- Work in Progress
- Abuse - Sexual
- Dark Themes
- Death - Child
- Death - Major Character
- Death - Minor Character
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Other Trigger Topics
- Discussion - Sexual Abuse
- Discussion - Torture
- Disturbing Imagery
- Permanent Injury
- Suicide - Attempted
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Violence - Graphic
- Violence - Sexual
- Action Adventure
- Alternate Universe
- Challenge Response
- Episode Related
- Fix It
Art by WaterSoter
There was fire at a distance. Hungry flames rising higher and higher in the sky. Reaching to him, for him. It was alright. These flames wouldn’t hurt him. A part of him knew that, while the rest recoiled like from a rattlesnake about to bite.
The earth around them was filled with rubble. That . . . wasn’t good. It wasn’t good that he be there either. But he couldn’t remember why that was. Not now. He couldn’t leave, though. This was the place, the spot he needed to be. Where the rivers of lava rose harmlessly from the ground. Fireflies of yellow, red and orange painting the ground black.
“It’s beautiful.” The familiar voice was welcome, always welcome as she stepped between heat that would burn shear skin off. She passed harmlessly by. As it should be, a deep, dark voice spoke from the recess of his mind. “I always wondered what this would look like.”
Her colors were red and gold and she wore them well. Scott smiled and reached for her and she did him. When they connected it was like a missing part of himself had finally come home. “Jean.” He whispered and held that deceptively fragile body close. Warm, fitting just the way it always did before against his.
“I missed you.” Her breath brushed against his neck, tickled against his jaw, his earlobe. “I missed you, Scott.” She said again, hands gripping tightly at the back of his uniform. Bringing them even more together until not even air could pass between their bodies.
He wanted nothing more than to melt against that body. Against his first love. Nose buried in rusted hair, familiar scents of ashes and lilies. Death and life. But that power wasn’t Jean. Jean and Phoenix were two separate entities no matter what others might have been led to believe and in his arms he didn’t know which he held but he knew which one he wanted.
“Jean, come back.” He whispered against her ear, felt her shudder against him. Pulled back and the eyes looking back at him were gold inferno and not banked green fury. “Jean.” But Jean wasn’t there if she had ever been in the first place.
“Phoenix.” He said instead, pulled back more but suddenly sharp fingernails dug into his arms, drawing blood. The warning clear. “What do you want?” He said, even as columns of lava burst from the ground. He could just make out screams in the distance.
Phoenix ran a gentle hand down the side of his face. A razor sharp smile etched into ruby dark lips. “You left me.” She said, her voice reverberating inside her chest. Deeper than anything a normal human throat should be capable of producing. “I didn’t like it.”
Gentle hands turned hard, slowly burying themselves in his skin, drawing thick rivulets of blood. Scott didn’t move, held perfectly still. Knew that it would be worse if he struggled. “I didn’t have a choice.” The first ignited, wings erupting from her body as the Phoenix forced them to manifest. “Phoenix -”
“You shouldn’t have done it.” The ground began to shake and more voices screamed, snuffed out with each passing moment. “You should have stayed with me.”
The professor ran towards them, Hope and Wanda and the rest of the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four at his back. Burning as they came closer. Their bodies nothing more than piles of burnt uniforms and scorched bones. “NO!” He reached for her but his hands burn as he touched the flames. “Stop, Phoenix, Jean, stop.”
But she didn’t. The Phoenix bird grew and grew to implausible proportions. Charles, God, Charles came close, reaching for him, to rip him out of its clutches but he burned, they all burned. Everything burned. Utopia. San Francisco. The United States. The World.
He struggled but she only held on tighter. The only thing still intact in a dead planet. Watched as it spread like a virus through stars, eating it all and wiping out anything in its way until there was nothing left. Until she looked for anything else to eat and Scott was all that was standing in its way.
A relief if she would ignite him too, but instead she gripped his shoulder, painfully tight, his hands miraculous untouched. “Scott,” She said in the echoing darkness, tone powerful and imperious, “Wake up!”
And Scott awoke with a shout. Fighting at the hands on his shoulders, at the intruder in his mind. He lashed out with his hands, with his mind, with anything he was able to. Loud roaring in his ears, cold, cold, cold.
Suddenly pain on his cheek and the world became a sea of faces. Scott stilled. Blinked at a woman that could have been Jean’s clone but wasn’t. “Rachel?” He rasped, his voice heavy with sleep.
Rachel’s hair was longer than he last remembered with a uniform that seemed like a yellow on red version of his old one. The red coat was familiar as was the hound marking on her face. She leaned over him on the bed, while Warren held one shoulder and James the other.
After a moment they all backed off, with Rachel sitting at the edge of the bed, looking behind him. Scott turned and saw that the windows were shattered, slanted rain pelting down on them for a second before a telekinetic shield kept it out. A quick glance revealed that the room was in a similar order. Broken lamps, scattered books, shelves pulled out of their cubbies.
“Wha,” He started but then a wing curled around him and it was then that Scott realized that he was shaking. Badly. His skin so cold he hardly feel the feathers brush against his arms. A blanket was quickly thrown over his shoulders and he was led into the insanely large shower where a tube large enough for ten people could comfortably fit.
The bath was already being run. Warm vapor dispersing the worst of the cold. Nemesis forced his shirt off, mindful of broken ribs, arm and stab wounds. Pants and underwear followed and he was in the bath, hissing as warm water hit chilled skin.
Nemesis next to his, shining a light into his bare eyes. Something about that was wrong but he just couldn’t put a finger on it. “Scott, do you know where you are?”
Scott glanced at the bathroom. Warren was leaning against a wall, face as impassive as he’d ever seen it. James Proudstar hovered by the doorway, glancing at something in his room. Rachel’s, Dani’s and Alison’s voice blending in a heated argument.
“Utopia.” Where else would he be. He waited for Emma to make pointed comments about the state of their bed, but there was nothing in his mind. He was alone in his own head. Nemesis poked and probed at bruises and cuts. Scott hissed at a particular tender bruise.
After he was finally warm, Warren and James helped him stand on shaky legs. That wasn’t right either but as soon as the thought filtered through it dissolved as if a soap bubble. Clothed in warm clothes, his windows covered in some translucent glob. It weaved and waved with the force of the storm, the New York skyline highlighted with each burst of lightning.
Everything had been cleared, though not replaced. His sheets and blankets changed. Gently, Warren helped Scott under covers. Rachel brushed a few stray locks from his forehead before placing someone over his eyes that made everything go red.
He curled around his arm, getting comfortable despite his injuries. He waited for that familiar presence but didn’t feel anything. “Where’s Jean?” Probably a mission, he thought as sleep descended on him like a soft curtain. Missing the worried look exchanged between Warren and Rachel. Or the touch to his mind that let him slip into slumber.
Nemesis fiddled with a machine next to the bed, brain waves displayed in a large screen. He said nothing as Rachel took a chair next to her father. Warren stood by the shattered window and didn’t comment on the singed clothes or white wings caused by a fire that should be long dead.