|Alex, Scott, Jean, and Warren, in Scott's Office
||[Jun. 3rd, 2005|08:51 pm]
After hijacking a washer and dryer, Alex was looking and smelling a whole lot more appealing. Though truth be told, if he had a choice about it, he'd never see these jeans again. After spending three solid days in them, there was just no more love to give. A round in the laundry room had freshened them, but the principle remained. And if he'd had more than two pairs of decent jeans, he would've too. Alex had never spent this long away from his apartment, and had spent the two hours in the laundry thinking of all kinds of things, like maybe he'd had a burglar or that he'd left the oven on. Of course, a burglar couldn't even steal decent food and he didn't really have an oven so much as a cupboard that plugged in, but that was all moot.
So now, feeling slightly damp around the waistband, he stood worn out and a bit confused at the door of this Scott person he was supposed to see. It had triggered some funny things in his head, as his brother had been named Scott, and Alex hadn't thought about him for years. He'd been so tall. Or at least, his memory was tall. Alex had been what... five... when he'd seen him last, and at that age, everyone was tall. And if he remembered correctly, something of a hardass. But Alex had loved him, admired him, and credited him for saving his life, hardassed or no. He'd been mildly jealous back when he'd been told they were all dead, as Scotty got to be with their parents and he didn't. Honestly, he still was. It sometimes made him tired, knowing that Scott was up having fun in heaven and he'd had to relearn how to walk six different times after multiple surgeries and remember to ask when to pee.
Straightening his sweatshirt, which was grey and had a little 'X' in a circle on the chest, Alex took a deep breath and knocked.
Scott smiled and leaned back in his desk chair, ignoring for now his flashing lap-top screen. The giant Rubix Cube in his hands, half-solved already. It was huge and cheap and hard to turn. Jean's hard won triumph of dart vs. balloon was now his. It was either this or the framed poster of the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard. A tough choice, but the cube won out.
He really should be writing out his Calculus final. The test was four days away. It was half-done. He toyed with the idea of blackmailing Bobby into doing it, tracking down Jean and dragging her off to go see the new Star Wars movie, crappy reviews be damned, but-
Someone knocked. Scott blinked and set down the puzzle. Oh, right. New student. Alex... Alex... Masters? "Come on in." He called, tapping on his keyboard, bringing up his file, "Door's open."
At the summons, Alex straightened his sweatshirt one last time and couldn't quite bring himself to barge right in. His tousled head peeked in, seeing the room partially under construction and then a guy behind a desk with funny glasses playing with the largest Rubix cube he'd ever seen. Rubix cubes made Alex mad; just when he got a few in a row or a whole side, the rest of the damn thing was still off and it was all for nothing. But anyone who had the patience to spend their time twisting and turning... more power to them. To Alex, a big Rubix was like a pair of oversized thumbscrews.
Carefully stepping around the parts of wall laying around, he felt nervous. One hand darted up to tuck a strand of hair behind his ears, and then he remembered it would show off his hearing aids and wished he hadn't, and then he thought about pushing the hair back, but that was stupid, but maybe shaking his head? No. That would look dumb too.
With his feet together and his fluttering hands resolutely locked behind his back, Alex looked like a kid in a principle's office trying to convince the big man of innocence before the paddle came out. He didn't know why he was nervous, but he guessed it had to do with meeting important people. And the fact he didn't know why he was there. At the mansion. He had a perfectly good apartment, and he could get another job. But... he didn't know.
Feeling like he ought to say something, he said the first thing that popped into his head. "Um."
Wonderful. 'So are we going for just mentally damaged or truly retarded?' he asked himself.
"Hi," he added. Mentally damaged, he decided. The other could come later. There was time.
Scott tossed the Rubix cube onto the growing pile of papers on his desk, smiling up at the kid who shuffled nervously into his office. No, not a kid exactly, a young man. He glanced toward the screen of his lap top -- Alex Masters -- looking seven shades of nervous as he made his way toward Scott's desk. He usually wasn't the one who did this... giving the official "Welcome to Mutant Manor" speech, but the Professor was off somewhere and Jean was otherwise occupied with Kurt, who'd all but bodily dragged her off as soon as their shadows hit the Mansion's front doorsteps.
"Hi," Scott eased back into his chair, "I'm Scott Summers, take a seat?" He gestured toward the chair across from him. Alex tucked unruly blond behind his ears and Scott could almost see him wince. Ah. Hearing aids. God knows, he knew what that felt like, his hand unconsciously reaching to push his glasses firmer against his face. Now to try and not traumatize the guy with his complete lack of social graces. Sigh. "Alex, right?"
The Man Behind The Desk smiled, and Alex tried to smile back. Tried being the operative word. He was pretty sure it came out as a kind of strained wince, and swallowed.
"Hi. I'm Scott Summers, take a seat?"
Alex felt like someone had taken a two by four and slammed him across the face. His face registered a quick moment of utter shock and then settled into surprised confusion. Summers? Scott Summers? But that... and he... but... but... Alex's mouth opened and closed a few times without anything coming out, saved from looking like a dying fish by the expression of 'what the?!' A rush of reality filled the void that was then currently Alex's brain, and the connections clicked heavily like the barrels of an old gun.
Scott was dead.
There were a lot of people with the last name Summers.
Lots of people named Scott too.
The odds are completely against you here.
It's just a huge coincidence.
You look like a dork, yo.
Blinking like he was waking from a dream, Alex knew he had about ten seconds to save his shred of reputation before this guy Who Was Not Scott threw him out on his ass for just being a vapid loser. He chuckled nervously and knew his hands were so sweaty they were dripping on the dusty floor.
"That... uh... Sorry. That's just... You have my brother's name." He shrugged. "My... er... my last name was Summers till the Masters's had it changed. Boy you, uh... you scared me for a sec."
Okay. Bad save. The only thing that would help now would be for them both to come down with severe amnesia and forget what a hosebag he'd been, hit the stop, rewind, play. Or of course, for the floor to open up and swallow him. Alex saw any and all credibility dying in large gouting flames, much like his parents' plane, and like then, there wasn't anything he could do about it.
Putting on a hopeful face, he tried, "You were saying?"
Alex looked about ready to throw up. Scott winced along with the kid. This really wasn't his forte. Especially with this poor guy, who went rigid and gaping the second Scott introduced himself. Oh, God, I should have conned Jean into this... He tried to discreetly scan the file scrolled across his laptop screen. Other than the hearing aids did he have any... other... problems?
Scott frowned, "You ok?"
Alex just stood there, looking gobsmacked, before finally blinking and laughing weakly.
'Scott Summers' was his brother, which made him Alex-
"The baby! Hold onto the baby, Scotty! Oh, God, I love you...I love you..." Her mascara was running down her cheeks in black ribbons. The baby was crying. Scotty buried his face in sweaty blond curls. Couldn't breathe. Smoke and fuel...
Scott cleared his throat, mouth gone dry, not hearing anything else the kid said. Jesus, his eyes... his fucking eyes...
"My brother's name was Alex." He blinked. He didn't realize he'd said anything. "He and my parents died in a plane crash."
The glasses and head never moved, but Alex could tell without seeing that the eyes were darting around. Possibly trying to think up an escape from this doof in front of him. Alex couldn't blame him. He was still reeling from the whole 'Scott Summers' thing. What a coincidence. Scott seemed uncomfortable, and Alex wished he could helpfully burst into flame to at least end the meeting and give them both something to do. Other than stare at each other and wonder just how damaged he was.
After what Alex was sure was roughly twenty years, Scott Summers spoke. "My brother's name was Alex."
Of all the things that could've come out of the man's mouth, that was the thing Alex was the least prepared for. Do you have a keeper, maybe, where did you escape from was another, or else is your mommy home, can we call her. He had ready responses for them all, but not for 'my brother's name was Alex'.
His mind didn't automatically connect. He stood, blinking stupidly, a blond houseplant, for a good minute or two. The sensation of being sideswiped with an I-beam twice within the space of two minutes was not something that induced conductive thinking. It was more a pee generator, though Alex had mercifully gone before he'd come.
But oh, Scott had more to say. "He and my parents died in a plane crash."
At this point, Alex's body knew what was going on and he didn't. His legs buckled and in seconds he found himself sprawled on the floor amidst a poof of mostly drywall dust. He sneezed. No no no no NO NO NO NO
A chalky hand came up to brush bangs out of his eyes. "That's wrong. Scott and Mom and Dad died. I didn't. I'm right here."
Alex was somewhere in a galaxy far, far away, and his mouth was talking without him. He was up above himself, watching his newly clean jeans muck up with white powder and strangely enough, thinking Oskar would approve. He of the white clothing. The hand absently worried a handful of hair, getting it all chalky too. Alex wanted to tell him on the floor to stop, that he was getting filthy, but he couldn't talk loud enough. The one on the floor couldn't seem to hear.
"They couldn't find Scott, so they told me that he was probably dead. They said they looked everywhere. He died, like Mom and Dad did, and... and..." Floor Alex was becoming confused and afraid. Hovering Alex wanted to tell him to shut up, that he was being a fool, and he was beginning to panic. Stop, stop! Don't! But Floor Alex went on. "You can't be him. I can't be your Alex. I can't have been alone all that time..." His voice had risen and then fell.
Scott was standing. Staring down at The Boy On The Floor. Who the fuck... what the fuck was he?
Dust. Covered in dust. White dust like clouds covered the boy.
Screaming. Someone was screaming. Screaming in the rush of freezing air... the parachute... oh fucking God, the parachute...
The world dissolved into red fire.
And then everyone was gone.
Scott knelt by The Boy. "My father's name was Major Christopher Summers. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska. My name is Scott Christopher Nathan Summers." He reached down and grabbed The Boy by his arm, hauling him to his feet. He grabbed The Boy's chin, stared into his eyes. Blue, blue eyes. "My mother's name was Katherine Ann Summers."
He dragged The Boy across the room and deposited him into the empty leather chair and dug into his pocket for his wallet. He yanked out a small photo and slammed it on the desk. His father's Air Force picture. A simple matter of contacting the USAF for it. Simple, so fucking simple. "This is Major Christopher Summers."
**Jean... Jean, who the fuck is this in my office...** Scott's thoughts slammed against the mental link he shared with Jean with an acid hiss. **If this is Mystique, I swear to God, I will kill her. I will kill her with my bare fucking hands. I swear to fucking God.**
The thought that was returned to Scott's mind sounded startled, disturbed, concerned, even frightened. **Wh-Who? What?** For a moment there was silence from the connection they shared. Then her voice sounded in his mind again, **Well, it looks like he thinks he is Alex Masters, his name changed from Alex Summers... That's just surface thoughts though. I'm coming down.**
Something in the desk man clicked, or rather, snapped, and instantly, this Scott Summers was kneeling beside a dusty Alex, staring with an intensity that Alex hadn't felt without machinery involved someplace. There was the beginning of panic starting deep in his stomach.
"My father's name was Major Christopher Summers. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska. My name is Scott Christopher Nathan Summers."
Alex's mouth opened, either to reply or just in shock, but he didn't get to do anything because Scott Christopher Nathan Summers then had him by the arm and was hauling him none-too-gently to his feet. Alex had all of a second to get his bearings before this highly driven individual jerked his head around to look into his eyes. Every muscle was taunt and some primal instinct was telling Alex to flee, flee, run away, but he was a little busy being manhandled by a formerly dignified young man important enough to have a room devoted to just a desk.
"My mother's name was Katherine Ann Summers."
Alex wanted to say he knew, that that was his father's, brother's, and mother's names too, but this amazingly forceful dialogue was accompanied by another lurch, as Scott Christopher Nathan Summers yanked him to a chair that was fortunately padded and soft, perhaps like the walls of the place the elder Mister Summers had been previously?
"This is Major Christopher Summers."
All at once Alex was indignant. "How did you get his picture?" he asked, in sudden frustration. "I never got to have a picture."
Feeling tired, very tired, just then, Alex decided he better reciprocate his information. "I was born in Anchorage too. Seven years after my brother Scott. My whole name is Alexander Philip Summers, and you just said my parents' names."
"What... what's going on, and why are you pulling me around?" Alex was confused, to say the least. And his arm hurt. "How can you be alive?"
Scott collapsed in his chair behind the desk, dropping his head into his hands. His blood rushed in his ears, beating its way painfully through his veins, building the pressure. He looked up at The Boy.
"I have a picture," he said. Carefully. The words heavy as the years of grief clinging to his memories, to who he was, to what shaped him. "I called the Air Force."
Christ. The baby. He was supposed to take care of the baby.
Mom said so.
"I'm sorry," Scott whispered. Grasping... reaching. Cyclops. Let Cyclops slide into place, take it for him. He couldn't do this. He’d buried the baby years ago, along with Mom and Dad. "I'm sorry." He picked up the Rubik’s cube and stared at it. "I woke up ten months after the crash, at a hospital in Omaha. They said you died, all of you."
He finally looked at Alex. Looking for something... anything. He brushed his fingers across the edge of his glasses. "I remember when we were falling. A flash of red." His mutation, manifestation born of need... of survival. "The parachute failed. We were falling too fast. I mani-" he looked up as Jean flung open the door.
Pushing out of the seat, she began to head to the door before remembering Warren's presence, "Scott's in trouble I think... he needs me. I'll be right back." With that, she had the door open and was literally running down the hall at break neck speed toward the stairs.
Without thinking, she just jumped over the banister at the top of the stairs, using her TK to slow and stop herself at the bottom. It was a lot faster than taking the stairs or waiting on the elevator. She could hear Warren's pursuit behind her as she opened Scott's office door, breathing a little harder than normal as she headed in. "Scott?"
Pushing the errant strand of copper from her brow, back into the semi-mussed mass behind her ear, she walked behind the desk and searched Scott's face. It didn't take more than a glance to see the tightness in his jaw, the flutter of the taut muscle, the firm set of his normally over-sensual lips that had upon occasion won the teasing comment from his friends of having 'girl lips', for her to know that Cyclops was firmly in place.
Perching on the edge of his chair, she crossed her arms beneath her breasts and reached out to his mind with her, just a light caress, **Scott... even if I search his mind extensively, I can't promise that it's him. Even if it's Mystique, if she's touched the person she can replicate their DNA. Baby... I-I can get the Professor... I'm just not as skilled as he is.**
The ball in her stomach tightened as she turned her eyes on the person claiming to be Scott's brother for the first time. There wasn't a lot of family resemblance between the two. One was blond, the other brunette, the younger was lighter complexioned, the older darker seemingly in every way. Of course, there was the main difference, that Scott was marked with his pain in the glasses he could never remove.
Warren wasn't going to stop or slow down. He was moving, full tilt down the corridors and stairs once he realized and processed what Jean was saying. Scott was in some kind of trouble.
He realized almost as soon as he came into the room, behind Jean and wings flared protectively almost like an animal trying to appear larger that it was that something was very very wrong here. He still didn't know what, didn't have all the answers but the way Scott was holding himself told him.. more than it would have all but save a very few; Jean being one of those, of course.
"What's going on?" He pinned the blonde young man with an assessing stare, his face impassive and his voice calm and... controlled.
Alex was too busy doing the Home Alone impression to really absorb what Scott Christopher Nathan Summers was saying, but knew an apology had fit in there. A small part of Alex cried yes, he should be damn sorry! He left me all alone and scared and I missed him and it was too much and god, I was terrified...
That train of thought was quickly overloaded, and he switched to a safer one. "I have a picture. I called the Air Force," he'd said. Now that Alex thought about it, duh. But he couldn't recall his father's title before now, and it didn't matter. He stared at the picture, rubbing his forehead, feeling a bunch of very strong emotions he couldn't name all at once and getting a little carsick.
"I remember when we were falling. A flash of red. The parachute failed. We were falling too fast. I mani-"
Alex blinked when Scott stopped, not remembering a flash of red himself; there'd been so many oranges and yellows and reds that no one stood out. Swiveling his head, he was just in time to see a nicely statuesque redhead storm in, followed by... by... a more finished version of that deal from breakfast. Alex cowered in his chair, bringing his knees up to his chin and wishing he could sink into the leather. This was all very tossed-into-the-movie-in-the-middle, and he didn't know what to do about it.
The man with wings, who was puffing out impressively, nailed Alex with a Glare, and Alex felt an assortment of internal and external organs shrivel under it. "What's going on?"
As if this was his fault. It wasn't anyone’s, but... geez. "Nothing," he squeaked, his voice breaking on the second syllable in his effort to sound harmless and casual. "I... I don't know."
And just for good measure, "Please don't eat me."