Title: "An Important Chess Piece"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: PG
Summary: Scott has fallen in love with Emma, but to her, he knows he'll only ever be . . . An Important Chess Piece.
Spoilers: If you know of Banshee's and Jean's fates and the current Scott/Emma pairing in the comics, you're safe.
Warnings: Het
Challenge: None
Word Count (excluding heading): 1,195
Feedback: Yes, please!
Archive: WWOMB, -- Anybody else, ask, and I'll probably grant permission.
Disclaimer: Scott "Cyclops" Summers, Emma "White Queen" Frost, Sean "Banshee" Cassidy, Jean Grey, Generation X, and the X-Men are & TM Marvel comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission. Everything else is & TM the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

Sometimes she still cries. Late at night, when no one else is awake in the entire mansion and she knows there's no one to overhear her, when she's made it through another day dealing with the hatred and suspicions of her own team mates, the tears come again. She's always surprised to find she still has moisture to shed for she knows one must run out of tears eventually yet, somehow, her traitorous body, despite her best efforts, still finds more.

The betraying tears speed swiftly down her face, but she holds her mouth silent, letting no sound escape lest some one might awaken and hear her. She refuses to look weak in any of their eyes and won't even let the man she sleeps with inside to even the merest slip of her personality that she doesn't want any one to know. It's a game she plays, an act she lives with every moment of her life, and none of them are the wiser for they simpler don't care to push her any further or look any deeper into her eyes than they have to.

None of them know, or so she thinks. If she knew that her tears awakened a man she truly doesn't care for but whom she uses her connections with to stay on the team and, for the most part, go unquestioned, she'd be horrified, but she'd quickly get over it -- just as soon as she wiped all memories of her weakness from his mind. He knows this, and so he lays beside her, silently fighting his own demons.

He aches to turn over and take her into his arms, but he knows perfectly well that she'll cast him aside like an old shoe and take these memories from him. Then he won't know the pain she truly feels, and he might not strive so hard to make her happy. Another part of him burns to lash out at those who make her cry, but he knows, too, that that will do no good for although the jeers and distrust of their team and the remaining members of Generation X sting her, they are not the true reason why she cries.

Scott lays perfectly still while Emma cries and wishes yet again that Sean still lived. He'd beat some sense into the crazy Irish man who'd cast her love aside so carelessly, beat him until he was forced to recognize his own feelings for the wonderful woman Scott knows he's lucky to call his lover. Although he loves her, Scott knows that's all they'll ever be. She gives her body to him any time he asks and sometimes when he doesn't, when he knows she just needs to feel something again in the cold abyss that threatens to overtake her, but he'll never have her heart.

Irony quietly twists his lips as he reflects. In the beginning of their relationship, he had believed that she was only a means to an ends, that he could never love her like he loved Jean, but he's fallen for her all the same. His heart aches for her. His body burns to comfort her and be allowed to love her as completely and as gently as his heart cries for. Jean has become a memory, a treasured, honored memory but a memory nonetheless.

It's Emma he lives for now, more than any one else, but he would never dare tell her that. Not only would she never feel the same, but he fears that she would either walk forever out of his life, out of desire not to cause the same anguish for him as Sean has for her, or she would simply laugh at him. He knows he's nothing more than an important chess piece to her. Without his support, she believes that the other X-Men would turn her away and keep her from helping the young mutants she craves to save and help in any way she can, and he's disappointed to admit they probably would.

Emma Frost is one of the best things that's ever happened to the team and the Dream they fight for, but his companions will never see that. They are blinded by her past, just as he once was, but unlike him, they'll never deign to give her a true chance, let alone to look beyond her past and see the woman who cares, loves, and fights just as much as any of them do, if not more. He has, and it is because of that that he has fallen in love with her. It is because of that that he aches so badly to help her, hurts so terribly because he knows he can not, and, even, that keeps him honor bound to listen to her silent cries, cries that never make a sound but yet that he senses deep within his soul, and never reveal himself.

{I love you, Emma,} he dares to think, hoping her anguish clouds her mind too greatly for her to overhear his private thoughts, {and I'm sorry.} He lays like a statue throughout the night, caught between aching to do something to help her and knowing there's naught he can really do, until sunrise comes and her mask falls into place again.

He knows what he'll awaken to very soon: a beautiful woman kissing him good morning, his name purring from her lips. But he also knows that within that woman so full of love, life, and strong determination, there's a sadness that lurks, a sadness that eclipses even his past grieving for Jean, a sadness that, if he dares to look into her deep, blue eyes, he'll see reflected, a sadness that, in the end, he's powerless to do anything about.

His last thought returns to him, but he dares not let it be known and quickly squelches it before she can pick it up. If she ever discovers how he truly feels, that she's become far more to him than just a tool to recover from the loss of Jean and continue on with his life, she'll walk out of his life, and he really thinks that that's the one thing he just couldn't bare.

So he holds his tongue until she greets him with a kiss, and then he smiles at her, his eyes, from behind his glasses, trying to tell her it's a brand new day just waiting for them to grab it. Her eyes return his gaze bleakly, and he knows what she's thinking.

For him, it's another day in a world that's as close to paradise as he'll probably ever know, but for her, it's just another day in a Hell she wishes she didn't have to be in but is determined to survive nonetheless. He runs his fingers through her soft hair and catches blonde tendrils in his hand before kissing her in an embrace of lips that, though it makes her shudder deep down inside, he uses to try to tell her how much he does love her, something her subconscious refuses to acknowledge for his love is as meaningless to her as the fly that sits upon their nightstand.

The End