Return of the Phoenix - Welcome Back
It wasn't that he thought about her all the time. Or even some of the time. Or really any of the time. That wasn't what made his dreams such horrors, even after so many years. His waking conscious had erased her entirely. Jean was something he had left in the 20th century. He had other, bigger problems now. To think of her, to focus on her constantly as he once did, would mean death in his modern reality.
The original X-Men appearing once more, such beautifully innocent versions of the current stale members, had been nearly too much for him to handle. He assumed their stay would be short and that Hank would be able to somehow return them to their original timeline in a few weeks. The cruel nature of fate forced them to remain and Scott to come to terms with his younger self, who was so different than his own reflection that it terrified him. And to see Jean again, so young that he had almost forgotten the fresh look she carried with her short hair and boyish hips. But still, he kept his distance easily. He saw her as a problem he needed to handle. To look at her as his dead wife would have been too alien to a concept to understand.
After all, she was or at least should have been his ex-wife at the time of her death. He had cheated on her numerous times with Emma. Told her mentally numerous times that he had made a mistake with her. That all those years were a waste. She understood though she was livid of course. He has assumed she would ask for a divorce but apparently by the end she was much too cosmic for such mundane tasks. By that time she was known as "Miss Grey" by the students of the school and was treated with a respect that was obviously built on fear by everyone in Xavier's institute. She was still "Red" to Logan, though, and "Jean" to Scott.
It was that otherworldliness that haunted and, admittedly, attracted him every night. He knew there was a reason why Emma always appeared in the Dark Phoenix suit with flaming red hair during their psychic affair. He knew there was a reason why his attraction to his wife began to dwindle when she became just another mutant teacher in her all black Xavier wardrobe with rollnecks and sensible shoes. It was a bore - too didactic and predictable. Scott Summers had become accustomed to the dangerous addicted to the things that tore him apart. All his life could be categorized into immense highs and immense lows with little in between. When he thought about all those highs and lows, during rare moments of silence he would remember Jean and find himself unable to sink any further into the memory that had once been close enough to the surface to touch.
Only in sleep can he puncture the wall that stands between the present and the past. There is always Jean in some capacity - the Phoenix, the Dark Phoenix, the X-Factor Jean, Miss Grey. Even Marvel Girl makes the occasional appearance usually in some degrading position, over his knee or the likes. Always sadistic always consumed in flames, she would appear as if returning from the dead once again. Sometimes they would make love with as much tenderness as such a term entails. Other times, Jean would fuck him till he woke suddenly and violently in a pool of boiling sweat, a hole in the ceiling his ruby glasses cracked.
His strained relationship with Emma he knew had become so strained because of Jean's shadow among other things. She could feel every thought, every dream every uncontrollable urge that his subconscious mind could conjure and it disgusted her. She hated Jean as any mistress turned girlfriend would but she loved Scott. Hundreds of times she had been the one to slowly calm him down after a brain splintering dream death by the hands of a Phoenix possessed Jean.
They hadn't slept together for a week though he had been trying for months to recuperate what they once had. What he had given up everything to have. A spark had certainly gone out along the way and Scott was willing to admit his own failures in terms of Emma but it was more than that. Things had gotten too big for them, just as they had with Jean. With their leave from the Jean Grey School, the addition of the Original X-Men to their new school, and his persistent dreams, he wondered if the woman who he had once sacrificed so much for would ever return to him. With her current icy attitude, he highly doubted it, though under much faked apathy he prayed for it.
He never thought about these kinds of things unless he was on the cusp of sleep. It was a kind of preparation for his dreams. Jean still caught him off guard when he closed his eyes and saw her in all her matured glory. He thought about young Jean 1960s Jean and sighed. He wondered what would become of her if the Phoenix didn't kill her like the old Jean.
"Why are you dressed in white?"
He had drifted off quickly as he always did and found himself in a completely white vacuum, with a White Phoenix enthroned before him. Not surprisingly he was a bit more alarmed than usual. There had been many peculiar dreams for Scott, but none of them were so blank. There was always a setting, a plot, a climax. But this was just all white. Clean.
"Don't you know where we are, Scott? Where you are?"
Scott looked around at the blankness coming to no obvious conclusion. It stretched on for miles and miles all white, besides a golden throne like chair where his wife sat beautiful as ever, but dressed as the White Phoenix. She had rarely donned such robes before - either in reality, when she was alive, or in his previous dreams. He looked at her apprehensively.
"The White Hot Room, Jean."
She smiled and stood, allowing Scott to take in her figure. The sloping curves of her breasts, hips, and thighs seemed almost too pronounced when he pictured the young, lanky Jean from his world. Perversely erotic. She had gained some weight, if that was possible, since the last time he had seen her. His wife had been a meticulous dieter during her lifetime, remaining stick thin besides her above-average chest.
Jean looked at the floor, almost bashfully, before chuckling. "Oh, Scott. So much newness all about you and all you can focus on is how fat I have gotten? Could a woman ask for a better husband?" She laughed, and for the first time it sounded genuine, without the glaring Phoenix tint that had afflicted it for so long. He stood still, frowning.
"It's just different. You're usually the same you in my dreams. The old, thin Jean. My wife Jean. Only crazy."
<"Or more crazy.">
He almost laughed at his own joke, but kept it bottled up, knowing she had heard him loud and clear.
She raised an eyebrow and twirled a long strand of red hair around a finger. That too had grown. Time had elapsed. "Well, yes. Those are dreams. Your subconscious, and apparently your conscious as well, thinks I'm crazy. This is not a dream, honey. This is Jean and Scott. The old us."
He felt his chest tighten, his heart skip. <"Just as you said it would, Jean.">
"The Phoenix said that, Scott. Not me, exactly. I've collected all my pieces, had my time of relaxation, as you said I would. The Phoenix force is within me and without me. I can now control it ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â– truly control it. I don't need it and it doesn't need me but we're still connected." She smirked and looked down at herself. "My time here has taught me so much. Vanity is useless. So is jealously. This, I feel, is my natural self, without all the stressors of Earth-bound life. I quite like it. I'm sorry if you don't, sweetie."
"Since when do you care about my feelings in my dreams?"
Jean rolled her eyes in her characteristic manner. "Those were not my meddling's, baby. Those were just your dreams. Trust me, I did not create them. But I did see them." She winked and began to walk towards Scott. He immediately backed up.
"I am sure this is bizarre for you."
"Eh, not particularly. In most of my dreams you end up killing me. Very little is still out-of-bounds for me."
She shot him a harsh look. "Like I said Scott, this is not a dream. This is really me. Jean, your wife."
Scott turned around, so he wasn't facing her. "After all you have put me through, how can I believe you? After all of the things you have done to me, to the X-Men...how could I ever trust you, even if you were you, which I don't believe you are, but hypothetically speaking. You die, you come back, you die again. You haunt my dreams for years inhibiting any other romantic relationship I could have. I have no idea who you are. I know the Jean I married, and I still love her. But I don't know you."
He thought he might have seen a hint of rawness in her expression before it became stark again. "You don't trust me. That is very reasonable."
"Thank you," he murmured. She reached out for him again and he backed away.
"Please." she whispered.
"What do you want?"
"Please just touch me again. Please." She stuck her golden-gloved hand out, as if awaiting a kiss. Scott gazed at it.
He looked at her, into her pale green eyes, and knew that something was internally different about this particular dream. Her eyes were always ablaze red, orange, yellow. Phoenix flames. Always. Those emerald orbs were the ones he looked into on his wedding night. The eyes he saw right before she said goodbye the final time. Reaching out, he grasped her hand in his, looping his fingers between hers, and glanced up at his wife just in time to see her grin before he woke up, back in his bed at the school. His lungs wheezed as he shot up, quickly looking around the room for any sign of life. There was none.
Just a dream...
- Jean is actually back
- It was only a dream
- something else (blank)
Page created by: phoenix10 on 2016-09-28 18:58:28.
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