Disclaimer: I don't own the X-men Marvel and Fox get the credit. I'm just writing this for private entertainment, so please don't sue me.
AN: I'm posting this as a one-shot for now, but I have some ideas for turning this into a multi-chapter fic about Xavier and the Phoenix spirit, so if you're interested in that, stay tuned.
"Come on!" shouted Scott, as the buzz of the flailing blackbird engines disappeared completely.
"We've lost power!" said Storm, desperately retrying the ignition switches.
Logan leaned over her, reaching for some other switches. "There's power in the fuel cells. If we can get the plane in the air-"
"Without vertical thrusters or a runway, how are we supposed to do that?!" interrupted Scott, but Xavier wasn't listening to their arguments anymore.
Beside him Jean's mind was like a burning forest fire. The heat of her telepathic presence was hotter than a furnace and he marveled that everyone else could be so obvious. He'd felt it like a burning sun on his face since the moment he'd come out of Sryker's Cerebrum.
The barriers were falling down.
He'd sensed this for months, ever since the Liberty Island fiasco, but whatever exertion Jean had done in the past days had caused the dams to truly begin to rupture. Just like the dam of the lake. Watching her now, he wondered what would overcome her first: Alkali Lake or The Phoenix?
How had he let this happen? He should have helped her months ago!
He'd been afraid.
He always had been, pushing her away and turning a blind eye to this girl, whom he'd taught, raised and protected. He'd tried not to notice, not to care. He'd known all along that one day… One day this would happen and he'd didn't want to be destroyed by her destruction. He'd known all along and tried to prepare himself, but loosing her still seemed too horrible to face.
Xavier glanced at the others, still desperately arguing over the jet controls. They knew the flood was coming, but had not the slightest inkling about the fire standing there beside them… a fire capable of not only overwhelming them but the entire world.
Xavier looked at them and then watched Jean. He could sense her struggle the turmoil within her, fleeting thoughts, looming awareness. She felt it when the dam gave way and, through her, so did Xavier. A thought flew through Jean's mind.
I can save them!
With a cold wrench in his gut Xaveir felt the thought grab onto him, a dark solution to both floods coming to him like a hideous shadow. He wanted to shove it away. Somehow, this wouldn't end how he knew it must.
It's the only way, He thought back to her, I'll help you. Go!
I… Jean hesitated and Xavier felt the waves of regret and love wash from her mind, as she looked over at Scott, working to repair the plane and then to Logan, giving him directions. I can't. What if I'm not strong enough… This isn't…
He didn't have time to be gentle with her… or himself. The Phoenix is strong enough! You know it is.
Xavier gritted his teeth, hating himself, for pushing her to this. Go!
Taking a last breath, Jean limped from the plane.
You'll have to lift the plane. He thought, trying to let the urgency lend to the support she needed right now. Jean, you can do this.
She was frightened and the Phoenix was raging inside her, trying to break out of the bonds and out of their control. He bent his will against it, telepathically holding Jean's hand. They needed the Phoenix, but Jean had to stay in control, or all would be doubly lost.
Stay focused, Jean, I'm here with you. Channel the power, like garden hose channels water.
As if sensing their schemes the Phoenix raged all the more, beating fiery phsyonic wings against their control. Jean stumbled and if he'd been standing Xavier was fairly sure he would have fallen. Only years of experience kept him from believing the sensation of his face burning to ash.
Jean! Hold on. We've got this together… Jean… "Jean." He'd whispered her name out loud, without meaning to. His voice had barely been audible, but Logan's sharp ears heard him nonetheless and Logan immediately looked around.
"Wait. Where's Jean?" he demanded. Scott, Storm and Kurt all turned.
Jean, get the door. Xavier warned, before speaking reluctantly to the others. "She's outside."
The panic from Scott's mind was like a bolt of lightning, as he turned to dash for the exit ramp, Logan right behind him.
Jean the door!
The rattling sound of the ramp closing was followed by Jean's desperate thoughts I'm sorry Scott! I'm sorry! And then she began to slowly bend a margin of the Phoenix's power to her will.
An unseen force flipped the controls of the Blackbird, turning on the engines. The hum mixed with the distant rumble of the lake.
"No!" shouted Scott, "We're not leaving! Lower the ramp!"
Storm desperately grabbed at the buttons. "I can't!" she cried.
Jean's will was unmovable now. Xavier could feel her power all around them, like heat rising off pavement on a hot summer's day. It was the Phoenix and it was Jean. He was doing his best to help her, to make the Phoenix listen, but it was her will ruling. She was channeling the power with a strength that amazed him. She was strong, stronger than he'd thought possible. It made him feel small by comparison, weak and inconsequential. Was he being used again? First Stryker, now the Phoenix, playing with his mind like a wind tossing an autumn leaf.
There was a rush all around and a roar, as the flood of the lake burst through the tree line with a deafening crash. Xavier's hands gripped the arms of his chair. His mental focus clutched at Jean's metaphorical hand. They were surrounded on all sides by fire and water.
They were to late! He had… Had to trust her. Xavier metaphorically stepped back, loosening his control. Xavier allowed the doors he's created long ago, (what was left of them) to burst. The rush of power washing past him felt like a train hitting him in the gut. But Jean was stood firm. The Phoenix could not run her over. Lifting one hand, Jean used its power to hold back the flood, while with the other she lifted the plane from the ground.
"She's controlling the jet!" Storm exclaimed, staring out the window in amazement. Xavier could feel the horror and awe of the others, as they watched.
"You! Get her! Now!" shouted Logan, turning to Kurt. The fear and desperation in Logan's voice making him sound downright ferocious.
Xavier mentally reached toward Kurt, turning his will against the action they all wished the teleporter could take. He couldn't get Jean, not yet. Not quite yet. The pressure of the teleport would break all the concentration she so desperately needed. Xavier prayed it was possible for Jean to hold back the flood and control the jet from inside, but Phoenix was too dangerous right now. Strong as Jean was, until he could rebuild some barriers, she wouldn't be able to control the Phoenix for long. She had to stay. For the sake of the whole world, she had to stay. However, Xavier stilled hope. Maybe once they got above the water, they could wrest Phoenix back into a cage and take Jean home. He wanted this to be true, like a child wanted to believe in Santa Claus.
"She's not letting me!" Kurt breathed, mistaking Xavier's power for Jean's.
"Damn it!" cursed Scott, not able to take his eyes off Jean, as they watched her through the window. She was struggling, fighting the flood and trying to get the plane into the air.
Xavier concentrated, still doing his best to help her. It was like fighting a bucking bronco the size of a house and he found himself trying to throw more and more ropes around the Phoenix, panic rising as he watch it grow in power and his every attempt to hold it snap and wither.
Let Go! Jean's thoughts cried, You have to let go. I need it all!
No, It's too dangerous! We can hold it and teleport you in when the plane above the water!
We can't. We have to let it go. You have to let me go. All of you do!
No! Jean! Xavier continued to hold on, straining every inch of his mind to hold the Phoenix to hold onto hope. The burn of tears began to sting his eyes, even has he squeezed them shut in concentration. There's got to another way…
Tell the others, for me. Tell them…
Against his own will, Xavier felt his mouth moving. "I know what I'm doing. This is the only way."
"Jean?!" Scott was beside, gripping his arm, as he stared into Xavier's face. He'd recognized her voice in an instant. "Listen to me," he sobbed, "Don't do this."
"Goodbye." Xavier's lips moved, but it was Jean's voice he was hearing and his gut wrenched cold at the words tears tricking down his cheeks.
"No! No! NO!" growled Logan and both he and Scott turned back to the window.
Jean! Xavier still clutched to her mind, but he felt so weak and small, like a butterfly caught in a cyclone.
Let me go. Let US go! And she tore away the last barrier. Fire engulfed them and Xavier was thrown off in a burst of hot will. Outside the window he could still see her and he wasn't sure if it was real, or just a psych aftereffect of his exposure, but she seemed to glow red with flames.
Beneath him, Xavier felt the plane lift off, rising steady until it was above the flood. For a few moments he could still feel the hot-hot power of the Phoenix and the unbreakable resolve of Jean, then it all vanished. The world turned cold.
AN: Thanks for reading. I hope everyone liked it. This is my first time writing Xavier and I happened to pick a very emotional and controversial scene. I'd like to know how you thought it turned out. Did it seem accurate? I always felt Xavier didn't do enough in the movie. Please leave a review and give me or opinion on how passive Prof. X always seemed in the movies.