Heart of the Phoenix
Chapter 1: Visions
AN: Hey! Slickboy444 here again back in the X-men Evolution section! After writing "Eternal Flame," I got a chance to test the waters of a Phoenix fic, but now I'm ready to take it to another level! I have been working on this in my head for quite some time. Now, I feel as though I'm ready to make it happen!
Of all the comic book arcs I've read, none has struck me quite as much as the Phoenix Saga. Originally penned by Chris Claremont, it has been widely regarded as one of the best comic based stories of all time. And that's why I was deeply disappointed that X-men Evolution ended before there was ever a Phoenix Saga. However, I hope to rectify that now because I'm going to try and make a Phoenix Saga for ages! I sincerely hope that everybody out there accepts this as a fic worth of the Phoenix name! I don't wish to screw this up and I am going to try and incorporate as much of the Phoenix mythos as I can from Chris Claremont and Scott Lobdell to Grant Morrison and Greg Pak. It's not going to be easy, but rest assured this is a story you won't soon forget!
However, in order to tell the story I want, I will have to take a few liberties since the Evolution world is different from the comic world. Plus, there are a few things I really want to do in order to flesh out the Phoenix, so please bear with me as I try to make this the best Phoenix story possible!
Summery: Jean Grey has not had a happy life. Having been abandoned as a child and thrown in a mental asylum for most of her childhood, she's always had issues. But over the years, she's learned to overcome such adversity. She joined up with the Xavier Institute, learned to gain control over her powers, studied hard and became a doctor, and became a major part of the mutant task force known as the X-men, successfully fighting against the Brotherhood, Magneto, and Apocalypse. And while growing up in the institute, she fell deeply in love with her best friend, Scott Summers, and got married and had a beautiful baby girl named Rachel. However, after years of rebuilding her once shattered life, she begins to have ominous visions of being overtaken by a power she can only begin to comprehend. Now, she'll have to rely on her family and friends to pull through against a force that's literally on a cosmic scale! Will she overcome it? Or will it overcome her?
Ages: Basically 10 years after the final episode. Scott and Jean are 28. Rachel is 4. Rogue is 27. Kitty, Kurt, and Amanda are 26. Piotr and Remy are 29. Etc. And I don't know just how old Logan is, so I won't bother guessing.
Pairings: Scott/Jean, Logan/Ororo, Rogue/Remy, Kurt/Amanda, and Kitty/Piotr.
Rating: PG-13 for mild language and violence.
AN: 'These mean character thoughts or psychic communication.'
Disclaimer: I don't own X-men or any of the characters. They all belong to Marvel, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby. And the Phoenix Saga is the brainchild of Chris Claremont. They own it all. I don't. So please don't sue!
As I do with every fic, I urge everybody who reads this story to REVIEW! Feedback helps me grow and learn as a writer and I would deeply appreciate any and all comments that you might have about my work! So with every chapter, please post a review! I'm open to all feedback, but I do ask that you be considerate. Please send it to my email address or please post it on the fanfiction website! Either way is fine as long as you REVIEW! This is an ambitious story, so please bear with me! Thank you all and I hope that you enjoy my story!
Also, before I begin I would like to send a special thanks to all the reviewers who have been so kind to me with my fics: KaliAnn, Quillian, Jenskott, Extra2restrial, X00001, and especially Agent-G (you rock my friend!).
Well, there you have it! Let the Phoenix arise from the ashes! And now without further adieu, Slickboy444 proudly presents "Heart of the Phoenix!"
In the limitless bounds of space, a single presence gazed upon a universe that had once been so vibrant and peaceful. Now, all that was left was white hot fire burning anything and everything in its path. Every star, every planet, and every heavenly body was ablaze with golden flames. It was as if the universe itself was crying out in pain as it gasped for whatever life was left.
It was burning to ashes on a cosmic scale. And despite this, she was happy. In a sea of new sensations, she was both jubilant and horrified. This destruction was emulating from her and she was enjoying it.
But as she felt this ecstasy, she also felt an overwhelming sense of sorrow. Her heart was shattered into a million pieces and fiery tears of anguish were streaming down her face. All the while, there was this other presence within…This presence that was bent on experiencing these great passions.
It was tearing her apart down to her very soul. Everything she loved, everything she cared for, and everything she treasured was gone. And it was all her fault.
"No…NOOOOOO!" she cried, her anguish echoing throughout the endless bounds of a dying universe.
"Yes! Feel me child! Become one with me! You are my avatar! You are my vessel! Child of light and darkness…EMBRACE ME! EMBRACE THE POWER OF THE PHOENIX!"
Suddenly, a beautiful young woman named Jean Grey-Summers shot up in her bed with a horrified gasp, feeling overcome with intense feelings of horror and dread. Her body was covered in a thick layer of sweat, feeling as though she was drowning with each breath she took.
She struggled to collect herself, her head ringing with these horrible images. She felt around her and found that she was no longer in the vast emptiness of space. Instead, she was home, lying warm in her bed alongside her husband, Scott Summers.
As she kept trying to get her lungs working again, she sensed some distress in her husband's mind. He probably felt her inner turmoil through psychic link that so deeply bound them.
But it was times like this that Jean wished she wasn't a telepath. She hated when others felt her pain, especially her husband. And after what she just experienced, she didn't want him to suffer that kind of anguish.
'Shh…It's okay, Scott. Please don't get up. Just sleep my love.'
Using her mutant telepathic powers and their link, Jean coaxed her husband back into a calm state. Placing her hand upon on his shoulder, Jean took comfort in his presence. But the dream just wouldn't leave her. All those feelings of anguish were just too much. Yet as bad as it was, this wasn't the first time it had happened.
"I…I need some air," she said to herself as she slipped out of the bed.
The tired young woman, who only wore a pink silk nighty around her toned, womanly body, made a few quick checks to make sure her husband was still asleep. Once she was certain, she silently slipped out of the room and made her way down the dimly lit halls of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters.
She moved slowly and carefully, not wanting to wake anybody. It was 3 AM so everyone was sleeping. She was so tired and exhausted, but she didn't want to sleep again. She didn't want to feel that nightmare anymore.
Jean didn't know why this was happening to her. It wasn't like she hadn't have enough bad experiences. Growing up, she had been a normal, happy child. But that all changed on the fateful day that her best friend, Annie, was hit by a car and died in her arms. It was that traumatic experience that caused her latent mutant powers to manifest. And as luck would have it, her powers involved telepathy, allowing her to sense the thoughts and feelings of others. And through this she felt Annie die, forever scaring her with physically and emotionally.
Her life pretty much ended on that day. Afterwards, she was deeply traumatized and began 'hearing voices.' While she wouldn't learn until much later that those 'voices' were actually thoughts, the effect on a mind so fragile was not a good combination as her mental state deteriorated and her parents and sister struggled to manage her.
Eventually, they gave up on her. They threw her away into a cold, dark asylum for the mentally ill. There, she was bound, drugged, and imprisoned in a small cell with padded walls where she could still hear the voices. In the mind of her parents, she was long gone. They were so horrified by her that they didn't even acknowledge her existence anymore. Being crazy was bad, but being abandoned was much worse.
Those days that she spent in the insane asylum were the loneliest of her life. She cried herself to sleep every night. Even the doctors grew fearful of her when her telekinesis manifested and she began making small objects move with her mind. It got to the point where she would go days without seeing another human being. She had no parents, no friends, nothing. She was all alone in the world.
But thankfully, she was given a second chance. At age 12, a man named Professor Charles Xavier came to her, saying that he could help her have a life again. He could help her control the gifts that she had so often believed to be a curse. He was the one that took her out of that heinous place, and he was the one taught her she was not a freak.
Yet even as she built a new life at the institute, she was still traumatized by the experiences of Annie's death and the insane asylum. It made her shy and reclusive. Yet through the encouragement of Professor Xavier and the guidance of his fellow teachers, Logan and Ororo, she managed to pull herself together. And it was from there, that something else came into her life that she didn't expect…Or more accurately, someone.
The day she arrived at the institute, she met a young, undernourished boy from Alaska named Scott Summers. When she first saw him, she didn't know what to think. All she knew was that he was the first person she had seen that didn't make her feel afraid in a long time. He was also shy, his eyes were covered by a white cloth, and he was very kind to her from day one. At one point, he had been a street kid and knew all too well what it was like to be alone in the world. And because of that understanding, they became best friends.
As they grew together over the years, studying and learning to control their powers, she and Scott Summers developed a special bond. Together, they were Xavier's first students and the first members of the mutant task force known as the X-men. Even as new people joined the institute such as Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, Bobby Drake, Evan Daniels, and Rogue, they remained the closest of friends. But it wasn't until the end of high school that they became something so much more.
For Jean, falling in love with her best friend was the most life changing experience short of her powers manifesting. They were both very scared at first, not wanting to ruin their friendship. But once it blossomed, there was no going back. They began their relationship at age 18 and two years later, he asked her to marry him and she accepted.
Since that fateful day, she felt as though she had found true happiness in her life. Upon finishing college, they moved in together. Scott became a teacher and she became a doctor. They began careers as instructors at the Xavier Institute, teaching and assisting young mutants that struggled to find their place in a world that hated and feared them. It a rewarding job, especially having lived through such hardships themselves. This was their home, their life, and their world.
But her life changed even more on the day when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Rachel Anne Summers. Being a former mental patient and mutant was one thing, but being a mother was truly something else. She had been so scared that she wouldn't be able to properly nurture her child since her family had abandoned her. But when she held the little bundle of flesh in her arms, both she and Scott cried with tears of joy, for the sight of their beautiful baby gave them all the hope they needed.
Four years had passed since then and Rachel had grown. She was a regular, happy child for the most part, living in the same mansion where her mommy and daddy grew up. And despite all the pain and loss Jean had endured over the years, the sight of her little girl was definitely worth it.
Making her way down the hall, Jean stopped at a certain door not far from the room she shared with her husband. Taking a deep breath, she slowly turned the knob and opened it. Looking inside, she saw a room typical of a four year old…That is, a room that was messy, disorganized, and laden with kiddy toys. But aside from the mess, Jean's eyes drifted towards the bed where she took in the sight of a sleeping little redheaded girl.
Looking at her daughter, Jean smiled, momentarily forgetting about her nightmare. She looked so peaceful, so innocent. She remembered how worried she and Scott had been when they learned they were going to have a baby. The world wasn't very kind to mutants. Bigotry and discrimination was everywhere with people like the Friends of Humanity and Magneto. They didn't want their child to live in a world of hate, but that just made their jobs as X-men all the more important.
Satisfied that her baby was safe, Jean closed the door and made her way down the hall and to the stairs. From there, she went down to the kitchen to get herself a midnight snack of milk and cookies, hoping to ease her state of mind.
'Three nights in one week,' she thought to herself as she tiredly sat at the table and nibbled on a cookie, 'Now I can't even wake myself up from them when I want to. Oh God, why me?'
Still half asleep, Jean kept dwelling on her dreams. At first, she thought that they were just old memories that had been messed up over the years. Or perhaps her volatile powers were a part of it. She had been struggling with control her whole life and she even had a few severe surges over the years.
They were always very scary because every time they happened, she just kept thinking that this was the one that she wouldn't be able to control. Yet thanks to the Professor, her friends, and Scott, she had managed to take control even during the most difficult times. But this was different. This was much worse.
Just what were these images? Why did these they always center around this power and destruction? And most importantly, what was that voice that kept calling out to her?
Jean was so lost in her thought pondering these questions that she didn't notice a new presence coming up from behind her.
"Hey hun. Can't sleep?"
Startled out of her state, Jean turned to see her husband standing behind her with a worried look on his face. He was still in his black sleeping pants and he wasn't wearing a shirt, hinting that he just came down without giving it too much thought, which was something he tended to do whenever he was concerned.
"Scott? I…Did I wake you?" she said, still sounding tense from her the vivid nightmares.
"Nope. But when I felt around the other side of the bed and saw that you weren't there, I got a little worried."
Scott sat down in the chair next to her, gently taking her hand in his and giving it a tight squeeze. It was a gesture that Jean affectionately returned, wanting to absorb his warmth in this time of uncertainty. Yet even as he held his wife's weary hand, Scott could tell that something was wrong.
"Are you okay, sweetheart?" he asked in a soft tone, "This is the second night this week that this has happened. Was it that dream again?"
Not looking at her husband, Jean nodded, not wanting to describe it again.
"The one with all the fire and the voices?" he added with a concerned gaze.
This caused Jean to tighten her grip on his hand, letting out an exasperated sigh. She had been losing so much sleep because of this and it was beginning to affect her overall being. It really scared her, the knowledge that she had these horrible images in her mind.
"They've been getting more vivid," she found herself saying as she tried to calm her anxious mind, "Every time they happen it…It gets worse and worse. It's as if…As if the whole universe is going up in flames. And I'm the one who does it."
"Shh…It's okay, Jean," said Scott in soft tone, "It was only a dream."
"That's just it, Scott! I'm not sure if it is a dream!" she sobbed as she clung to her husband's hand, "I…I lost control. I completely lost control and I…I liked it! I really, REALLY liked it. It was horrible and wonderful at the same time, but…"
Jean was unable to finish. It was just too hard. Scott took her in his arms and held her close. Instinctively, she clung to him and buried her face in his shoulder, not wanting to let go. She felt him kiss her, sending warm thoughts of love through their link.
Through their bond, he could feel her pain. But wasn't just confusion. No, it was something much more serious. He couldn't even begin to describe it. All he could think of now was soothing his wife's anguish. She needed him and he wasn't about to let the woman he loved suffer.
"I'm here, Jean. I'm here," said Scott, planting a soft kiss on her forehead, "You're in control now."
"It…It wasn't just the control," said Jean, still struggling to hold back her tears, "I…I also heard this voice. It…It kept calling out to me…Urging me to embrace this feeling."
"Was this the same voice from the other dreams?"
"It's ALWAYS the same voice! It won't leave me alone! It just keeps calling me and calling me! I…"
Scott didn't let her go any further. It was clear that it brought her nothing but pain. And whenever she was like this, it hurt him as well. This was his wife and the mother to his little girl. What kind of man was he if he couldn't help her with this?
Jean had been through enough pain in her life and she didn't deserve this. It was never easy seeing her suffer and all Scott Summers could do was hold and comfort her as he had vowed to do for the rest of his life.
"Come on, Jean. Don't do this to yourself," said Scott as he broke the embrace and gently took her beautiful face in his hands, "I can't stand seeing you like this. Have you talked to the Professor at all about it?"
"Yes, I have, but…He keeps telling me that it's just my powers acting up and mixing with old memories. He puts blocks on my mind, but they're becoming less effective."
"That's probably because you've been stressing yourself like crazy lately," reasoned Scott, "You aren't doing yourself any favors by taking on a heavy workload, helping out Hank, and taking care of Rachel all at the same time. You're stretching yourself really thin, Jean."
"I know, I know. This is just a busy time of year. We've got more new students coming in this fall, upgrades to Cerebra, and don't forget Kurt and Amanda's wedding."
"Yeah, you and Kitty have really been going all out with that," said Scott, managing a slight smile.
"Well, you know how much I love weddings," she said, smiling back in response.
"No kidding. After all, I did marry you last time I checked."
"Yeah, I remember. Boy do I remember."
Jean went on to capture her husband's lips in a soft, yet passionate kiss to prove her point. It helped make her feel a little bit better. Kissing Scott always had that affect on her. It reminded her that she was never alone. She had a husband who loved her, friends who cared for her, and a little girl she deeply treasured.
After the kiss parted, Jean rested her head against her lover's shoulder. She was still very tired. These sleepless nights were really doing a number on her. Scott could feel this and continued to hold her, a warm smile forming upon his face as he gazed down at the beautiful woman that was his wife.
"Come on, let's go back upstairs and get you some rest," he told her softly.
"I don't want to sleep. The nightmares…"
"Jean, you have to rest," said Scott, a hint of begging in his tone, "You're not going to do your mind and body any favors by staying up."
"I know, but…"
"No buts, Jean. Please, I worry about you and I can't help you unless you let me. Do you trust me?"
"With my life."
"Then believe me when I say that I want to help. Please Jean."
Looking back into those eyes that were forever obscured by his ruby quartz glasses, Jean could sense his concern. She could feel his emotions pouring through their link. It was rare that he let such feelings show because of his introverted nature, but around her he wasn't afraid. It was a true testament to just how much he loved and trusted her not just as his wife, but as his best friend.
"Okay, Scott. I promise I'll try," she said, still sounding a bit weary.
"That's all I ask," he said with a warm smile, "And in the morning, we'll sleep in, talk to the professor, and maybe even spend the day with Rachel for some quality family time."
"Family…Yes, I'd like that," smiled Jean in response, "I'd like that a lot."
"Me too. Now come on, you're going to get some sleep even if I have to annoy the hell out of you. And don't think I won't go that far."
"Oh I know you will oh husband of mind. I know you too well."
"Better than anybody ever has or ever will?" he said with a slight smirk.
"You know it, love."
With one final kiss, they put their snack away and made their way back upstairs hand in hand. Jean was still pretty groggy and leaned on her husband to keep her balance, but they made it to their room where Scott was nice enough to pick her up off the floor and lay her out on the bed. Such a gesture put a smile on Jean's face.
"Are you going to be okay?" asked Scott as he snuggled up beside her and wrapped his arms around her waist.
"I'll manage," she told him, letting out a light sigh as she sank into Scott's embrace.
As Scott snuggled up to her side, he gave her a warm hug, helping to relax and ease her lingering fears.
"Still think we can have another baby under circumstances like this?" asked Jean with a warm expression.
"In a world as messed up and dangerous as this, of course," replied Scott with a smile, "We've fought Magneto, the Brotherhood, and Apocalypse. We've spent the better part of our lives trying to make this world a better place for mutants of this generation and the ones to come. So why not give the next generation a little boost?"
Such twisted, yet sweet logic earned him another kiss. It helped her feel better about her current state, giving her the strength she needed to overcome it. Like Scott, she wanted to rebuild her family. And as a result, they had been having some serious baby talk lately. But with these dreams now haunting her, such things were more difficult to plan.
Yet still, the young married couple was determined to beat whatever obstacles life threw at them.
"I love you, Jean. You know that, right?"
"Of course. I love you too, Scott."
"And if something is ever truly wrong…Something that seriously, honest to God hurts…You know I'll be there for you, right?"
"I know you will. You always have been," said Jean as she tenderly.
"Then promise me that you'll get help if this continues."
"I promise. You know I don't take things like this lightly."
"That's all I need to hear," replied Scott, giving his wife a soft kiss on her forehead before pulling the sheets up over their bodies.
They were still locked in an embrace…One that would hopefully ward off those pestilent dreams. Jean hated having them. Every nightmare just kept getting worse. But she tried not to think about that now.
Jean found herself clinging strongly to her husband, resting her head upon his chest and listening to the soft rhythm of his heartbeat. The gentle sounds lulled her back into a drowsy state, yet still she hesitated to let herself drift off.
She hated that this was happening to her. After so many years of struggle, she finally found true happiness. She had a place to call home, a job she found deeply rewarding, friends that she cared for, and a family that she loved with all her heart. So why was this happening to her? Why were these horrible dreams tormenting her?
Yet through the warm embrace of the man she loved, Jean managed to set such thoughts aside and drift off into a deep sleep.
'Sleep tight my love,' sent Scott through their link, 'I promise you it's going to be okay.'
For a moment, Scott Summers just admired the sight of his wife resting in his arm. He gently stroked her lower back, feeling the sweet warmth of her body. Even after being married for eight years, he couldn't believe that a former street kid could end up with a woman like this. She was so beautiful. Hell, she still turned heads with her looks. As a girl who had once been the envy of so many back in high school those looks just didn't fade with time. And of all the men she could have had, she chose him.
A smile spread across the young man's face as he began to nod off. He was still worried, but for now he just wanted to savor what they had. He wasn't sure what these dreams of hers were, but he was determined to help her. This was his wife, his best friend, and the mother to his baby and he was going to help her no matter what.
Yet unknown to either of them, there were other forces at work brewing in the vast nexus of the real world and the dream world. These forces were beyond the realm of human comprehension. The powers that made up the fundamental forces of creation and destruction were simmering just beneath the surface. And at the center of it all, Jean Grey was the target.
"Sleep well my child. Gather your strength for the coming dawn. You shall be needing it. The power of the Phoenix is finally ready to manifest after untold eons of dormancy. Prepare yourself Jean Grey…For the fate of so many shall rest on your weary shoulders."
AN: The first chapter of my X-men Evolution Phoenix Saga has begun! Stay tuned to see more as new players make their influence known. So what do you all think? Is this a good start to my Phoenix Saga? Please tell me! I'm eager to make this the best it can possibly be! Send me your reviews via email or post them on the website! Thank you all very much for reading the first chapter of what I hope to be a great story and I wish you all the best!
THE PHOENIX IS RISING! REVIEW BEFORE SHE ARRIVES!