Just a Friend

Chapter Two: More Shades


Scott Summers ran his fingers through his hair, blew the air out of his cheeks and pushed the door open in front of him.

"I want to see it, Jean."

"Excuse me?"

"Show me."

Summers closed his eyes underneath his ruby quartz sunglasses and took another deep breath as Jean took a step closer to him. She placed her hands on both sides of his forehead and smiled softly – he liked it. She knew without her telepathy.

"Relax, Scott."

Cyclops took another deep breath as the images slowly surrounded him:

"I think it's beautiful, really."

"Emma," Jean said calmly as she removed her hand from the plaque before her and turned to meet Frost's eyes.

"Did you need something, Jean? I don't normally react quite so calmly to people parading about my office – but I know your recent… trip … has been rather unsettling for you.

Perhaps you thought you still pulled some weight around here."

Frost gasped as she flew back into the wall, her head slamming into the panel behind her. Jean took three steps forward, glaring into Emma's eyes.

And walked out.

Grey pulled back from her former husband. "Happy now?"

"No. I'm not."

Summers walked past her, taking a seat on her bed and dropping his face into his palms. "Damnit, Jean."

She said nothing.

"She has a point, you know?"

"Excuse me?"

"You can't just go into her office like that… you can't just—"

"—you can't be serious, Scott."

"Are you?"

Jean's stomach dropped. "You're right, Scott. I'm practically a student around here—I'd better sign in and sign out… when should I begin my training? I'd like to become an X-Man someday."

"Jean, listen to yourself…"

"Listen to yourself, Scott. Or maybe you can't really hear yourself anymore, what with—"


"Is it a touchy subject?"

"I said don't, Jean. Emma's not in my head – she isn't—"

"Do you even know why you're with her?"

"Do you?"

Cyclops stood, walking toward the redhead and placing his arm on her shoulder. "Do you even care about how I feel?"

Jean's lips parted—but before she could say anything she found Scott's fingers on top of them.

"Stay out of her office, Jean.



"I don't belong here anymore."


"I barely recognize the people around me… and the way things are run now… my God… I never thought I would read 'Emma Frost – Headmistress' anywhere on the Xavier Institute."

"You don't sound like yourself, Jean. Have you tried talking to Scott about any of this?"

"Ororo." Jean took the telephone receiver and placed it against her forehead with a sigh.

"T'Challa will understand if …"

"…what?" Jean said, returning the phone to its normal position. "Ororo, no… you've only just married him. Believe me – I'm not going to deprive any newlyweds of spending time together. That's probably what went wrong between Scott and me. Besides, you're running a nation now… he was just running the X-Men."

They laughed softly. "Jean, you are the strongest woman I have ever met… and you are my sister. You'll find a way to get through this."

"Thanks. Keep in touch."

"Do the same, Jean. Remember that I love you."


"I love you too… but honestly, Scott—I won't be assaulted in my own home."

"I spoke with her, Emma."

"Spoke with her? You're lucky that I don't—" Emma glared. "You don't think that I could handle her. You're actually worried about me?"

Cyclops turned away. "Not now."

"You ignorant prat. If I really wanted to—"

"You would what, Emma?"

Emma went numb.

"She won't be in there again."

"You're damn right… but do you honestly believe I'm that concerned about her trespassing? The woman assaulted me… as if it were the first time…"

"She has a temper, Emma. So do you. I spoke with her – there's no use in—" Cyclops sighed. "She's going through a lot right now."

Emma bit her lip.

"Are you actually defending her?"

The room fell silent as the two lovers stared at one another. "You know something, Scott?

There really are more shades than red in the world."


Logan grinned. "Come in, Jeannie."