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14 April 2007 @ 01:01 am
Parallelograms (the Both Followed and Led Remix) [X-Men; Scott Summers]  
Title: Parallelograms (the Both Followed and Led Remix)
Author: musamea
Summary: After Alkali Lake, life goes on at the mansion. Ten drabbles on how Scott's doesn't.
Rating: PG-13 for language.
Fandom: slightly AU X-Men movieverse, with comics backstory thrown in. (The X-Men belong to Marvel and its affiliates. "Eric's Song" -- full lyrics here -- belongs to Vienna Teng.) Many thanks to resolute for the beta!
Warnings: none
Spoilers: occurs between X2 and X3, and assumes knowledge through the former
Title, Author and URL of original story: The Triangles Sequence by plotbunnytohma, linked here.


I. "I measure the time and I stand amazed"

It's been five months, two weeks, and three days since the waters of Alkali Lake closed over Jean Grey's glowing body. If asked, Scott can narrow the time passed down to hours and minutes.

No one asks. And Scott's not sure if he's relieved or utterly pissed that everyone else seems to be moving on with the greatest of ease. Even Ororo, even the Professor.

Sometimes he hates them for it. That they can pick up the pieces, teach the classes, live the lives that she gave them, without any lingering grief.

Mostly he hates himself for even thinking that.


II. "my hand is outstretched toward the damp of the haze"

He has more trouble sleeping than he'll admit. He's taken to drinking two cups of coffee, black, in the mornings, to combat his nights of fidgeting and tossing to and fro before he finally lapses into blurry, unsettled dreams.

Walls of water collapse, once, again. Jet engines hum beneath his feet. Steady old Blackbird, having failed once, she does not fail again when Jean's power lifts her. Jean shuts him in, over and over. Cuts their telepathic link. Sometimes, in his dreams, he blasts out the exit hatch or the cockpit. Anything to reach her.

Anything to die with her.


III. "and of course I forgive"

He and Logan come to an uneasy truce. They must. Scott has always maintained that even a mansion isn't big enough to contain feuds between faculty, students, or teammates, and he's damned if he'll make an exception to that rule, even for himself.

He still thinks Logan's a bastard, most days. She chose you, as if there was ever any real question about it.

Except that sometimes he wonders if there might have been. He's never been told what went on during his captivity in Stryker's base. And he's never asked.

He's not sure if that makes him a coward.


IV. "I've seen how you live"

He can tell from the moment he sets eyes on him that Remy LeBeau is going to be trouble.

He knows the type -- eyes with a promise of sin, a self-satisfied smirk, sensuality oozing from every pore. This Gambit kid reminds him of John, and of Logan, but he knows immediately that Xavier's newest student is about ten times more dangerous than either.

Logan, at least, has some scruples. And John was always passion without an outlet.

Rogue looks like Christmas has arrived early. Bobby's fists are clenched.

Scott doesn't miss it when the temperature drops a few degrees.


V. "like a phoenix you rise from the ashes"

The drama between Rogue, Bobby, and Remy looks so small to him. They're just kids, he thinks.

But he and Jean had just been kids, too, when they first got together. And Warren had been the third vertex of their triangle then, and it had all seemed so terribly important. Some things don't change, much. The little drama that played out when Logan came to the mansion was just another spin on an old, old story.

The roles of this play don't change. Nor does the plot. Only the characters.

And he watches as his students take up their parts.


VI. "you pick up the pieces"

He doesn't know what it means that the good guy loses, this time.

He's sitting with Rogue on a bench in the backyard, listening to the whole, messy story unravel from her lips, and it's suddenly hard to remember that analogues don't create truth. That Remy isn't Logan, and he isn't Bobby, and Jean wasn't Rogue.

He hears himself telling her to follow her heart, to do what makes her happy.

She says he sounds like a bad chick flick, but he knows his words have given her the absolution she seeks to do what she would have done anyway.


VII. "and the ghosts in the attic / they never quite leave"

Scott remembers a time when he'd been considered the bad boy. By all counts, Warren and Jean had everything going for them. He the scion of high society, she the daughter of an ancient and respected name. All Scott had to offer was a refurbished Harley and a devilish grin.

And she'd picked him. The bad boy who drove too fast and fucked her long and hard.

But somehow he'd turned into the Boy Scout, seeking to further Xavier's dream.

Maybe Jean had grown tired of being with the good guy. Heaven knows, Scott gets tired of himself sometimes, too.


VIII. "strange how we know each other"

"Beast," Scott says, leaning against the doorway to Jean's -- no, Hank's lab, now.

"Battle names in a non-combat situation, Cyclops?" Hank asks, looking up from his microscope. "I have a premonition that this will not end well."

"Ha. The Professor wants us to go on a camping trip."

"'Us'?"

"You. Me. Remy, Bobby, and Logan."

Hank raises an eyebrow at the last name. "That sounds rather… foolhardy." Scott knows he means, Will you be able to handle it?

He's tired of walking on eggshells. "That's why you're coming along."

"Oh?"

"To keep us from killing each other. Good luck."


IX. "there's a distance erased with the greatest of ease"

Sometimes Scott wonders, perversely, why it seems like Logan is the only one who understands him.

They've been on this goddamnstupididioticfuckme trip for four days, and a look of murderous rage has crossed Logan's face six times. Usually directed at Remy or Bobby. Never at him. Funny that Scott feels the same way.

"Do you think she would have been happy?" he asks Logan, later. With you?

Logan calls it a shitty question. "'Course she would."

But Scott's used to parsing beneath certainty and he hears what Logan doesn't say. But she was happier with you. It doesn't sound condescending.


X. "strange how certain the journey"

Scott.

Her voice has calling his name for three days. Every waking moment until he thinks he might be going crazy. Though if crazy means he can hear Jean, maybe it's not a bad thing.

Finally, he stuffs some shirts and his visor into a backpack, snags the keys to his bike, and takes off. His words to Logan are calculated to throw the other man off, to distract him from asking where Scott might be going, and for what reason.

He's glad his students are in good hands.

He revs his bike and points her north, toward Alkali Lake.
 
 
 
not crazy cause i take the right pills: xmen scott still searching letia84roguewords on April 22nd, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
Oh. Oh Scott. *pets him*

He's so hurt and sees things in black and white, not as they are. *whimpers*

And leaving his students in Logan's hands, like he knew he wouldn't be coming back. Oh Scott.
nunc lege, nunc ora: Scott Leadermusamea on April 30th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
You're right on the money about the Cyclopean nature of his vision here. Poor thing.

And thanks for the comment (and the rec!)
not crazy cause i take the right pills: xmen scott still searching letia84roguewords on April 30th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
Ha! I knew it! *nods*

Yes, very good. Very you, not that that's a bad thing.
(and you welcome!)
prufrock, before he got famous: cyclopslikeadeuce on April 22nd, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, marvelous -- (no pun intended).

I love how you've kept the story of the original but shifted the focus to Scott. I particularly loved his trying to remind himself not to overidentify with Bobby in the triangle.

I really love this picture of Scott and the way the ending sort of fades in to what we saw in X3. Awesome story!
nunc lege, nunc ora: Scott bikemusamea on April 30th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Thank you so much (for this comment and the rec). I'm really glad the focus-switch worked for you, as it was something I worried a bit about when I was trying to figure out how to rework the original story.
prufrock, before he got famouslikeadeuce on April 30th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
You know, I suspected this was you, but I wasn't totally sure. Good to know.

Great story!
nunc lege, nunc ora: Scott shadesmusamea on April 30th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
Heh, thanks again! And yeah, I kinda felt like this story had me written all over it... :)
st_aurafina: Scott Knightst_aurafina on April 23rd, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
I love how Scott sees the same story happening over and over in front of him, with different players. Lovely, and very sad.
nunc lege, nunc ora: Scott Emperormusamea on April 30th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Thank you! It's kind of ironic that Scott has this much insight/objectivity when it comes to seeing the parallels in the triangles... and yet he doesn't, not really, when it comes to himself.
lilacsigil: memorieslilacsigil on April 23rd, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
Ouch. I very much liked how this followed through from its premise - Scott unable to move on, where the others already have. The odd trust that developed between him and Logan was good, too, giving him the freedom to accept the comfort that Logan was trying to give.
nunc lege, nunc ora: astonish themmusamea on April 30th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I find the relationship between Scott and Logan endlessly fascinating, so I'm glad it worked for you, here. :)
bewizeficwize on April 23rd, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
Ouch. Ouch. Wow. Wow.

Hehehe, and that sums up my take on this fic. But let me add one more word: freakingawesome!!!

This was so very good. And so very sad and poignant and beautiful and believable. Oops, okay so more than one word, but the last drabble really ripped at me. Excellent job.
nunc lege, nunc ora: Scott rosesmusamea on April 30th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it, and that it rang true and achy. It's funny, because after writing "Way of Grief" I thought I'd pretty much exhausted what I had to say about post-X2 Scott. Tackling it this way, in drabble form, within the confines of another person's story, showed me that I wasn't quite done yet. :)
trascendenza: BBM - Jack - Proud 01trascendenza on April 30th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
...live the lives that she gave them,
Oh, wow. That line just hits so hard, and it really feels like exactly the way Scott would see it.

Anything to die with her.
Waaaaah! *wails*

She says he sounds like a bad chick flick, but he knows his words have given her the absolution she seeks to do what she would have done anyway.
Okay, the first part of this is perfect Rogue, and the second part is just... gorgeous.

Heaven knows, Scott gets tired of himself sometimes, too.
Oh, God, Scott. *hugs him*

"To keep us from killing each other. Good luck."
Aaaah, I can so hear grumpy!Scott saying this to Hank!

But Scott's used to parsing beneath certainty...
What a lovely description; I love this moment of unspoken understanding between them.

Though if crazy means he can hear Jean, maybe it's not a bad thing.
*dies a little*

Okay, you officially own and Scott and further own at writing gorgeous angsty. *g*
nunc lege, nunc ora: X3 Cykemusamea on April 30th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *blushes* As I mentioned to ficwize above, one of my first stories in X-Men fandom was this multi-chaptered treatise on Scott, post-X2, and after I finished it, I thought I'd said everything I wanted to say about Scott and grief. So getting to tackle the subject again was a great challenge, especially in this brief form. I'm really glad you like it!
inathunderstorm on May 2nd, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Oh GOD. Hon, this is as incredible as usual and just gave me a case of the shivers like nothing else. Aiee. The "anything to die with her" gave me ALL KINDS OF CHILLS ZOMG.

This is brilliant and so, so awesome (as usual), and Vienna Teng for the WIN!!!
nunc lege, nunc ora: iCykemusamea on May 2nd, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you like it. *beams* Er... no pun intended. :) And yeah, I was completely at a loss for months on how to write this Remix, and then my iTunes clicked onto "Eric's Song" and the rest was history. Yay, Vienna Teng!