A/N: Jean offers her own insight on the troubled lives of our favourite X-Men...and I tried so hard not to hate her.
Part 7- 'Burning Insecurities…'
Jean stood at the window quietly watching as the roar from the motorbike faded into the distance, her gaze shifted slightly to rest upon the two figures that stood on the Academy lawn watching after him.
Scott and Marie were talking low, he had one hand pressed on top of her shoulder, her arms were held crossed tightly against her chest and even from where she stood hiding in the recess of the window she could see clearly the worry lines etched deep into the young girl's brow.
They had all heard Logan running down the hallway, Scott had ushered the rest of the X-kids into their rooms, with a clear but concise command that demonstrated the fearless leader that he was. They listened to his quiet authoritative voice with an attention that bordered on devotion.
She was quietly proud of him; he had come along way from being that nervous but strong man she had met when it had been only a handful of them in the newly formed Academy, she had been quietly admiring of him then, and later that quiet admiration had turned to love.
It had been a slow burning sort of affection, beginning in the calm familiarity of friendship and growing, softly gently into a sense of belonging, and eventually settling into an easiness she was convinced she would never have with any man.
She watched the two of them on the lawn, Marie in her pale, long flowing gown complete with her elbow length gloves, and Scott in a t-shirt and shorts. He seemed to be reassuring her about something and all at once, even without using her telepathy she knew what they were discussing, Logan.
Scott and Marie had hurried down to where he was kneeling in the grass only for him to brush them both off and hitch up his bike. He drove away without looking back, but he would return, she knew that. Aside from the fact that he had not taken a bag with him, she knew he would come back.
Eventually, later during the day or even a few days from now he would come back, reeking of cigars and whiskey, pissed out of his head, stumbling towards his room where he'd pass out and forget the world outside existed for the couple hours it took for his hangover to wear off.
And she would go to him, later during the dead of night, moving silently down the hall, looking in on him, waiting at his door, waiting until he looked up, waiting until he called out for her. It was an all consuming sort of love, she would forgive him anything, believe whatever he chose to tell her, even going so far to ignore the fact that he smelt of another, that some other woman's cheap perfume was lingering on his clothes, inching along his skin. She had found bliss in the ignorance.
She hadn't known when it happened, but at some point their dangerous flirting had fallen headfirst into full blown out affair. She remembered he had cornered her once again a few months ago running her usual diagnostic of the Blackbird, he had approached her quietly, silently; his hand had snaked around her waist and pulled her firmly against him.
He had whispered into her, burying his face in the hollow of her throat, he elicited a moan from her that had started from the pit of her stomach and rumbled from deep within. That was the first time they had made love in the hangar of the jet, the added danger of being discovered had her desire heightened to a point that had been unbearable.
She had vowed then that it would be the one and only time, she had pulled away from him afterwards and insisted that it had all been a terrible mistake. She had been adamant about that, the guilt had torn at her, she had raced to the room she shared with Scott and locked herself in the bathroom.
The tears streamed down her cheeks and she had stood under the shower for the good part of an hour, with steaming hot water she had scrubbed her skin clean, rubbing it red raw, wanting to scrub away the feelings of guilt and shame as much as the scent of Logan.
But gradually that sense of guilt had abated, over the months she had come to reconcile the parts of her that screamed what she was doing was wrong, and the parts that could not and would not stay away from Logan. It was a whirlwind inside her mind, but he had a power over her, a pull that was so strong, that eventually she could even lie to Scott and everyone else in the mansion with so much ease that the deception came almost naturally.
It was undeniable the strength of her feelings for him, but where her affection for Scott had come gradually through familiarity and ease, a soft, lengthy drawn out, old-fashioned sort of romance. But her relationship with Logan was a tornado, a force, a fierce wind that swept through, turning everything she thought she had once been so sure about upside down.
It was a fire that burned, lust, desire, red-hot passion that made her shiver in anticipation, that opened up new experiences for her, heightened emotions, and an aching flame that refused to diminish and refused to extinguish.
She had tried; God knows she had tried over the months to keep away from him, but every time she pulled away, putting up walls in her mind and around her heart, wanting to constrict this, choke the life out this sensation that caused her so much confusion, she found herself inescapably drawn to him all the same.
For so long she had been the responsible Jean Grey, the reliable doctor, the familiar red-headed strong mutant, life-long partner to Scott Summers, utterly devoted and singularly bent on a single path in her life. No one doubted her, she was trusted, she was loved; she was seen as something dependable, the always upright and straight laced Jean Grey.
And in the end that had been part of the allure, the affair with Logan had come from a desire to break the rules, to climb out of this mould that so many had poured her into. She longed to be something else other than dependable and responsible, wanting to be more than they could ever have envisioned.
It coursed through her veins, the knowledge that she was at last being something less than saintly, something apart from what they all expected, and it was a thrill, a guilty pleasure the lengths to which she would be willing to go to deceive them all.
But she did love him, she loved Logan, as much and as she loved Scott, and though at times she hated that she lied to Scott, she could never have chosen between the two men. So she had instead adapted the coward's way out, choosing to continue her affair with Logan, whilst consenting to share her life with Scott at the same time.
And it was with a perverse sense of what would happen should their affair ever come to light, that kept her going back to him, kept her falling back into the arms of Logan.
But even she had to admit that of late something was wrong, he had begun to distance himself yet further, pulling away from the rest of the X-men, and pulling away from her. She had noticed it, the way he refused to look at her when they made love, the way he shut his eyes and turned away, and the ferocity with which he lay with her was intense.
And whereas that had at one point thrilled her, and heightened her own desire, she had to concede that at times he moved so harshly against and inside her, he caused her actual pain, the grip within which he would tighten his hold around her would be fierce and he would bruise, her skin dotted in purplish red marks that she was finding increasingly difficult to explain away.
Tonight had been like that, in the medical lab, he had moved so harshly against her she was sure she was bruised and bleeding. But the blood on his claws was what had disturbed her most.
She had seen the way had thrown him self out of the window, and though she believed him when he had said that it had been a mistake, believed that Mystique had taken on the form of Marie, she could not shake the feeling that something was not quite right.
Jean moved again towards the window, looking down at Scott and Marie, she knew that something was not right, and also the niggling voice in her head told her that the eighteen year old girl, the one who looked after Logan with a listless gaze, knew exactly what that something was.
She had heard the name, 'James' Marie had called him, and Logan had hesitated, he knew that name, and he knew why she had said it. It was recognition, a call out in the dark, a secret between them both.
The knowledge tore at her, her heart tightened and her face set into a grim expression, she had never truly noticed Marie before, her inability to touch had left the young mutant to fade into the background.
But Jean knew, had always known the special connection they shared, not only in their bitter histories, the similarities that struck there, the parallels that had existed between a shared pain of knowing that their mutancy, the parts of themselves that they loathed had not always existed.
That once upon a time they had been almost normal, and in those years, the short few years that Logan carried memories of and the sweet sixteen years that Marie had truly lived, in those years, more than any other since, they had been happy, truly happy.
He had sacrificed himself for her, consented to die more than once, and each time Jean believed he had enjoyed it just that little bit more. Consequently Marie had a connection with him that could never be rivalled, he was in her mind, and she had touched parts of him that would never be open to her.
She loved him, but Marie knew him, on so many more levels, she knew him. And all at once Jean realised just why her fists were clenched so tightly and why this fire at the sight of the two toned girl burned so, she was jealous.
Dr Jean Grey was jealous, ridiculously so, intensely so, uncontrollably so, she was jealous of an eighteen year old kid, because the girls knowledge of the man she had taken as a lover ran far deeper than her own.
She tried to laugh off the gravity of the realisation, wanted to push her doubts aside, but the voices hounded in on her, the troublesome obsession that would not lie. She ought to have felt sorry for Marie, to wonder with horror at what it must be to live a life without touch, without the sensation of skin on skin.
But as much as she wanted to fill her heart with compassion for the girl, the sentiment refused to remain, and the grim expression settled once more as she watched Scott lead Marie back into the mansion.
There were a lot of bars in New York but you had to go along way to find a dive like this. The sort of two-bit run down shack that sweated along with the pissed up inhabitants it housed. Its lack of any sort of air conditioning meant that the smoke and sweat rolled right along with the cursing, fighting and drowning.
Bar fly's crowded in on men broken and hounded by the shitty hand life had dealt them, offering the only sort of relief they were so good at. A quick fumble around the back of the joint in an exchange for a couple of green bills, or a more thorough service in the back of a truck or a run down motel room, any sort of relief.
He hadn't come for that, not tonight, nothing would come close to the images running in his head, not these cheap dirty blondes bought for a few bucks and a drink, nothing would come close to that picture of a pale moon and a beautiful white dress, and the girl he had known, the woman he had married.
Not these women and not a certain red head back at the mansion. But the picture was incomplete, only shards of light trickled in on the dark, and as much as he fought to hold on to the pieces of him that kept him sane, he could not grasp at it tightly enough, it slipped out of his fingers.
His haunted mind had built up walls, had been so much crowded in by a lost life, by his lost life that the moment swung in between, in between longing to remember, and willing to let it drift away.
Let her go…forget the love you knew, the happiness, and the life before these claws, before this rage, before him…before Wolverine…
And it swung in between, between willing to remember, and fighting to forget, a single light bulb suspended from the ceiling, swinging between light and dark, night and day.
Back and forth, lost in the shadows and knowing always knowing that either way it would kill him, what he fought to remember or what he fought to forget it would kill him.
No one Knows'- Queens of the Stone Age
some rules to follow
That and this
These and those
No one knows
We get these pills to swallow
How they stick
In your throat
Tastes like gold
Oh, what you do to me
No one knows
And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool of mine
And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool of mine
journey through the desert
Of the mind
With no hope
I found low
I drift along the ocean
Dead lifeboats in the sun
And come undone
Pleasantly caving in
I come undone
realize you're mine
Indeed a fool of mine
And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool and mine
Heaven smiles above
What a gift there below
But no one knows
A gift that
you give to me
No one knows /i