Jean woke up completely confused. Where am I? Where is Scott?
Logan was awakened from his light sleep by her movement. "Jean?"
She swung her gaze over to him. "Logan? What are you doing here? What am I doing here? Where is here?"
"You're in the medlab at the mansion. What's the last thing you remember?"
Jean struggled to concentrate. "We were at Alkali Lake. The jet wouldn't start." She took a deep breath. "I went outside and I lifted the it. Once I knew that you were all safe, I just let go."
"That's good." He smiled down at her. "Chuck's gonna come in and talk to you for awhile, ok?"
Logan stepped outside and met Charles. "She's all yours."
"Jean," Charles said as he entered the room. "It's so good to see you."
"Professor," she smiled.
"You have questions. Let me explain what happened, and then you can ask whatever you need to."
"All right," she said, nodding assent.
"For a long time, and I'm not entirely sure how, an entity called The Phoenix was inhabiting your mind. The exposure to Magneto's machine strengthened it until you could no longer control it. I believe that's why you sacrificed yourself at Alkali Lake, your subconscious knew something dangerous was just waiting to break out. And, eventually, it did. It's unfortunate that you wound up in a confrontation with Rogue, but all things considered, it could have been much worse."
"Is Rogue all right?"
"Yes, she's fine. And the Phoenix is no more." Charles fell silent, reliving for a moment the mental battle he'd waged with the Phoenix, but he soon shook it off. "I thought you might like to see Scott for a few minutes."
"Sure," she said, a little nervous. The Professor left and soon Scott came in.
"Hey," he said softly.
"I'm glad you're back. We all missed you."
There was a long pause. Finally, Jean spoke. "It's not the same between us, is it?"
"No," he said reluctantly. "But I still care about you, Jean."
"To me, it feels like hours since I last saw you. But obviously things have changed." She pointedly glanced at Scott's wedding ring. "I'm glad you were able to find someone else."
"Thanks," he said. "It wasn't easy, moving on. I was a mess until Rogue told me I was being a coward." He made a face. "That didn't sit well with the old ego. After that, I started coming back, and once that happened, it was just so natural between us." He trailed off, realizing this was probably not what Jean need to hear at the moment. He squeezed her hand. "Welcome home."
After Scott had left, Logan popped his head back in. He'd been lurking in the corridor, eager for Scott to leave. "Do you need anything?"
"No, thank you, Logan. I'd really just like to be alone for a little while."
"Ok. Good night."
"Good night," she said softly, smiling at him. His feelings haven't changed at least.
Scott had gone next door into Rogue's room. She appeared to be asleep, so he just stood next to the bed, watching her.
"Scott, it's weird that you're just standing there staring at me," she said, not opening her eyes.
"How'd you know it was me?" he said in surprise.
She sat up and rolled her eyes at him. "Hm, let's see, I have Logan's enhanced senses, the Professor's telepathy, and a brain. Nobody else stands still when they come in here. They're either busy doing something or shifting uncomfortably because they don't know what to do or say."
"Impressive deductive reasoning."
"I'm not just a pretty face with superpowers. I'm also smart."
"Yes, you are," he agreed.
Rogue hopped off the bed, fully dressed in her normal clothes, not the usual medlab garb. "Where do you think you're going? Hank hasn't cleared you to leave yet."
Rogue closed her eyes briefly and waved her hand dismissively. A few moments later, Hank appeared in the doorway. "Good news, Rogue, you're free to go. And don't let me catch you down here again," he said affectionately.
"You got it," she quipped. As Hank left, Scott eyed her suspiciously. "Did you make him do that?"
Rogue just grinned. "You'll never know." She took a moment to stretch, relishing the freedom of movement without tubes and I.V.s once again. She slowly turned back toward Scott. "Why, Scott," she said, in mock surprise, "how can you think such a thing with your poor wife just getting out of the hospital?"
"You read my mind, huh? Then you know exactly how I can think about something like that."
"Yeah, I do," she grinned. "Let's go," she said, grabbing his hand and pulling him out the door.
Author's Note: Well, we've reached the end, folks. Hope you enjoyed it and thank you for taking the time to read this!