Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men: Evolution. (I'm thinking this is a good thing…) I don't own Jean and Scott (Although I wouldn't mind owning Scott… *evil grin*) Don't sue me!!!

Rating: R (Can you give "nudity" for one of your reasons for a rating in a fanfic? I mean, it's not like anyone can actually see your characters running around naked in your fic. Heck, for all the reader knows all your characters could be naked all the time. Sorry. I'll stop my weird ramblings now…)

Summary: Scott thinks about recent events while helping Jean out in a rather strange way… (Scott POV; follows the episode "Mindbender")

Author's Note: Okay, I stayed out late Friday after getting up incredibly too early to go to work all week, and yet still woke up Saturday morning just to watch X-Men: Evolution even though the timer record thingy on my television isn't working. (Bet the people I share a room with love me for that one…) Anyway, the point of this is to say that I'm writing this on minimal sleep, so if it's way weird, that's why. If it's good, well, maybe I'll deprive myself of sleep more often… (As if that would be difficult…)

Feedback and Archiving: Please! Send all feedback and archiving requests to addie_logan@yahoo.com. And if you're bored and want someone to talk to, turn on AIM and send an IM to ChereRogueMarie. I'm lonely!

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By: Addie Logan

I'm not sure how I ended up giving Jean a bath. She was covered in mud from where Rogue took her down in our last battle against Mesmero. She'd fallen asleep on me during the ride back on the Blackbird, and now she was more out of it than I'd ever seen her before. Even now she was more asleep than awake.

That was why I was here with her, running a soapy rag over her wet, nude body. She had to clean up, and she couldn't be left alone in a tub full of water in the state she was in. I was just being a friend, helping her out.

So why was it me giving Jean the bath and not one of the other women at the mansion. Why not Storm? Why not Kitty? Hell, why not even that new recruit that seemed to be at the center of all the trouble going on at the mansion these days, Jubilee?

I told myself it was because Jean had seemed so reluctant to leave my side ever since I'd gone to her and picked her up out of the mud. She'd been clinging to me ever since, leaning on me for support.

And I liked her turning to me for support. She'd told me once, when we were alone, that I was her rock, what kept her grounded in the world. She said without me, she'd never be able to make it. She told me I was her best friend.

I tried not to let it bother me that although she came to me when her life was tough, she spent the happier times with Duncan Mathews. I convinced myself that what I had with Jean was stronger than what Duncan had, even if he was the one who got to hold her, touch her.

Sometimes it's better to delude yourself.

But I was the one touching Jean now. My hand caressed her back though the rag and she leaned into it a little, seeming to enjoy the feel of it. Which led me to another question—why was Jean letting me do this? I'd walked with her into the bathroom, knowing she'd want to was the mud off herself. I'd started to leave her there, when I noticed her fumbling to even turn the knobs on the tub. I'd asked her if she wanted help, and she'd looked up at me and nodded.

The next thing I knew, I was stripping Jean out of her uniform and putting her into the bath I'd just drawn for her. Funny how life works that way.

It was the first time I'd seen her nude, and she'd taken my breath away. I'd never seen anyone so beautiful in my life. Even washed over by the red of my visor, she was lovely. Still, I hadn't let myself look long. She obviously wasn't in a clear mental state, and I'd never take advantage of her.

With my hands on her, I was shaking. She made these contented little noises, like a cat being petted. I had the sudden urge to turn the sink on cold and stick my head under it.

Jean moved into my hands, and they started moving almost on their own violation. I reached around and rubbed the undersides of her breasts with the cloth. She moaned. All the blood left my brain. I tentatively moved up until the rag—and my hand—was at one of her nipples. She pushed herself more into my touch and moaned again.

With what I guess could be referred to as bravery, I reached around with my free hand and took hold of her other breast, giving up the pretense of merely wanting to bathe her. I almost lost my mind when I heard her actually speak.

"That feels good, Scott."

Hearing Jean say my name in that tone made me want to pull her out of the tub and make love to her right there on the floor of the bathroom.

Instead, I washed her hair.

I moved my hands from her chest and got the shampoo. It felt too cold on my overheated hands, and I wanted to be touching Jean again. But I wouldn't let myself. Jean wasn't herself right then. She'd regret it in the morning and then I'd hate myself forever for taking advantage of her.

So I lathered the shampoo into her thick, soft hair. She sighed. I let myself linger on washing her hair, reveling in the sensual feel of it. It was beautiful, just like every other part of Jean.

Finally, I reached down to the end of the tub and turned the faucet back on, turning Jean so she could get her head under. She arched back so her head could go under the water, giving me a good view of her body. My mouth went dry, and I forced myself to look away as she washed the shampoo out of her hair.

I heard her come up from under the water and turned around to turn the faucet off before the tub overflowed. I got one of the fluffy white towels Jean liked so much out of the linen closet and held it out for her. She walked into it, and I wrapped it around her. She leaned into me and sighed.

I sat down on the toilet lid and held Jean in my lap. She let me hold her for a moment, the only sounds her breathing and mine. Finally, she spoke.

"I was frightened, Scott."

I looked down, meeting her eyes through my visor. "Frightened of what, Jean?"

"The presence that was in my head, that was controlling me. It was dark—darker than anything I've ever felt before."

Jean started to shiver, and I pulled her closer, wanting to share my warmth with her. "It'll be okay, Jean. Whatever this is, we'll be able to handle it. We always could before."

"I don't know, Scott. This time…"

"Shh," I said, pressing my lips against her forehead in a chaste kiss. "I'll never let anything hurt you. Ever."

Jean sat up a little, started to say something, but then noticed that her hair had soaked through my shirt. She smiled slightly. "I think I need to dry my hair."

I don't know why I said what I said next, except maybe I wanted to have her close to me a little while longer. "Let me do it."

Jean gave me a confused look for a moment, but then said, "All right."

I got out a brush and the hairdryer, then brought Jean back into my lap, the towel still wrapped tightly around her. She moved a little, and I was sure she could feel me poking into her. I blushed.

"It's all right, Scott," she said, her voice soothing.

I concentrated on her hair, brushing it slowly, painstakingly. I spent a long while blowing it dry, making sure not a single strand was damp. Jean was relaxing under my ministrations, and I wasn't sure if she was awake or asleep. I turned off the hairdryer. "Your hair is beautiful," I murmured against her now-dry hair.

Jean muttered something incoherent, sleepy. I stood up with her cradled in my arms. "Come on, gorgeous. I need to get you bed."

Her long arms wrapped around my neck instinctually and I could see the top of her breasts peaking out from where the towel was wrapped. At that moment I hated Duncan. What had he ever done to deserve such an angel?

I carried her back to her room, thankful that most everyone had gone to bed as soon as we'd gotten back since I didn't want to explain why I was carrying Jean—still wrapped only in a towel—to bed in the middle of the night.

She opened her eyes as much as her heavy eyelids would let her when we got to her room. "Help me get dressed, Scott?" she asked.

I couldn't say no to that. Not with the way she asked. "Yeah. Where do you keep your nightclothes?"

"Top drawer," she said as I put her down on the bed. "My panties are in there, too."

I know I must have turned red at that. Jean wanted me to go through her underwear drawer and pick out what pair she was going to wear to bed? Somehow in my mind that went passed even the intimacy of giving her a bath. In all the time I'd known Jean, that we'd lived under the same roof, I'd never seen her underwear.

I wasn't disappointed by what I saw. It was nice—sexy—but practical. No red-lace thongs or gold G-strings. Most of it was cotton, bikini-cut, bought at Victoria's Secret. I liked it more than any other "traditional" lingerie I'd seen before. It was somehow just so, Jean. Nothing over the top, nothing flashy, just simple—beautiful.

I picked something for her to wear and handed it to her. She slipped on her underwear, not at all bothered by my presence. She was struggling a little with the oversized t-shirt I'd given her, so I took it from her. "Hold up your arms." She did, and I slipped it over her head.

I knew then what trust was. She'd let me bathe her, dry her hair, dress her, and not once had she'd been uncomfortable, afraid of me. Somehow, I knew she didn't have that with Duncan, and that thought made me smile.

"Good night, Jean," I said once she had gotten under the covers. I reached to turn off the light beside her bed, but she reached her hand out and grabbed my wrist, stopping me.

"Stay, Scott. You've been so good to me tonight, and…and I don't want to be alone." Jean looked away. "I'm scared Scott."

"What are you scared of?"



"Whoever it was who was in my mind, making me do those things. He came to me the first time when I was in my sleep."

"My sleeping goggles are in my room. If my glasses fell off in my sleep and I opened my eyes…"

"Has it ever happened before?"


"Then don't worry about it. It's okay, Scott. I trust you."

It was me I didn't trust. I could kill her with a glance. "I have to get them, Jean." I gave her hand a light squeeze. "I'll be right back, I promise. I won't leave you alone tonight."

Jean smiled. "Hurry back."

"I will."

I jogged down the hall to my room, changed into sweats and a t-shirt, switched out my glasses for my goggles, and was back in Jean's room in two minutes flat. Jean chuckled when I came back in. "My ever-punctual Scott," she said.

Usually, when people described me as something like "punctual," it irked me. Sure, I knew I was, and it wasn't really an insult, but I hated that to most people I only held those traits befitting a boy scout. With Jean, I could tell it was a compliment.

I smiled at her. "Couldn't keep a lady waiting."

Jean slid over in the bed and held her arms out to me. My breath caught in my throat for a moment and I wanted to move into those outstretched arms and kiss her senseless. After that, well, most of my thought processes went out the window then, but I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted.

I steadied myself. It wasn't the right night, and it wouldn't be the right night for a long time coming. I couldn't rush into something like that, not with Jean. I loved her too much.

And that was when I realized I did love her. Not the sort of young love you're supposed to feel in high school, where your stomach ties up inside of you and you feel like you're floating just above the ground. Real love. The kind that lasts, that grows instead of fizzles.

I slipped into the bed and pulled her to me, stroking her hair and whispering soothing words until I knew she was asleep. I told her then what I had just only realized—that I loved her and always would.

Maybe someday the time will be right for me to tell her when she can hear.