THIS IS MY BELOVED SON
DISCLAMIER: Belongs to practically everyone else in the universe except me.
DESCRIPTION: Yet another story of Scott's past - I owe it big time to all the girls who have written them before, they have made it impossible for me to be original. :-) Wrote this for my own pleasure, it's *dead* sentimental. Oh, and I guess it's pretty obvious: I love Scott.
NOTE: The religious language in this fanfic is not to be taken offensively. I am religious myself and tend to think in Biblical terms, that's all.
At first, the corridors were filled with children of all ages, but further on the crowds seemed smaller, and when the head attendant finally stopped, there was no one around. The children shunned this place like the plague. He took a bunch of keys from his pocket, and professor Xavier was shocked.
You keep him locked up?
The condemnation must have been evident in his voice, because the man spun around and forcefully snapped:
It's not as you think! He's suicidal. Last time we let him out he tried to cut his wrists with a pair of scissors.
Is that even possible?
The attendant frowned, and discomfort was evident in his previously so calm face. I wouldn't have thought so, but he's so set on dying he could accomplish anything. He was silent for a second, then added: I guess it would be better for him to be allowed to die.
He's just a child! The professor's voice was sharp, but the other man shook his head.
No sir. I wish that was true, I've always liked the poor kid, but I saw what he did to that school. I know it's not his fault, but he's a freak, and I don't know what sort of life he can possibly have. If you do, you're welcome to take him.
He silenced and turned to the door again, locking it open to let the professor in.
he said shortly, and then left. The door closed behing him, and Xavier found himself in a spartan room more like a monk's cell, looking at a young boy who sat on the bed with his much too thin arms wrapped around his knees.
Hello, Scott, he said softly.
The boy winced a little at the sound of his name, but didn't move. His face below the taped-shut eyes had the expression of an Eastern ascetic. It didn't surprise Xavier that the child had tried to kill himself, but the discipline in the deathwish frightened him. He sensed a strong, courageous mind that had been denied life and consequently had turned to death, with more determination than panic. Not good at all. Looking deeper, he almost sighed with relief when he found a desperate wish for things to be different. If offered an alternative, Scott would want to live. He hadn't quite given up on the world that hated him, he still hungered for love, and that hunger was stronger than the physical hunger he suppressed. If properly cared for, this boy had what it took to be a truly great man, and still he was considered better off dead. Idiots.
Then there was a forceful, impatient thought coming through, even though Xavier hadn't really searched for thoughts: *Is he just going to stand there all day?*
My name is professor Charles Xavier. I came to help you.
Scott's dry lips moved.
You didn't have to be psychic to sense the scepticism and scorn. *Nobody wants to help. Nobody cares.*
If nobody cares, why are they force-feeding you? Why have they taken away your belt, not to mention all sharp objects? Why did they send for me?
Again this voice, so hoarse from thirst it hurt to listen: Who are you?
Xavier sent: *I am a mutant, like you.*
This did catch Scott's attention. His head jerked up and strong emotions filled his face. Can you make it go away? he pleaded.
Xavier chose his words carefully. Your gift is a part of you, Scott. It won't go away. I might be able to help you control it, if you let me try.
Disappointed, but still interested, the boy nodded. Xavier hesitated for a second, knowing he could not stand an entire conversation listening to that painful voice. There's a glass of water on the table. Do you want it?
A glass? Scott sounded doubtful.
A paper cup, actually.
For the first time, a smile, slightly amused that his suspicions were confirmed. He reached out his hand.
Xavier took the cup from the table and approached the bed, careful not to spill anything. Scott listened to the sound of rubber wheels on the floor, but if he found it surprising, he didn't show anything.
Here you are, Xavier said, pressing the cup into Scott's hand. Drink slowly.
Scott did as he was told, and seemed very pleased to be told to do anything. Watching the drinking boy, Xavier realised how different he seemed now. Oh yes, still quite clearly on his guard, but no longer like a living corpse; it was only the lack of flesh on his body and the tape over his eyes that differed him from any abandoned child in here. And Xavier had a feeling that all this had been accomplished less by the prospect of controling his gift - something that had still to be proven - than little things like the fact that someone wouldn't let him shock his stomach with too much water too soon.
Scott swallowed the last of the water. Yes. Thank you. He squeezed the cup between his fingers, a restless movement that seemed like a good sign compared to the immobility. Can you do what I do?
No. As far as I know, you're unique. As you noticed, my gift is telepathy, I can read your mind - although at the moment, I'm satisfied with emotions. Personality. You have a wonderful personality.
A cynical smile showed that Scott was beginning to enjoy the conversation. Now, that's what they say about ugly people.
I think you're already aware of your outer qualities, Xavier said dryly, and the boy actually chuckled a bit, although the chuckle was interrupted by a sob. Nobody said a word for a few minutes as the sobs continued. It couldn't be very comfortable to cry under that tape, Xavier thought, and yet the kid had probably done it often enough.
When that thin body had stopped trembling, Xavier asked softly: Will you let me help you?
Scott hesitated. What's in it for you? he asked, not bitterly, but practically. He had never been given something for nothing, and, Xavier realised, probably couldn't understand the concept.
There are many other children in your position, who can't control their powers and are afraid of them. If I manage to help you, you could help me help them.
There was a slight pause as Scott thought this over, his lips silently repeating the words. he finally said. I think I'd like that. If it works.
Why wouldn't it work? At this point, Scott had already more or less made up his mind even if he didn't know it, so Xavier kept up a calm conversation. He understood what it meant for Scott just to have someone to talk to.
Well, pretty impressive helpers we are. A blind kid and a Scott silenced and blushed.
A cripple? Xavier suggested, slightly amused. I admit, my mind is stronger than my body, but if I can only have one strength, I prefer this one. As for you, I don't plan to let you sit around all your life with your eyes shut. Unless that's what you want, of course.
I don't. The boy's voice was pleading. Good trade of places, this. Scott was now the one asking to leave, not the one asked to leave, persuading Xavier into doing what had always been planned.
Then you will come with me?
Xavier smiled a little. Right now if you want.
Scott rushed up from his bed, and it struck Xavier that considering the time of starvation and immobility, this was probably not a good thing.
Take it he warned, only to watch Scott sway and fall when the sudden movement made him faint.
Xavier gave some thought to the latest discoveries. It wasn't perfect, and he had to admit that he was a little disappointed, but he strongly suspected that Scott wouldn't be. Some part of the boy still refused to believe in any improvement beyond the ones he already had. Don't tempt fate. Something like that. And this was, to all intents and purposes, good news. Scott was a strong kid, now that he had a chance he wouldn't waste it. To add to his other character traits he was remarkably stubborn. Xavier smiled as he recalled how Scott had refused to be held back by fainting at the orphanage. He had simply forced himself upright and gotten out of there as quickly as he could without getting dizzy or lost. Which wasn't very quickly, granted, but there was nothing lacking in the determination.
Collecting his thoughts, he went to Scott's room. He was met by a woman's voice never meant to be played this loud: *God sometimes you just don't come through, do you need a woman to look after you?* Amazing that it didn't give the kid a headache even worse than the one he already had. Scott sat by the table chewing away on a tuna sandwich, and Xavier just watched him for a moment without trying to get his attention. Eating is, after all, a rather dull activity. You can possibly enjoy doing it yourself, but few people take any interest in seeing other people eat. Still, eating means life, and Scott eating a sandwich meant Scott taking an interest in life. What's the point in eating if you intend to die? Those were the reasons Xavier considered this one of the most beautiful sights in his life.
Finally Scott seemed to sense that there was someone else in the room, because he turned the volume down and asked:
Yes. I'm sorry I didn't announce my presence, I just enjoyed seeing you eat.
Scott grinned. I never did like that force-feeding. His appetite wasn't overwhelming and probably never would be, but his cheeks weren't quite as hollow as they had been only a few weeks ago. Sorry about the music. It stops me from thinking.
Is thinking such a bad thing?
Depends on. He drummed his fingers against the table, restless. So, what did the CTs show this time? Good news? Bad?
A little of both.
Scott put down his sandwich and swallowed hard. Let's start with the bad ones then and have it over with. What is it? Is my head beyond repair?`
How could one word be so hard to say?
Scott tried to grasp this. A mutation disability then? Can't be common.
It's highly unusual. The areas which would have helped you control when, where to and how much you wanted to use your power are completely destroyed, actually.
So I'll never ever be able to control it, Scott concluded, trying to sound calm.
Scott smiled too. Are we entering the good news here?
That we are. There are pretty good chances of making some sort of device that would help you. It seems ruby quartz absorbs your beam. And unlike your eyelids, ruby quarz is fairly transparent, at least from your point of view.
My point of view?
Remember those mirror glasses? You can look out but nobody can look in? Something like that.
So that's what you have in mind for me? Scott asked.
Scott thought about that. You know, before all this happened I would have considered that a disaster. With some perspective it's fantastic news.
It will all be in red though, Xavier warned, grinning. He had been right, Scott was anything but disappointed.
La vie en rose. Who cares. I'll *see*.
Scott kept the visor in his lap, trying to memorize the moves.
Think you've got it now? Xavier asked.
He shrugged. I could try. Closing his eyes, he took his glasses off and replaced them with the visor. He opened his eyes again. Okay, so it doesn't look any different.
Still red, Xavier admitted.
And no headaches. Just the way I like it.
It's because the quartz absorbs the blast, it doesn't just block it like your eyelids.
I know. He took a deep breath. And now we're going to make a little peephole.
Any time you're ready, Xavier said. But of course he knew that the boy wasn't ready, probably never would be. There's just one way to actually swim and that's to get into the water.
Scott concentrated on the block of wood they had put up about 20 feet away. He adjusted his visor to what he estimated would be the right force and fired. The block exploded into little pieces and left a big black hole in the ground. Scott jumped back.
A little bit too much, I think, Xavier said, not quite able to hide his amusement.
No shit! Talk about overkill! Scott replied. He was breathing heavily, startled. Maybe we should I don't know wait with this?
If you back off now you will always back off. Xavier said firmly. No point in babying the kid. It was natural to feel scared, but he would have to deal with that. Adjust it and try again.
Scott did as he was told. Most likely, if Xavier had told him to bring him the moon, he would have given it a fair attempt. A small, barely visible beam shoot out to the next block. It didn't even reach halfways. Xavier shook his head.
Now, what was that all about? Give it a real try. He didn't like having to be this firm, but he had to look at this practically instead of personally. Sure he could let Scott be satisfied with his glasses, but that would be a terrible waste - and furthermore, it would never teach Scott that his gift could be anything more than just a curse.
It wasn't easy, but after a long time, with much effort and much unplanned destruction, Scott managed to fire a beam that wasn't too bad.
Xavier said. We're getting somewhere! Now how about we just call it a day. For being the first time, you've done really well.
Thank you. The boy switched back to his regular glasses and turned to face his teacher. His face was serious, but it was impossible to read the expression more clearly. The glasses would always prevent that. There seemed to be something he wanted to say, but he couldn't quite get it out. The mix of emotions that met Xavier was so complex it would require a more thorough mind-reading to sort them out, but Xavier wasn't about to do that. He had told Scott from the start that he would respect his privacy, and the still rather offish boy had accepted that with relief.
Scott's voice was uncertain, and even though Xavier couldn't tell for sure, he was almost certain that he was looking at his own feet. Could you please read my mind?
This startled Xavier. He had never been asked to read anyone's mind before, on the contrary, he had always been the one asking for permission. Why would Scott want his mind read? The answer was obvious: because he had something to say and couldn't.
Of course. Xavier gently went through the layers of thoughts and emotions in Scott's mind. There was the pride and joy of being able to use his powers correctly. Further he sensed immense gratitude. The relief of seeing again hadn't changed since Scott first got his glasses on, and Xavier suspected it would always be in a corner of his mind. There were strikes of fear, both fear of solitude and shyness towards company, not to mention panic at the thought of losing control of his powers again. That probably wouldn't change either.
Then, deep down and yet eager to get forward, an emotion that couldn't make a clear thought but still was a very noteable message: love. Tangled up in Scott's mind like this, Xavier knew exactly what that feeling indicated. Scott had been an outcast for months, loved by nobody, and even before that the love had never been unconditional. If he was a good boy people would praise him, and he would swallow the praise whole, but their good opinion of him was necessary for their care. They weren't family, and he could never trust their love to stay. He never dared to love back, because what if you do and the person you love suddenly isn't there anymore?
To take this step and risk giving something for nothing must be a frightening experience. Yet he dared to take it, because he had himself, for once in his life, been given something for nothing. And while Xavier was still taking in this, Scott's thoughts managed to collect themselves into something that was very close to one word, one image. *Father*
Xavier closed his eyes, afraid to cry, and sent: *Son*
Scott gasped at the strength of that thought. Thank you, he repeated, voice low, almost a whisper.
Then he turned and left, and why not? There's only so much strong emotion you can take at a time, especially if you're Scott Summers and not used to displaying any at all.
Xavier stayed, and he knew that no matter how many children would come in his care and no matter how much he would love them, this could never be surpassed. Scott would always be special, his firstborn, the one closest to his heart. He couldn't have been given a better son if Nature had provided him with one, and he could only hope that others would see it as well.
This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.
Listen to him.