't think that's the way it works," he answered.
"But it does, I know it does."
"Don't you think if the professor could fix my eyes he would?"
"That's not the same thing," she reasoned, "that's freak stuff."
"But going into people's minds and throwing vases isn't?"
"I didn't throw that vase!"
"But you could some day."
Jean had no reply to that so she stared at the wood floor. The boy kept politely silent, watching Jean convince herself that her beliefs were right. "Why do you keep staring at me," she asked.
"I'm not," he replied, "I'm watching with polite interest.
"Well it's creepy."
"I'll try not to do it anymore. So, what's your name?"
"Well, Jean Grey, I'm Scott Summers."
"So, Scott Summers," she mocked " how old are you?"
"Fifteen...I'm going to be sixteen end of August though."
"That's almost three months away, you can't go boasting about a birthday when it's three months away."
"Maybe you can't," he replied.
"Well...Happy Birthday early, I guess. Sorry I won't be able to make it to the party."
"Oh, don't worry about it, I'll make sure you're invited...even if the professor does "fix you"."
"Now you're poking fun," Jean pouted.
"Me? Poking fun at you? That's impossible, there's nothing funny about you."
She smiled, "Now I know you're lying."
The creak of the door caused Jean's head to snap towards the sound. There her parents were, followed by the Professor. "Well," she prompted, "are you going to do it? Are you going to fix me?"
"Pumpkin," Mom started, her eyes revealing how upsetting the news was to her.
Daddy finished what Mom could not. "Sweetie, the Professor thinks it's best if you stay here for a while. Really get a handle on those powers of yours."
"Just for the summer," Daddy's voice rose, commanding her attention. "If you get better at controlling your...abilities, you can come home in time for school in the fall."
"What if I can't," Jean asked, her voice nervously speeding up as her brain tried to take in all this meant. "What if it never gets better? What if I'm stuck like this? Can I still come home?"
Mom shook her head, tears coming to her eyes and Daddy put his arm around her. "You can come visit but...we, your mother and I, we think it might be best then if you stay here."
They were abandoning her. She wasn't good enough for the family. They had her older sister Sara; they didn't need a little red-haired freak running around screwing everything up, breaking furniture as she had the other day. "NO! You can't leave me here with these people! I promise to be good, I promise, I won't break anything anymore or hear people's thoughts. I'll stop, just let me come home with you, I don't want to stay here."
"Jean," Daddy let go of Mom's shoulder and went to embrace Jean. Jean pushed him away, "no," she yelled, "not until you promise I can come home."
"I can't promise that, sweetie. You need help; you need to be here, just for a short while. We love you, that's why we're doing this."
Jean cried. She knew she was making a scene, knew Scott Summers over there must think she was a baby but she didn't care. Words came out of her parent's mouths but she didn't register any of them, they were all lies anyways. If they loved her so much why did they want her to stay here? And then she felt it. A force welling up inside her that suddenly shot outwards. She watched in a mixture of satisfaction and horror as it threw objects and people backwards. The vase that had jiggled earlier smashed to the ground. Her parents looked at her as though seeing her for the first time. They hated her now, how could they not? Her heart continued to beat rapidly and her breathing refused to slow down. Jean could feel that inner power stretching out again, pushing other things around, toppling statues and chairs, smashing them against the wall.
Jean, a voice soothed. It wasn't a voice connected to a body. Not really. It wasn't a familiar voice either. Calm down, the voice said, and then she realized who it was. Professor Xavier sat in his chair, knocked back a few feet, fingers on his temples. Take a deep breath and try to center yourself. You can do it. Jean closed her eyes and nodded. A deep breath came in the nose and out through the mouth. She could feel some sort of presence, most likely the Professor, pushing her along, helping her to calm down as requested. The force inside her calmed, like a wind dying down after a storm.
She opened her eyes and took in the destruction. Her hand came up to cover her mouth. Jean couldn't believe she had caused all of this. Chairs, tables, planters and a few picture frames littered the floor. "I..." she couldn't find the words to express how sorry she was. In the past few months she had never caused this much damage. The most that flew around were maybe a couple saltshakers or newspapers. Every once in a while when she got really upset maybe a chair would smash against the wall or a glass would break. All of the broken items at home did not total this.
"It's alright," Professor Xavier told her. "I understand how hard it is to keep these kinds of things under control."
Mom ran forward, giving her a big hug, followed closely by Daddy. "Jean," she said, "Oh, my baby. I'm so sorry."
"No," Jean replied, "I'm sorry", she pushed back any tears in her eyes, knowing how quickly it could escalate into another disaster. "I understand now."
"We love you, honey," Daddy told her, giving her a squeeze, "We just want what's best for you."
"I know, and you're right. I need to stay here. You'll send the rest of my things, right?"
"Of course," Mom said. Jean nodded, breaking off the hug, she knew her first impression had already been ruined but she had to gain back some semblance of being a cool teenager.
"Professor Xavier, I'd like to help pay for the damages," Jean told him.
He shook his head, "No need, these things happen. I'm just glad you understand now how important control is."
"I do, I know I do."
"Alright", he smiled, " despite all of the excitement for today perhaps you'd like a tour of the grounds."
Jean nodded, as her parents voiced their agreements.
The place was huge but it still seemed like a place she could call home and after it was done they all sat down to dinner where she was introduced to Ms. Monroe. It seemed Professor Xavier had helped some "gifted people" already. He never used the word "freak" and only rarely used "mutant" to describe Jean's condition.
Hours later her parents left for home, leaving Jean and her small suitcase. She shook her head as she thought of how her parents had convinced her to pack one, "just in case we have to stay a couple days." Jean wondered if somehow they knew that she wouldn't be coming back home with them, at least not right away.
"Hey, Jean," Scott Summers whispered as she started to disappear inside her new room, "want another tour?"
"What?" Jean turned around, confused. "We already had a tour."
"Yeah, but you didn't see everything."
"I'm actually kind of tired..."
"Come on," he prodded, "it won't take long."
"Fine, but I don't see what we possibly didn't see on the tour earlier unless there's a secret room where he houses wild jungle animals."
"Nope, better." They wound their way through hallways and down stairs until coming upon a service elevator. Jean had supposed there must be more than one elevator in the mansion. Why Scott was showing her this dumb service elevator she didn't know but followed anyways. Looking at the panel she realized there were far more buttons in this elevator than the other one and watched as Scott pushed one marked "sub-basement 3".
"There's more than one basement here?"
"Sub-basement 3 is much more than just some dumb basement. It's...well, I'll show you." The door opened to a long metal hallway. "Come on," he urged, stepping out, and she followed.
Scott led her down the hall and gestured at certain doors talking about a "Cerebro", "jets" and "The Danger Room". When he stopped outside said room and told Jean she should step inside her stomach dropped. "Scott, it has to be called a Danger Room for a reason."
"Yeah, and you'll be using it by the end of the week anyways so why don't you step inside and I'll give you a demonstration of my powers?"
"It's safe...right? I mean, nothing's going to jump out and..."
"I'll keep you safe, don't worry." And she believed him.
As it turned out when Scott told her he had "optic blasts" he wasn't kidding. Red beams shot out of his eyes and blasted everything in sight. Like Superman, she thought, only he can't fly, leap tall buildings in a single bound, run faster than a speeding bullet...Oh, stop it Jean, you're not superheroes you're just people.
Jean let out a yawn.
"I'm not boring you, am I," Scott asked. Jean shook her head, and glanced at her watch. "It's just been a long day. I felt tired after...well... after I destroyed the hallway. It wore me out."
"I wouldn't know about that," Scott replied. "My powers are kind of stuck in the 'on' position. But, I guess, the professor will want to give you a tour of these levels tomorrow and we get up at the crack of dawn...rather annoying really. I'll, uh, walk you back to your room, if you like."
"Alright," Jean said. She was actually a little taken back by the thought of a boy wanting to walk her to her room. It was almost like an equivalent to carrying one's books. She couldn't get attached to him, though, no matter how good looking or sweet. After all, a couple hours in a strange place made anyone you met seem like a nice person. Besides, there was no use getting attached when she'd be leaving by the end of summer.