Author's Note: So, this was in my head, and now it's on paper for everyone to read/criticize/etc. I'm a little unsure about it, so let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy.
"The spinothalamic tract is a sensory pathway originating the in spinal chord…" Jean Grey was sitting in anatomy and physiology, not listening to her professor's lecture on the spinothalamic tract, staring out the window at the pleasant day outside. She'd only had this same lecture twice in two other classes, and knew everything she possibly could. If attendance wasn't mandatory, she probably would have taken the day off and headed to the Institute for a long weekend. Instead, she was stuck inside, being taunted by the beautiful day outside her academic prison.
Jean was about to get up and go to the restroom, when a splitting pain tore through her. There was an overwhelming pressure behind her eyes, and she clawed at them, just looking for any kind of release. She screamed and fell from her seat, writhing in pain on the floor, unable to do anything else. The pain was intense and harsh; it came in waves, and each one was stronger than the last.
Scott clawing at his eyes, yelling in pain. The pain was more than he could bear, and he could do nothing but lay there and scream…It was all black, but he could feel the fire all around him. It was hot, so hot, and he could do nothing. He was paralyzed by the pain, and unable to see…
"Excuse me, miss, are you alright?" the professor asked as Jean lay breathless and trembling in the floor. She took several minutes to get her bearings, trying to deal with the images that were still flashing through her mind. Scott was in pain—serious pain—and also in serious trouble.
"Should I call an ambulance?" she heard someone ask the professor.
"Don't," she croaked. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure? Has this happened before? Is there someone I can call for you?" the professor asked again. Funny, if he had been this helpful all the time, she would have paid attention in his class.
"No. I mean, um…I'm fine. I just need to go lie down…sound sensitive migraine," she lied. She professor nodded understandingly, but his expression said that he didn't believe her. Too bad. There were more important things to worry about other than her professor thinking she was probably on drugs.
Slowly, she pulled herself to her feet, trying not to wobble too much. She made her way out of the lecture hall before immediately pulling out her cell phone and dialing the Institute. As she waited on someone to pick up, she headed straight to her car, not bothering to grab clothes from her dorm.
"Hello?" Kurt's pleasant voice asked.
"Kurt, its Jean. I need to talk to Professor Xavier." She knew that her voice was tense and unsteady, but she couldn't help it. Normally, even if something was horribly wrong, she could stay calm…but this was Scott, and that was a whole different situation. All bets were off when it came to Scott.
"Iz everything alright?" he asked, worried.
"Please, Kurt, I need to speak to him now." She could hear the commotion in the background as Kurt bounded around the mansion, looking for the Professor. After several long minutes, Professor Xavier's voice came over the phone.
"What happened to Scott?" she asked quickly, not bothering with formalities. There was a long pause on the other end of the line while Xavier tried to find the right way to word his answer. When she decided he was taking too long, she asked again. "What happened?"
"There was an accident while he was on a mission. His own optic blast reflected back and hit him. Logan took him to the hospital to be treated for—"
"Burn," Jean finished for him, horrified. "Is he…" She trailed off, unable to even finish the sentence.
"I haven't heard from Logan yet. He's at Westchester Memorial—"
"I'm on my way home. Call me and let me know if anything—"
"Jean, how did you know something had happened to him?" Professor Xavier asked.
"I could feel it…his pain. It was awful…I fell out my chair and screamed in the middle of lecture. It hurt so much, and I couldn't see…"
"It's the psychic link between you two. I never would have imagined that it could stretch so far…"
"Well, it does. I'll be at the hospital ASAP. What room is he in?"
"637, but Jean, you shouldn't drive while you're so upset. I'll send Logan—" But he didn't get to finish the sentence because she had hung up already. She had reached her car, and quickly threw her stuff inside. Generally, she was a good driver, but now red lights and stop signs were mere suggestions, as were speed limit signs. Suggestions that she ignored. She knew that she was probably going to get pulled for doing nearly ninety-five on the Interstate, but it didn't matter. What mattered was that she got to the hospital as soon as she could.
No matter how fast she drove, though, it didn't seem to make her get there any faster. Time slid slowly by, minute after agonizing minute. She didn't listen to the radio. She didn't even bother to watch her rearview mirror for cops. No, she was looking ahead, dodging other cars, just trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as superhumanly possible.
The drive—which would usually take her two and a half hours—only took her one and a half. Her tires squealed as she pulled into a parking space in front of the hospital. People are staring at her as she literally ran from the car into the hospital. After snapping at the nurse for directions, she quickly made her way in that direction. She turned a corner but, hardly noticed anything around her. She wasn't paying attention to the pale, sickly green wallpaper or the white tile that was typical to hospitals. When she was in the elevator, there was a kindly old man who had tried to start a conversation, but she was too distracted to even remember what she had said to him. If she had time, she would hope that she hadn't been rude, but she was too focused on getting to the hospital room to really stop and think about it.
Logan was sitting outside Scott's room, his arms folded over his chest, looking crankier than usual. She didn't even bother to address him until he stood up and tried to block her from entering the room.
"He doesn't want visitors right now," Logan growled. She didn't bother to answer. Instead, she psychically moved him from in front of the doorway and entered the room.
Scott was lying on his side, facing away from her, staring out the window. There were several tubes coming out of his arms, and a steady beep from the heart monitor. That was a good sign, though she knew that one of those tubes had to be a morphine drip for the pain. Quietly, she stepped closer.
"Scott?" she whispered, reaching to take his hand. He jerked it away.
"I told Logan I didn't want to see anyone," he said, his voice harsh. "Didn't he tell you?"
His words tore through her like a knife. They hurt more than the pain that had brought her to the ground only hours before. He—the love of her life—had lumped her in with everyone else. He didn't want to see her. It was a time when he needed her more than ever, but he didn't want to see her. Apparently, he didn't need her as much as she needed him, and the knowledge hurt. It didn't just sting a little bit, it was agonizing. There was a sharp, stabbing pain developing in her chest.
"You don't want to see me?" she whispered, though his previous statements had made that very clear.
"No, I don't…please go." There is an edge in his voice, an edge of desperation that he had been trying to hide from her, but he just couldn't quite manage it. They'd known each other for ages. They had grown up together, been through thick and thin together. How many nights had they laid in bed and just talked to each other? No, he couldn't hide things from her.
That desperation was what tipped her off. She might have been able to believe that he no longer loved her if it hadn't been for those last two words. "Please go" had given him away. Because if he hadn't cared, if he didn't love her, he wouldn't have said please. He wouldn't have begged her to leave him be. But he had, and that was exactly the reason that she couldn't do as he asked her to.
"No," she said boldly. "I won't go. I'm going to make myself comfortable right here in this chair." She began walking around to the other side of the bed to sit in a chair where she could see his face. For the first time, she notices the bandages over his eyes. Without a second thought, she reaches out and gently touches the side of his face.
"Jean, don't—" She silenced him with a finger over his lips, before tenderly running her fingers over his cheek and across his jaw. "Please…don't touch me."
"Why not?" she asks, taking her hand from his face. Out of respect for him, she stayed out of his mind.
"You need to go—"
"No, I need to stay…Don't you want me anymore?"
And that's the question that he just can't take, because the answer is so obvious. "Of course I want you! I'll always want you, but, Jean, I'm blind. Blind! Are you going to spend the rest of your life holding my hand and guiding me around? That's not the kind of life you're cut out for. You're going to do great things—"
"And you think I couldn't do that with a blind husband?" she asked, incredulous.
"Why would you want a blind husband? You'll have to stop and wait for me, and hold my hand all the time—"
Unable to take anymore, she silences him the only way that she knows will work: with a kiss. It's gentle and tender and bittersweet, and he doesn't want her to pull away. She doesn't either, but being human, she needed to breathe.
"Scott, I like holding your hand. I like being with you…being away from you is hell, and I'm not strong enough for that. I need you with me. So, if this is it, if this is all I'm going to get from you, I don't know what I'm going to do," she said, tears in her eyes. "I don't care if you're blind. If you think that being blind is going to change how I feel about you, you're blind in more ways than one." He's silent for a long time, and Jean can hear the thoughts shifting through his mind. He's conflicted—torn between what he thinks is best for her, and his love for her.
"Stop trying to do what's best for me! I can look out for myself!" she whispered in frustration. She gently kissed his bandage over each eye. "Besides, I'm not giving you a choice. You're stuck with me, Scott Summers, whether you like it or not."
He reached for her, and she took his hand in hers, trying to comfort him. "You'll stay?" he asked.
"Yeah…we'll talk to the doctors and see what kind of options we have. But even if you don't ever see again…you're still mine."
"So when you called me your blind husband…You would marry me—"
She answered with another gentle kiss. "Yes. Absolutely."
His smile was dazzling, brightening the whole room. He pulled her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles gently. "We'd better hope you don't get hurt, though," he said with a slight smile.
"Then we'd been the blind leading the lame…"
Author's Note: So, there you have it. Please review! =)