Scott found his wife knitting baby booties in the den, watching the news anchor talk about the recent Senate report on 'the Mutant Threat.'
The kids were in bed, and the teenagers were on the other side of the house in the rec room where there was not only a TV, but beanbags, a variety of console games, and a pool table. Ororo was out on her balcony, reading, the Professor was probably in his library, and God only knew where Logan was.
Scott leaned one shoulder against the frame of the door and smiled to himself. Lying on her belly, with her red hair unbound and hanging over her shoulder, clad in a t-shirt and a pair of old shorts, Jean Grey looked more like a teenager watching the TV than a reknowned doctor of biogenetics.
Of course, there was the matter of the baby bootie apparently knitting itself in the air just beyond her right shoulder, out of her line of sight to the television screen.
"Is there anything you'd like to tell me?" Scott asked as the news anchor switched to the next segment.
"Hmm?" Jean rolled onto her side, the click of the needles growing louder as the sound on the TV turned down at her telekinetic thought. At Scott's glance at over her shoulder, she smiled. "Oh, no. Not me. Sara's pregnant, though."
"Ah." Scott meandered in and sat down along the back of the L-shaped lounge, resting his fingers on her leg, just above her knee. "How is she doing?"
Jean shrugged as she sat up, leaving the knitting hanging in the air as she shuffled Scott over and sat down beside him. "She says she's fine, but she's worried."
"About the pregnancy?"
"About the baby." She settled her head on his shoulder, let his hand slip around her body, a comfortable pose for snuggling.
Scott ran his fingers through red strands made redder by the ruby-quartz of his visor. He hardly recalled colour anymore. "Is it likely that the kid would be a mutant?"
"Even among ordinary humans, there's always the possibility," Jean said. Then she paused. "Her husband doesn't know about us."
He winced. "Friends of Humanity?"
"Not that she said." Jean hesitated. "I was thinking about us and children."
At this proximity, he could hear the echoes of her thoughts and feelings where she didn't shield from him. Not much more than fragments and images: the fresh-powdered scent of a child with her eyes and Scott's hair, cold regret at the world into which their child would be born, and the someday-maybe desire to be a mother herself.
Scott wanted to be a father...someday. It was somewhere in the nameless future of things that he wanted to do but didn't think that now was the best time. There was probably something Freudian in it, too. Once he'd manifested his ability, the Professor had been more of a parent - in the guiding and confiding sense - than Scott's own parents.
His mother had reached to touch his shoulder, but pulled back, then reached out to hug him, swift and brief and uncomfortable, as though Scott was a stranger to her. A week before he manifested, she'd been fussing over him like a mother hen.
You'll be fine with Professor Xavier, Scott, his dad had said with a hearty bluffness that had rung false to the adolescent boy, struggling with the revelation of his own gifts. Your mother and I will miss you.
Considering they called him twice over the next ten months - once on his birthday, once at Christmas - Scott didn't imagine they'd missed him that much.
"You won't be like them," Jean said into the quiet murmur of the turned-down news announcements.
No point in accusing her of reading his mind. "I might be." His dad had never known what to do with the son who seemed to possess none of the devilry for which Major Christopher Summers, USAF pilot, was known. He still didn't, although marriage to Jean had done wonders for Scott's relationship with his parents.
He wasn't sure that his parents had quite comprehended that Jean was a nice 'normal' girl who, incidentally, could pick a thought out of someone's brain at fifty paces.
"We're not made for normal, Scott," she said, picking his thoughts out of his head. Not that it was much effort, given their proximity, and the way she leaned into his side "And our kids won't be either."
She sounded very definite about that. Not that Scott was arguing. "Turning precog?" He teased, but her answer was serious.
"I don't need to." Jean tilted her head back so her face was upturned towards his and he could see the earnestness of her expression. "You'll be a great dad when the time comes."
He looked down at her, nestled in the crook of his arm. The TV cast highlights and shadows across her face and body, varying reddish intensities in the low light of the room. "Sometimes I wonder," Scott murmured, looking down into green eyes made brown by the ruby quartz of his visor, before kissing her on the forehead.
Jean let him lapse into silence, allowing him his mental space, even as her arm slid over his belly and around his waist as she turned her head into his shoulder.
Moments like these, Scott thought that all the other stuff he dealt with as a mutant - fighting off Magneto or the Brotherhood, dealing with the Senate and the reports that kept blathering about 'the mutant threat' - was incidental. This was what counted. Sitting with his wife, in comfortable silence, enjoying the feel of her breast pressed into his side, and contemplating children - all to the clickety-click of knitting needles over CNN.
There weren't enough moments like these.
He tuned in to the news for a few minutes, then tuned out. "Jean?"
"Get me the Motorbikes Monthly from the magazine stand, please."
She elbowed him in the ribs, laughing. "Wife and devoted slave?"
Scott lifted his hands, both to protest her teasing and to catch the magazine that floated over to him. "If you can get it and I don't have to..."
Jean settled back against him. "You just read that to drool over the girls."
He kissed the top of her head. "I only drool over redheads."
"To you, they're all redheads."
He grinned to himself. Caught out. "But the red-headed redheads are special."
"They certainly are." The image she flashed into his head - of him riding a bright, shiny Indian, and Jean shamelessly riding him - put all thought of any other red-headed redheads out of his mind. If he'd ever had them in his mind in the first place.
His heart gave a little thump and sped up. "Wow. You've got a dirty mind." Not that Scott was about to object. Especially when his breath hitched as she slid her fingers down his belly and stopped at his belt.
"Dirty mind?" Jean purred, her fingertips stroking in circles just above the waistband of his jeans. "I'm just encouraging conjugal relations with my husband."
Scott choked back a laugh, and indicated the needles that were still clacking out their yarn, loop by loop. "Feeling clucky?"
"Can't argue with that." And no sane man would.
Scott stood and hauled Jean up after him. The knitting needles fell to the couch, unheeded, and were put away with a wave of her hand as they sauntered up to their room, arms around each other.
As they reached the top of the stairs, meandering down the carpeted strip along the panelled second floor, Scott murmured, "You know, I wasn't really going to drool."
Green eyes tilted up at him. "I know."
"I have a soft spot for the red-headed redheads."
Her smile was wicked as her hand slid down his spine and boldly squeezed his butt. "Scott?"
"Yes, Jean?" The placement of her hands was distracting, to say the least.
"I'm not interested in your soft spots."
And she wasn't.
- fin -