It Doesn't Hurt At All

It was finally over. After all the deceit, trickery, and danger, it was all over. Apocalypse was gone, the world was saved, and now the mutants could live normal lives. Well, as normal as it could get. After all, the rest of the world wasn't quite ready for them yet. In Egypt, Scott, Logan, Kurt, and Rogue all climbed aboard the X-Jet to pick up the rest of their crew. In Mexico, Kitty was being helped off the ground by Lance. She smiled up at him, as he carried her to a big rock where he sat her down. Wanda and Pietro were reunited with their father. Blob and Toad stood off to the side, wondering if The Brotherhood was going to remain the same after today. In Peru, Evan carefully sat his aunt up into a sitting position. She groaned and rubbed her head before rubbing her eyes. She placed her hand on her nephew's arm, and whispered, "Thank you, Evan."

"No problem, Auntie O." In China, Jean carefully placed the professor back in his wheelchair. He groaned as he softly collapsed back into place. He looked up at the redhead whose eyes threatened to spill over with tears. "Thank you, Jean," he said. "You saved my life."

"It wasn't just me, Professor," she replied, "It was all of us."

The professor simply smiled, as Bobby wheeled the professor over to the Helicopter. Jean gazed at the destruction before her. She took in the destroyed Sentinels, the pyramid that has now turned to rubble, and the glowing purple stone that sat in the center of the wreckage, wait, a glowing purple stone? Curiously, she picked her way through the mess, and made her way over to the luminescent rock. It was pulsing with a strange light, and seemed to be humming. Jean leaned over to pick it up, when it suddenly exploded. She was tossed, head over heels, through the sir. Exhausted from the day's events, she was unable to telekinetically stop herself. She was slammed into a thick oak tree. Her entire right side of her body screamed in protest, as pain rippled from her shoulder to her ankle. She heard voices all around her, shouting in alarm. One voice asked her what happened, but she was unable to respond; the pain was too overwhelming. She was able to lift her left hand and point to the marks left over from the explosion. She clenched her teeth, so she wouldn't scream out loud. She squeezed her eyes together, as tears leaked out. She was aware of the presence of her teammates, including the professor. He placed both of his hands on her head, and they had a brief discussion. The professor breathed a sigh of relief. "It is not a surge of her powers, only a reaction to pain."

"Pain?" echoed several voices.

"Yes, it seems as explosion caused her to crash into this tree. I cannot tell if anything is broken though, we must get her to a hospital."

At that moment, the X-Jet came into view, and landed on the grass. Scott came running out, with a worried look on his face. As they were landing, he had seen Jean surrounded by the rest of the X-Men, and he had a sense of dread rush through him. The small crowd parted as he ran up. He crouched down in front of Jean's crumpled form. He gently picked her up, and walked toward the X-Jet. She had passed out from the pain, but her face still remained clenched in terror. Scott strapped her in, and then turned to the professor for an explanation. Charles calmly explained what had happened. Scott's enraged face slowly softened.

"I should have been here to protect her." He said through gritted teeth.

"Nonsense, Scott." replied Charles. "It could have happened to anyone. She was simply curious."

"But what was that thing, Professor?" inquired Scott.

"I believe it may have been a last defense of the pyramid. Somehow, it was not set off during the battle, and simply had a late reaction. It is rather unfortunate that Jean was in the vicinity during the explosion. We will take her back to the mansion, and she will be fine by tomorrow morning."

Scott held Jean's hand throughout the entire trip home. Several hours later, they arrived back in Bayville. Jean was immediately taken to the infirmary. Hank took over and arranged a bed for Jean. Scott gently slid Jean under the covers, and turned to Hank. "What can I do? What does she need?"

"Easy, Scott", replied Hank. "She just needs from some ibuprofen, plenty of sleep, and she'll be fine. Now, I'm sure you'll want to stay, but I'm afraid-"

"Forget it, Mr. McCoy. I'm not moving from this spot until she wakes up." Not wanting to get on Scott's ugly side, Hank McCoy sighed and walked over to a cabinet. He selected an IV bag filled with morphine, and set it up. Scott simply sat down and watched the doctor at work. Hank left without a word, leaving Scott alone with his thoughts. "I should have been there to protect her. It's my fault she's hurt. When will I learn that I can never leave her side?"

/Could you keep it down, Slim? I'm trying to sleep. /

Hearing the voice in his head, he looked down to see Jean's smiling face. "Sorry." He apologized. "I guess I was projecting a little loudly, uh?"

"Just a little bit", she shrugged, "but was nice to hear." Scott opened his mouth, to say something, but Jean shut his mouth with her hand and whispered, "C'mere." She gently took his face in her hands and kissed him. He responded enthusiastically.

"Wow", she muttered, "If serious injury to my body is what it takes to get a kiss like that, I should do it more often." Scott frowned. "I'm kidding, Scott."

"It's not funny."

"Lighten up. It doesn't hurt that bad." She leaned in for another kiss. "Now it hurts less." She looped her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her bed and kissed him again. "Now it doesn't hurt at all."