Title: The Mean Reds on Blue Days
Author: ctt / 10other_words
Genre: Angst, Slash, Slight AU
Warning: mentions of mpreg
Summary: All his life he wondered and struggled to accept the idea, that even if his parents love each other deeply, they could never stay together
Notes: My first x-men fanfiction and my first fanfiction in a very long time. Any mistakes are my own as the work is unbetad and the foreign language phrases are unfortunately the result of babelfish and the internet. If they are awkward, horrible or gibberish to native speakers, my apologies.
This story is my take on this prompt (please remove spaces):
http:/ 1stclass-kink. livejournal. com/ 6084. html? thread= 7708612#t7708612
Before this, I would like to thank lillian_raven and lavvyan for correcting my horrible non-existent German, cheshire_sith for correcting my also non-existent Latin, and villey for correcting the Spanish phrase. This work now contains the corrected phrases as well as some minor editing. Thank you so much.
Added notes: Also, I'm not sure why but I'm not getting the hand of how to lay-out in , you may want to read this piece in my livejournal ( http:/ 10other-words. livejournal. com/ 1006. html #cutid2 ). I just like it better, layout wise there.
The Mean Reds on Blue Days
Scott divides his life into two colors. No, not black and white, as some would snidely mutter – that goody-two-shoes boy-scout, the Professor's pet. It's nothing as trite as that, even if all people see is the straight arrow boy-next-door image, illusion. Whatever you want to call it.
In reality, he sees his life in blue and red with all the accompanying shades in between. You might find it strange. After all, what would a colorblind man know of color? Maybe you won't; easily thinking his life is simply divided before and after he manifested his powers. Many of his contemporaries and allies do think this way. It's not the case, but who is he to determine your beliefs? He's never actively encouraged the misconception. Scratch that, he's only equivocated.
Mein Gott Kind, du solltest stolz darauf sein!
Baby steps little one. The world isn't ready for us yet.
Should you blame him for all your prejudices?
Blue and red. Blau und rot. Few people know this, fewer understand, and only one, perhaps two, fully grasped what it means.
No, no, no. Only one truly understood.
Vater. Papa. Bastard. I hate you. I hate you. I wish I could fully hate you…
…I wish I could stop loving you.
Weren't we enough?
The best way to begin understanding his obsession with labeling his life in these two colors lies in the pages of a beloved story. Scott remembers running his fingers past the raised letters. Forwards and backwards, reverently, as words began to form. Muttering the lines to himself again and again
"The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
No. The blues are because…maybe it's been raining too long. You're just sad…The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid, and you don't know what you're afraid of…"
How can he not but see the parallelism to his, their lives? Not the Hollywood syrupy sweet ending, but the poignant meter and verse of a page. The half-wild girl who leaves her measure of peace, too wild to tame, too restless and driven to grasp stillness.
"It isn't because your dad doesn't love you or the Professor, kiddo," Uncle Alex once tried to explain in the creeping wee hours of the morning. "You know if you grew up in that shit, that's the only thing you know."
"What?" he muttered bitterly. "To hurt people."
He gets an exasperated sigh. "You're not listening to me, kid. It's more of it's the only way he knows how to show he loves you. He feels he has to fight to protect you, to keep you safe. I've been there, done that."
"But you're still here," he replied. He was so confused.
His hands were grasped tightly. "Don't get me wrong. I love the Professor. He's like my older brother, an uncle. Hell! Maybe even my dad. But Erik, he worshipped the ground Charles walked. He fucking loved him! When Charles was pregnant, he couldn't take his eyes off him. And when you were born, I've never seen anyone look so proud, so happy, as in I-can-take-on-the-world-happy. The thought of loosing you both would kill him."
Those large hands tightened around his fingers. "So don't hate your dad, ok?"
The red cape. His father's resolute back. Sunset.
Doesn't summer always end?
"Buck up Scott. You'll still see your papa."
His mother's encouraging voice.
"Mama, you're always so sad…But why can't you cry when papa leaves?"
Brilliant blue eyes stare at him before he was engulfed in loving arms. He hears his mother in his mind.
'Oh little one, this is what your father needs.'
Mama's blue eyes, bluer than the summer skies. Dazzling, every time papa comes.
The bluish tinge in papa's orbs. Open, loving, unshuttered.
Tante's blue skin. She chases him while they run shrieking with laughter amidst the green golden fields.
It always ends, doesn't it? Father walks away, again and again. One day, he doesn't come back. His last memory of his father is the bloody colored cape. It is always sunset.
"Battle lines have been drawn Scott," Onkel Hank would tell him whilst he peered at his dejected form with a keen gaze. "Your parents, as much as they love each other, will always be at the opposite ends of the spectrum."
He remembers crying out, wanting to end it, constantly feeling the immense sadness mutter tried so hard to hide. He gets an understanding look. It is actually almost pitying.
"And lose themselves in the process? Sometimes, dreams are all we have."
Hearing those words, he can't help but cry. He is wrapped in soft downy fur, but ignores it. All he feels is the hollow throb of in his mind. The echoes of grief coming from the filaments that connected him to mutter.
'I guess this is it my (love) friend.'
Did he lose hope?
Not really. Not at first. But he learned to lose it. Children must grow up.
He waited the next year. Without fail in those hot summer months. He sat underneath the tree by the hill, alone. Sometimes, his onkels would come trooping by.
"Let's go squirt, the Professor's worried, " they would cajole him from his post.
But he would not be moved. He would sit and he would wait. Not long, mutter would join him until the sun set.
"Come sit with me, my summer child," mutter would always greet him.
Vater. Tante. They never came.
Yet he, they waited…
And one day, stopped.
Mama. Mutter. Mummy. Mother.
I guess it's just us now.
Don't worry mummy. We still have Uncle Hank, Sean and Alex. We'll stay together, and when I grow up, I'll be a doctor. I'll find a way to make you walk again, you'll see.
Child. You should become what you dream of, not be because of me.
How right and wrong he was.
Red. Red. Red. His world is a sea of red. It was a swath of destruction. A great big roar of violence. Mother's soothing mental voice as he rocks his huddled form.
"It's alright. It's alright. Calm down. No one was hurt. Calm down…'
His dreams ended that day. Ended not with a crash, but with a slow insidious wash of darkness and a sea of crimson.
What is an end but a beginning?
This world begins in a murmur of voices. Mama's melodic cadence. Papa's warm rumblings.
It ends in the pitch black of his closed eyelids.
Begins in mutter's soothing caress. Sleep, sleep, it says.
Ends in mummy's choked voice.
"Erik," a pause. "Hank says Scott will never be able to control his powers." A sob. "Remember that month-long coma when he fell from that dratted tree. He says that it's from..from that!"
"Hush," Scott could hear vater's attempts to soothe. It was in vain.
"And you know what Scott told me," mutter doggedly continues. "He's afraid of forgetting. Forgetting how we look like, how summer looks like. Or a clear day, or, or, or…"
The voice trails off, muffled. He hears the shifting of fabric. Feels the movement of bodies drawn together like the earth to the sun.
"Est tut mir leid, mein Liebling," papa whispers like a prayer. "Weine nicht. Nicht weinen."
Scott thinks at this moment, that he'd rather lose his eyesight again and again. If only for this moment.
But didn't he say, everything ends?
Father could never stay for mother. What more for me?
Hundreds Dead in a Terrorist Attack. Brotherhood Claims Responsibility.
Father never returns. He hears nothing about him, except for those fleeting glimpses in the broadsheets.
Mutant terrorism on the rise…
…The Anatomy of Hate. Why Mutants Seek Violence in Retribution…
…Senator McKinley has pledged his support to mutant rights…
…Expose! Mutant Testing Lab Discovered. Government Denies Involvement…
…'Are mutants a danger to society at large?,' Delany reports.
Hears nothing from him except for that one day. The day he regains his eyesight. The day mother's high spirits rang clear across the grounds of Westchester, after so long. After so long.
It had been enough for him to get over his disappointment when he first opened his eyes. Poor Uncle Hank who tried his best. But to now see the world in shades of crimson was a blow to his gut. An immense crushing realization that nothing will ever be the same again. He will never see the clear blue skies. The deep shade of Uncle Hank's soft downy fur. Aunt Raven's deep cobalt scales. The cool fire in father's eyes. Mother's brilliant blues. The hue that says he was safe, warm, and loved.
No matter how doctors would refute it, he always remembered the day he first greeted the world. Mother's tried but contented orbs. Father's disbelieving yet joyous gaze. Uncle Hank's hands amidst the summer skies.
You were born in the season of plenty. Hello my summer child.
He tried to mask his disappointment. Tried to smile and be the child he was to his mother and uncles before. Tried so hard against the features now unused to laughter. Tried to accept Mother's gentle teasing, "Come on. At least you can say you'll forever view the world in rose-colored glasses."
But it was impossible. Children do grow up. It was just a matter of when.
Father understood it well enough when he sent Azazel arrived in lieu of him. A messenger with a gift and an invitation to Scott, his heir, not his kleiner Junge.
"Magneto congratulates you on regaining your sight and a measure of control," Azazel greets him. "He hopes you'll join him when you're older."
Scott grasps his mother's hands. He tips his chin up in a gesture of defiance to the taller man. "Tell him," he replies, his voice as steady as can be. "I'd rather wait for him here."
Scott receives an amused smile for all his efforts, as well as a parting shot.
"Now that you have to cover those pretty blue eyes from your mother, you're really starting to look like Magneto."
He tightens his grasp, attempting to reassure his mother that he'll never be that cruel.
'I promise you mother, I won't be like father. I'll never leave you.'
'Little one, don't make promises you can't keep.'
At a certain point, he leaves for his mother's alma matter, Oxford. He breaks his promise.
I'll never leave you.
He returns. But a promise broken is still broken promise. And it's not the first promise he breaks.
I'll be a doctor when I grow up. I'll find a way to make you walk again.
Reality is cruel, isn't it? A half-blind boy cannot become a doctor.
Nor is it just the second promise broken. He breaks more promises than he ever wanted to. In the end, he realized that as you grow who you are is an amalgamation of the many promises you've broken along the way.
"I want you to be a boy, a child Scott," Mother would tell him. "I want you to laugh, run, play like you used to."
But how could you be when you have an uncontrollable destructive power that no man has a right to? How could you be one when half his life will be in darkness? How could you be when even robbed of all color, you could see the ever deepening shadows in your mother's eyes? How could you be when your father's name is spit out at the very halls you walk through?
I can't be your little boy any longer, mummy.
"Are you eager to meet the first students coming into the Xavier Institute?" he remembers mother asking him in palpable excitement. His mother's dream of opening a school for mutants was to become a reality soon. "You'll now be with people your age."
Scott feels guilty adding a strange dose of reality, or was it paranoia, to the situation. But he realized that his father's notoriety was too great not to upset the fledging school and its fragile yet traumatized population. His uncles agreed, even apologetically surmised that it maybe best for the professor to be seen as an unattached impartial figure. A parent to no one but an all-encompassing parental figure to the mostly orphaned or rejected children. What could he do in the face of such a need but invalidate his own existence.
"Mother," Scott calls out gently, breaking the bubble of enthusiasm. He gets a questioning gaze for his solemnity, feels a pang of regret, but pushes forward. "Uncle Sean and I have talked. We think it would be best if the teachers and the administration make no mention of my family name. It's easy to end with my second name. People will just assume it's a family name, like Uncle Alex's."
He rushes through his explanation, painfully noting the multitude of expressions that flitter through mother's face – shock, confusion, understanding, guilt. His voice trails off. He worries his lip, aware of the Pandora's box of realities he has unleashed. Yet at the back of his mind, he knows his decision is also a gesture of defiance. His last hurrah of selfishness.
'Let me have this moment, this reality that is perfectly mine,' he thought. 'One that is truly ours, this reality that only we know, that no one will take from us – you, me, Uncle Hank, Uncle Sean, and Uncle Alex…Tante…Vater.'
He feels the comforting brush of his mother's mind. Sees the bittersweet smile.
"Your growing up," mother observes. Minutes passed. Silence that was swiftly broken by a sharp laugh. "Stop biting your lip child! Your father would despair and say you've inherited that deplorable habit from me."
Mr. and Mrs. Grey, we'd like you to meet one of Xavier Institute's first student, Scott.
How do you do, Sir, Ma'am?
Charles, what a charming child!
Roll call everyone. Jean Grey…Ororo Munroe…Scott Summers…
Your name is Summers. Are you related to Teacher Alex?
Oh. I guess that's true since you speak funny and teacher doesn't. You see Ororo and I had a bet…
Scott, it says here you sent a request to the headmaster to drop your foreign language class. I don't agree with this, learning another language is important, surely one of the languages would fit you.
Fräulein Paulson, ich spreche fließend deutsch. Je suis aussi couramment le français. Y puedo hablar un español excelente. Nunc latinam apud universitatem vicinam disco.
Who taught you?
Your getting dour squirt. Sometimes I think you're more Lehnsherr's kid than the Professor's.
You see, father says I have to grow up. And no matter how much I want to deny it, it is the truth.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, felt like a child, reasoned like a child: when I became a man, I put from me childish ways.
But you know, I don't want to be like him. To even agree with his thinking is such a bitter blow.
Once, only once, in a fit of frustration and melancholia, did Scott ask how much he resembled his father. Brought about by the flashes of regret mother projects when Scott catches him unguarded, or the unconscious offhand commentary that sometimes slips from his uncles' lips.
"In many ways yes," Uncle Sean answers bluntly. "You look like him for one thing. More than that, you have his flair for languages, his single-mindedness, his uncompromising resolution. Hell, you even have his brand of charisma."
Scott doesn't know what to feel when he hears it. He wants to deny it, for one thing. He does not want to be seen cut from the same cloth as the man who walked away from them. Yet if he was honest, he could feel a touch of pride. No matter what, it was still father.
"Hey," Uncle Sean cajoles him, knowing him well enough to gauge the workings of his mind. "Don't cry. It's not such a bad thing."
He sputters in disbelief. "I can't cry," he mutters under that knowing gaze. "Tears evaporate due to the force beams."
"Doesn't mean your not."
Papa. Vater. Father. Magneto.
I don't want to be like you. Too focused on a goal that everything is damned to the wayside.
"I say Scott," his tutor, Professor Barker tells him during one of their late afternoon sessions. "Have you ever considered what you'll be specializing on? You are taking your degree in European literature, but it's still a vast field."
He rouses himself from his mussing, giving an absent-minded shrug. He hadn't decided on anything yet. His days in Oxford have given his life a strange patina of lethargy and contentment. It's not because he does not miss home. He does. Fiercely, he misses everyone that matters, but the days here remind him when Westchester was just home, not the Institute. When mother was just mother, not Professor X. When his uncles were just his uncles, not those silly names of Beast, Havoc, and Banshee.
Here in Oxford, he was just another student abet blind, abet the son of a famous alumni. Small facts that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
"Well there is Roman literature," Professor Barker continues unconcerned by his seeming preoccupation. Fellow students and teachers were used to him, his disability has been well known from the start. "Your Latin is excellent. I suppose I have to thank Charles for your comprehensive classical education…Or how about modern German literature?"
It was a blast of icy water. He couldn't speak nor think. He could only gape.
"I heard you speak German my boy. You speak like a native. Your mother's influence, I presume?" Silence. He was given a questioning look. "Xavier-Lehnsherr. Lehnsherr is a German name?"
"Just not German," he bit out.
An uncomfortable silence descends upon them. He sees the horrified realization crossing Professor Barker's face, while he feels trapped in quagmire of emotion. The apologies he could barely process.
'Eins, zwei, drei,' his thoughts murmur. Father's blue eyes. His large hands. Before everything.
Cool lips brushing his forehead, Father turned his back at them. 'Auf Wiedersehen, Kind. Wir treffen uns wieder, wenn du älter bist.'
"Not German," he lets out once again. "I can't."
"You see Scott, something broke in your father during the war. In my conceit, I thought I could fix him, but I was never enough."
"So he broke you instead?"
"No. It wasn't his fault, no matter what I said."
Ironically, no matter how he much he vowed, how much he shouted his defiance; he meets the man who was, is his father at the moment decided for him by that selfsame man. It feels strange, standing across each other in a sea of destruction, masked in gaudy names.
"I did offer you a place by my side," Magneto speaks idly.
"And I did say," he riposted. "I prefer to wait for your return."
Scott feels strangely calm. He is actually amazed at the steady beat of his heart like a metronome and the cool cadence of his voice. For years he's always imagined how he would rage, scream and rail, or project an icy anger upon their meeting. How he would slay the dragon that kept his family apart. But seeing this previously larger-than-life-figure, now like any other man. Seeing THIS man cloaked in the rusty hue of his unending quest, Scott realizes there are no dragons to slay. He is Don Quixote who dreamed of slaying dragons but found windmills instead.
"You are adamant?"
He replies with nothing but the force of his resolution.
"So you are," Magneto observes, his voice faintly wistful. Just as sudden as the windows opened, he becomes shuttered and unreadable once again. "The next time we meet, I will not be so lenient. Pass auf dich und deine Mutter auf, mein Kind."
Scott finds himself seeing his father walk away once again. He does not give chase. It is already a familiar image – crimson hues, father's retreating back, the setting sun.
It is not that he's made peace with it. More of, he has realized that some things are irreversible. Many are also inevitable.
Summer ends. The day is done. Autumn begins, and there will still be morning.
'Welcome back Scott.'
'I'm home mother. I saw father and he told me to take care of you.'
'Child, that was never your responsibility.'
'But I want to.'
"Tante Raven, you say Vater loves us yet why does he leave?"
"Because there are things worth fighting for."
"More than us?"
"It's for your smile and your mother's."
"We're not smiling now! What kind of reason is that?"
"The best and the worst – love."
Mutter – mother
Vater – father
Onkel – Uncle
Tante – Aunt
Blau und rot – blue and red
Mein Gott Kind, du solltest stolz darauf sein – My God child, you should be proud
Est tut mir leid, mein Liebling. Weine nicht. Nicht weinen. – I'm sorry my darling. Don't cry. Don't cry.
kleiner Junge – little boy
Fräulein Paulson, ich spreche fließend deutsch – Miss Paulson, I am perfectly fluent in German
Je suis aussi couramment le français – I am also fluent in French
Y puedo hablar un español excelente – And I can speak excellent Spanish
Nunc latinam apud universitatem vicinam disco – And I am now learning Latin at the local university
Eins, zwei, drei – One, two, three
Auf Wiedersehen, Kind. Wir treffen uns wieder, wenn du älter bist. – Farewell child. We will meet again when you are older.
Pass auf dich und deine Mutter auf, mein Kind – Take care of yourself and your Mother, my child.
Scott Summers here was born roughly nine months after the Cuban missile crisis. Actually during the summer season, which plays a significant part to his name. Also, since Magneto knew about the pregnancy, the whole beach divorce, was more of a slow process than an abrupt one shown in the movie. This also set back the establishment of the Xavier Institute.
Lastly, concept and quote on the mean reds comes from Breakfast at Tiffany's