Handbasket Detour: A Dangerous Man
by Janete
August-December 2001

Disclaimers: Everything here belongs to Marvel, one way or another.
Still, though, it's nice to have a fresh new 'verse to play in. <g>

Spoilers: UXM up through #7, just to play it safe. Crossover with
currently nonexistent Alpha Flight. The philosophy of this sort of
fan fiction is really pretty bizarre.

Summary: International relations.

Ratings Note: NC-17 and then some.

Authors' Note: La la la, pretty gay X-Men... Comes after Handbasket
6, and at least a few weeks have passed. References the Handbasket
series a few times, but we're not sure it's necessary to have read
it first.

Find the other Handbasket stories at:

Warning: We wrote the original version of this story back in the
salad days of summer.  In the meantime, the political climate in
North America's changed fairly dramatically.  Keep in mind, in
reading, that the political opinions expressed in the story are
*opinions*, and they belong to the characters rather than
particularly to the authors.

Feedback pleases Canadians *and* Americans.
janestclair15@hotmail.com, leytelj@gmail.com


Scott sighs internally, pleased that no one can see him narrow his
eyes behind the visor.

That little smile is getting to him. Or, really, smirk.

Vaguely tilted eyes on Scott, on his coffee and his notepad.  Eyes
on him when he finally has to make a run for the men's room.
Needing to escape this latest International Cooperation meeting.
Wanting to get out of Toronto, period, if you come down to it, but
that isn't going to happen.  He's as unobtrusive as he can be,
leaving, but he's being watched just the same, and it's hard to

The kind of look that, on anyone else, he'd think needed to be
punched off, and maybe on Jean-fucking-Paul, too, but. Well.

Bad idea to get in a fight with the gay guy, for oh so *many* reasons.

Bad P.R.

Bad blood.

Fucking bad *karma*, but really, can he be blamed for being just a
little on edge?

Xavier apparently doesn't recognize the great, big Keep Off sign
Scott has on his mind, even when he purposely *visualizes* a sign
and *sends* it at the man.

Just checking, Scott. You seem tense, Scott. *Really*, Scott.

Bobby and Hank still fucking like bunnies -- thankfully back at the
mansion. With Peter, who really should be here instead of Scott.
Jean -- fucking *Jean* -- apparently hopping straight from
Wolverine's bed to *Ororo's*.

He wonders how he ended up being the only one of them who's *not*
getting to be debauched.  Resists the urge to look over his shoulder
and see if Northstar's following.

In the government washroom he washes his face down.  Sighs and
shakes and comes back to the meeting, tries to slide in without
anyone noticing.

Just wants to curl up at the end of the day and instead gets Ororo
of all people standing over him and throwing clothes on his face.
New orders, glasses boy.  Come play with us.

Come watch the girls kiss each other stupid.


They're gonna be the All X-Men Big Gay Revue.  Wonders if Logan'll
have to join if he ever comes back.  Smirks a bit at the mental
image of the Wolverine in Rocky Horror-style drag.


Instead of being in bed he's in this club and it's way too late and
the drink he's holding is more expensive than anything nonalcoholic
should be. It'd even be a fairly pricey glass of Interferon.  Ice
between his lips. Watching this very -- *mixed* is a good word for
it -- mass of people, and vaguely watching Ro kiss Jean against the
wall. Bare black arms holding his golden girl down and it's not
like she's *resisting* or anything.  More like she'd take off her
clothes right there if Ro asked her.

And then these lips on the back of his neck.

Spins into it and... no one there.

People on the edge of the crowd turning to face him, give him odd
looks. Scott sniffs his drink to be sure it's only what he ordered
and then looks, really *looks* at the crowd. Slowly.

Resists the urge to touch the tingling spot on the back of his neck.

No sign of the man, but really, with a speedster, that just doesn't
mean much.


Well, at least he knows the man wasn't trying to start a fight

Does his best to push back a blush, and knows he's not all that
successful. Not at *all* looking forward to dealing with a
flirtatious ex-terrorist.

Presumably ex-terrorist.

*Hopefully* ex-terrorist.

Though from what Scott's been able to pick up, the government had
offered the man a choice between imprisonment and changing sides.
God only knows how they caught him.

God only knows why the professor thought *he'd* be any good at P.R.

Team leader. Right.

Still no sign of the guy, and Scott moves to take another sip of his
drink -- except his drink is no longer in his hands.

And there's a breeze.

Oh, yeah, *this* is what he needs. Fuck it.

Scott heads for the exit, calling up the memory of a Toronto map and
the lovely fantasy of a warm, dark room he can just hide in until
the next set of meetings and photo-ops. Has to push a little to get
through the crowd until all of a sudden it just... parts.

Half a moment to be grateful before he sees the reason *why* the
crowd parts.

Jean-Paul, by all appearances, is walking on air.

*Stalking* on air. Directly toward Scott. Holding two fresh drinks.

Not quite far enough off the ground to hit the hot air that must be
pooling close to the ceiling, but high enough that you couldn't miss
him on a dare. Tall and focused and layered in a lot of black that
should be too young for him and isn't only because he's sex on legs.

Jean-Paul drops down in front of him and hands him something that's
still got condensation on the sides.  Watches him until he drinks.

Only afterwards thinks about the joys of Rohypnol, but Scott wonders
if maybe this whole day wouldn't have been better if he'd spent it
passed out.

Alcoholic buzz just starting to hit him by the time he realizes that
what he downed was about six ounces of sub-zero Stoli.  Like getting
hit in the head with a large Russian.

Where the fuck's Peter, anyway?

Staggers, just once, and he does catch himself before he falls on
his ass or something similarly bad.  Propped up partly by force of
will and partly by Jean-Paul's arm wrapped around the back of his
neck. Tilting his head back. Big arm for a too-thin speedster.

Mouth that manages to just swallow him.

Right there.  With everyone in the world and a lot of cameras

PR city.  Not maybe the kind that Xavier had in mind, and nothing
that's gonna get them in good with the Representatives from a couple
of key southern States, but it might make the cover of something.

Like maybe Blue Boy, if Jean-Paul's leg stays there between his much

It's so hot in here Scott's sure he's going to melt or pass out.

Pulls back and stares into very vivid eyes surrounded by very black
eyeliner from two inches away.  Tries to ignore the fact that
everyone in the world just saw that.

"Uh..." Excellent start, Summers, *really*. "That is, ah, Jean-Paul

"Shh." Harsh little hush. "You're far too pretty to talk." Slow

Far too. What? *What*? "I think you have the wrong idea, Mr.
Beaubier." There, that was better.

"Do I? You're not pretty?" Strange little accent.

"No, I'm. Jesus." Being teased by a professional. "Look, I'm not --"

Tongue slipping between his teeth, slim, slick, and sweetly
alcoholic and that leg isn't going anywhere. Which is not to say it
isn't moving. Scott gets his arm between them, but Jean-Paul is gone
by the time he goes to push, and Scott very nearly *does* fall over.

Scott shakes it off.

Resolutely ignores the faces in the crowd, and the "Scott?" from
somewhere behind him that's probably Jean. Not right now. Makes it
out the exit and heads for the subway entrance.

And he's doing a remarkable job -- if he does say so himself -- of
ignoring the motorcycle pacing him right up until it pulls up in
front of him. On the *sidewalk*.

"Canadian driving laws this lax?"

"Laws are... boring. You're not. Join me."

Not a question. Who does this guy think he *is*, anyway?

Makes his way around the front of the bike and keeps walking. He'd
like to see him get that bike on a subway train.

On second thought, he really, really wouldn't.

He'd like to see him drive off.  But it isn't happening.  Trailing
along beside him with one foot down to keep the bike from tipping,
just. Waiting.

Those are the most incredibly luminous eyes.  Like they're lit from
within or something. Part of the mutation, probably.

Subway entrance like a haven that he can dive for.  The bike doesn't

Underground full of party kids and curled-up homeless and late-shift
workers coming off duty.  Just past midnight.  Cold.

He wishes he had a jacket.  Even the vinyl thing that Xavier
designed, though up here he doesn't need it.  Land of no Sentinels.
Wishes he had his hoodie back, the one hanging at the back of his
closet in Westchester. Couple of cigarettes from the last time he
smoked still in the pocket.  Two or three maybe.

Something for his hands to do.

Route map that he has to study really carefully, since he doesn't
have the advantage of colour to help him.  Shuffle of an old Indian
man in sneakers and a thirty-year-old parka that's too warm for this
night, curled up by his feet.

Nice country they've got here.  Of course, in comparison to New
York... and it's not that he's judging, but.


Drops himself onto one of the benches to wait, and maybe he
shouldn't be surprised when there's a breeze and a guy beside him.
Northstar's as much of a showoff as Quicksilver, but at least
Quicksilver had the decency to fuck off when they weren't out

Of course, Quicksilver never kissed him like that, either.

In spite of himself, he shivers. And winds up with Jean-Paul's lips
on his throat.  Vertically, like he's checking something instead of
licking at the skin there.

Scott sighs, and scowls at how much like a response that sounded.


"You have a wonderful accent. What is it?"

Accent? Oh, right. "Plain old American. Look, I don't want to have
sex with you." Half-shocked that he was allowed to finish the

"You don't want me to suck your cock?"

"*Jesus--! We're in *public*!"

"Well, I was planning to wait until we got back to your rooms, but I
suppose..." Teasing, teasing voice and there's no sign of the train.
At all.

Lots and lots of signs of public attention, as if his glasses and
Jean-Paul's ears didn't already scream "freak!" to anyone looking.
Turns and meets a smile that's far too brilliant to be that sly.
Whispers harshly, "Are you *trying* to get us in a fight?"

"Chrisse, so prim. I heard you Americans were so wild..."

"Sorry to disappoint."

Airy gesture. "No need to apologize, M'sieu Summers, I will live."

"I'm so very, very glad."

"Are you? Enough to celebrate?"

"Christ, you just don't quit, do you?"

Glittering smile. "No. I do not."

And he's gone, just like that, leaving another breeze and a hint of
cologne Scott hadn't been able to pick up at the club.

*Just a few more days, Summers, just a few more days...*

The train eventually shows up, and Scott manages to get back to his
room without further incident. He's going to *get* the Professor for
this, he really is.

In the morning.

Curls up for now without his pajamas.  All his clothes in a pile on
the floor, because it's not like they're going to get him into those
again. Damn Jean and Ro anyway.

Shiver on the back of his neck that makes him sit straight up in
bed, but all the windows and doors are closed, and nobody's there
but him.  Just tense.  Eventually he sleeps.

Wakes with the softest, sultriest whisper he can imagine in his ear.
"Sleeping alone?"

Enough to send him flying back across the bed, hanging onto the
sheet but not by much.  Stares at Jean who's perched happily on the
edge of his bed grinning at him.

"Hey.  Morning, you."

"Jesus Christ, Jean."

"He leave you before morning?"  She's looking at the mess of Scott's
clothes on the floor.  At the bruise that he can feel now on his
throat.  And, well, Jesus.  It's like something out of a bad sex

"Jean, I just woke up."

He wishes really badly that she'd leave.  Leave him alone to shiver
out the edge of a hangover he's got.  That thing Jean-Paul fed him
was like drinking rubbing alcohol or something.

Decides to ignore her and goes to the bathroom.  Sheet on the floor
and at the moment he doesn't give a damn what she thinks of his
underwear. Brushes his teeth without throwing up.

Brush of Xavier's mind against his that he pushes away hard.

"Oh, c'mon, Scott, I had to practically tie Ro down to get here --"

"Have I ever once expressed an interest in your love life?"

"The *point* is that I think I deserve details for my hard work.
Though you get points for innuendo this early in the morning. Or,
well, afternoon."

Spits in the sink. "Deserve? Don't even get me started on what you
deserve, Jean."

Grin way too bright for his headache. "Oooh, meow. Spill it, Scott.
I wanna hear all about your fall from heterosexual grace."

"Isn't it a little early in the game for you to be picking up a
pride flag? And what do you mean, 'afternoon?'"

The grin turns evil. "Oh, you missed a meeting or two. I'm sure the
Prime Minister won't mind."

"Don't joke like that, Jean."

"Who's joking?" Making herself comfortable on Scott's bed before
sneaking a look at his face. "Oh, *relax*. The Prime Minister won't
be here before dinner. All you missed were a few speeches. Tolerance
blah blah international cooperation blah blah. And speaking of
international cooperation --"

"Save it. Nothing happened."

"That great, big hickey begs to differ, Fearless Leader."

"It's not that big!"

"Oh, really? How big --"

"*Jean*. He flirted. A lot. I blew him off --"

"On the first date?"

"You know, Jean, at this range I really can't miss."

"Oh, *fine*. You're no fun at all."

"Go away, Jean."

Little twist of her hips by the door and this *look* over her
shoulder.  He's pretty much past any delusions that she wants him,
but the curve of her spine's interesting enough to hold his eye for
a minute.

Clothes.  He rubs at the mark on his throat for a second, irritated
because he can't really see it but he still knows it there.  Finds a
turtleneck that fits under his uniform jacket and tries not to think
about the cliche of it all.  Shaves.  Takes his glasses off and
scrubs his face down hard.

People really don't notice, downstairs.  He just adds himself to the
crowd and after half an hour one of the press photographers borrows
him. Takes him out to the hotel's terrace, which is at least
mercifully free of anyone but distracted-looking hotel staff laying
tables and a couple of government aides going over loose papers.

So in the name of understanding and media coverage, he sits on the
rail and gets his picture taken.  Dry lawns and a lot of bare trees,
and Lake Ontario in the background. Wave of humidity in spite of the

Sits still and waits when they tell him and uses the quiet to
put his head in order. He wishes he'd stayed in last night. Watched
television or something, let the girls go off by themselves.  Wishes
that Bobby and Hank were along so he could send them.  Wonders if
there's anywhere in Toronto they could send Bobby for the night that
wouldn't result in criminal charges.

There's a brush up against his hip that turns out to be Jean.  Who
steps in very close without actually ever touching him, and that's
the way it stays until the photographer asks Scott if he'd please
put his hand on her shoulder. Gets a quiet 'thanks' when he does it,
and gets left alone after.

Jean says, "You okay?"

He sighs. "I think so. My head hurts." Brush of fingers and mind
against his forehead and it eases a bit. "Thanks."

"No prob."

Photographer back. "Sorry kids. One more set? Last ones, I swear."

One more body added, warm against his side.  Jean-Paul.  Who
glitters at the camera without smiling.  In uniform, which in
Alpha's case runs more to nylon than fake leather.  Like warm-up
suits with that little something extra.  The combination of X-Men
and Alpha Flight's gotta be a different look for the press, sort of
softball-team-meets-bondage-club, but at least they match.  Black on
black. Warm hand against the side of his neck while they try not to
stare into the flash.

Photographer gone for good, but Jean's giving him this *look*, and
while the hand against his neck is gone, Jean-Paul's still right

Fingers under the back of his jacket.  Touching through his shirt.
Until Jean-Paul nods to Jean and wanders off.

Definitely too much to hope for that the man got the hint. Scott
scrubs a hand through his hair and wishes fervently that Jean
will be gone when he opens his eyes.

No such luck.

At least she's not giving him the tellmetellmetellme look that makes
her look like an overdeveloped six year old. "What?"

"Just wondering what's on your mind."

Seizes up at the thought that Jean's found a way to poke around his
head without him feeling it and gets a scowl in response.

"You've made it pretty clear that you don't want me in your head
without permission, Scott."

"Since when do you *listen*?"

"Since... I just wanted... look, just forget about it."

"Jean --"

But she's already walking away.

One more check mark on the to-do list under improving interpersonal
relationships. If things would just slow *down* a little. If people

And it's not as though the team is actually in trouble. Working
better every day, as a matter of fact. They like and trust each
other, especially with Wolverine off doing whatever it is he's
doing. Definitely something to hope for that whatever he's doing
takes a long, long time. But they all basically respect each other.

Like each other, too -- as long as Scott's not in the picture himself.

And leaders don't *have* to be liked. Plenty of evidence showing
that it's better if they aren't.

Still, though. It would be nice. One conversation without
awkwardness or hurt feelings. Just one.

Scott considers and rejects the idea of heading down to the
cafeteria. He doesn't *think* they'd be serving it, but one
overheard description of poutine was enough to kill anything
resembling an appetite.

Grabs a bottle of water instead and heads for the street exit,
shaking hands and nodding sagely at everything said to him. Not that
he's listening, but it seems like the thing to do.

Something like Jean's voice in his head about protecting his tight-
ass leader image. Whatever. Anything. Air.

Takes a deep breath when he gets outside. Doesn't really smell like
anything resembling a city to him, though it's not quite suburban
either. Something weirdly in-between that probably has something to
do with being Canadian.

Not at all surprised to find Jean-Paul in step with him, and they
take to the streets together. All races, all nationalities jumbled
together, and yet nothing at all like New York. Something to chew on

"Can I help you?"


And nothing else. God, Scott can't wait to see how his new team-
mates put up with him. "Well?"

"Did you enjoy the Savage Land?"

And that, well, that shouldn't be as much of a surprise as it is,
considering what he knows about Jean-Paul. Something about a mutant
underground railroad down to the Savage Land. Political prisoners.
Terrorists. One definition or another. "Yes and no." There. He can
be cryptic and annoying, too.

"You seem to have returned intact."

"I got some good bruises."

"And you returned in time to rescue the man who murdered
thousands." Steady eyes on him.  Jean-Paul's profile says they're

"Things would've been worse if he'd died."

Bad night, that one.  The president laid out on the ground at
Magneto's feet, and Scott'd had to think hard before deciding not to
let Magneto take him apart.  Silver-haired charisma, even in the
helmet that obscured most of his face.  Colder than anybody Scott
ever met, but smart, and he'd known what was going on.

"If the leader of any other country had loosed the Sentinels, the
world would call it genocide."

"I'm not defending what he did."

"He will never be accused.  America does not answer before the world."

Scott sighs.  "Remind me when this started being a conversation
about politics."

Jean-Paul gives him something that might be a smirk.  Apparently,
Scott just lost this argument.  For now.  He files it away for one
of his longer mental conversational reviews.

One more try, "Fine.  Tell me why you're pissed with me personally
or fuck off, okay?"

Long look. "You thought it was a better choice to save the life of
your president than to tend to the injured in the Savage Land?"

"It wasn't just the president..."

"There were children.  They died because all aid went to America

He thinks maybe...  "And you sent those kids there.  Guilt enough
of a reason to try and jump me in public?"

Flicker of a glare.

"I know you were intelligent enough to remove yourself from Xavier's
reasoning once. I would like to know why you came back."

"Xavier's got a good idea."

"Xavier is a middle-aged, wealthy American.  I suspect you will find
that most of his ideas are concerned with protecting what he has."

"And I suspect you have a lot to learn about Americans."

"Again, perhaps. So you do believe in Xavier's... dream?"

"I *hope* for Xavier's dream. I believe he's the best chance I have
to make a difference."

"And if there was a better chance?"

"Is this a proposition?"

Slow smile. "It always was."

"I suppose I walked right into that one."

"If you always insist on making things so easy I'll quickly become
bored, Scott."

"Let's have sex."

"Tch. I know you don't mean it."

Scott smiles despite himself. "It was worth a try." They walk in
silence for a while, and Toronto... still looks nothing like a city.
Scott keeps expecting them to disappear into tree-lined streets and
white picket fence country. It doesn't happen, but Scott suspects
that has more to do with Jean-Paul's subtle leading than anything
else. "So, I take it this reformed act is just that?"

"Scott, I'm wounded! I am," a flourish, "an upstanding citizen now.
All the papers say so."

"My apologies, then. I don't know where I got all these ideas about

"Hmmph. Then I must not be doing my job properly." Lightning-fast
kiss on the corner of his mouth.

"You're just not getting this whole heterosexual thing, are you?"

Airy gesture. "Beneath my notice. But we were talking about your

"We were?"

"Oui. Would you have stayed with Magneto if he had not attacked your

"First of all, there are a large, large number of Americans who
would refuse to claim George Bush as their *anything* --"

"You did not vote for him?"

"I don't have quite that much self-loathing. Not that the other guy
was that much better, but... look, how would you feel if I judged
you based on Canadian politicians?"

Oddly delicate shudder that makes Scott smirk. "I take your point.
But you never answered my question."

"Magneto believed in killing people. I don't. It wouldn't have
lasted much longer."

"Your government --"

"I don't *work* for my government."

"No, but Xavier seems determined to... work within the system."

"And I'm not entirely happy about that -- but I don't want anyone's
blood on my hands. Ever."

"A strong sentiment."

"You feel differently?"

"I think I may not be wrong in assuming I've led a more... varied
existence than you have. I have learned that saying I wouldn't ever
do something is... ill-advised."

Scott stops, waits for Jean-Paul to face him. Eyes a lighter,
stranger purple than Bobby's. Certainly not *unattractive*, but.
"You'd take someone's life?"

"I have."

Not like he's proud of it, at least, but there it is.  And if he
thinks about it, Scott realizes that he could probably have guessed.
There are pictures in the file Xavier showed him of a cloth-masked
Jean-Paul throwing Molotov cocktails at police lines in Geneva and
Singapore and Rio.  Of him picking fights with less militant
organizers.  The blood everywhere when they dragged him down in the
middle of the Summit raid in Utrecht three years ago, skinny strung-
out mutant heading like an unstoppable force towards a room full of
leaders, meeting the immovable object of about a hundred police
crammed into that marble hall.

Jean-Paul Beaubier, anarchist organizer that most governments and
most resistors of government both wanted out of the way.  Dangerous
and ruthless.

Nothing like someone who gave him that playful little kiss on his

"Well, that's something to be proud of, I suppose."

"Fuck you, Summers."

French edge on 'fuck', like it has to be cut off at half a breath.
Like a shove that doesn't come.

Silence in which he gets to walk by himself. Furious Jean-Paul just
standing there, far behind him.

Twenty minutes before the man drops into step beside him again, wind
and a new set of footsteps, and then Jean-Paul asks, "Do you think I



"No.  But I think you're dangerous. You learn anything from getting
dragged down like that?"

"I learned that striking alone is largely futile."

"Hence Alpha Flight?"

Shrug.  Long, white hands keep disappearing into pockets and then
pulling out again. "I worry less about them than about the men who
control us. They think that mutants are weapons. Interesting that it
should be your government that wants mutants outlawed."

"You're not going to make me argue the second amendment with you."

Urban twist of the next street. Glass downtown sliding back into
view. He's seen enough of a map to understand that they could wander
through urban sprawl interminably, and he's probably as lost as he
wants to be. Doesn't want to have to call Jean or Xavier for
directions. Light in his eyes reflecting off the buildings.

And eventually, Scott says, "Aren't we?"


"Aren't we weapons?"

"I'm not. You are not a weapon unless someone can point you at
someone and use you to hurt."

"So that makes you what?"


Mouth on his again.  Not hard, but making a point. And Scott finds
himself wondering if he's attracted. It's been a long time since
he's been a position remotely like this one -- and maybe that's the
point. It *is* remote.  And he is attracted. Which is something that
hasn't happened in a long time. Not with a man. Not since... and
there's no reason at all to think about any of that, so he won't.

So the question becomes whether or not he's going to do something
about *this* attraction.

Jean-Paul pulls away before he can decide, which at least proves the
man isn't perfect at this.

Or maybe he's just biding his time. Waiting for Scott to make a move.

Paranoia, around Jean-Paul at least, seems absolutely reasonable.

The two of them just standing there staring in the middle of the
sidewalk, however, does not, even with the noticeably softer look on
Jean-Paul's face.

Scott looks away first, makes an after-you gesture.

"Ah, I do love a gentleman. My thanks, m'sieu."

Scott doesn't bother to check his smile. "Anytime."

The silence is companionable, giving Scott the opportunity to
actually pay attention to their surroundings. Very clearly the gay
part of town. One more kiss and they're pretty much guaranteed to
wind up on the cover of a newspaper with major circulation, but
Jean-Paul keeps himself to himself.

Propriety? Keeping Scott on his toes? Smiles to himself. The latter
is far, far more likely.

The rainbow flags pass out of view sooner than Scott would've
expected, but maybe that's Canadian circumspection at work. In any
case, Scott suspects Jean-Paul could queer an entire neighborhood
just by standing still long enough.

Smiles to himself again.

"It is good to know you can be something other than grimly serious,

"I'm glad."

"Why are you so angry all the time?"

"Why are you?"

Jean-Paul actually starts at that, though Scott would've thought
he'd expect the question to be thrown back at him. Scott isn't sure
how many times he'll actually meet the man, but he suspects he'll
treasure every moment he surprises him.

"I am angry... perhaps because I someone has to be? No, that is...
facile. Sexually frustrated? More and more likely, but... it *was* a
serious question, oui?"

"Well... yes."

"So. I will attempt to answer seriously. Tch. You cannot possibly
appreciate how well I am behaving for your benefit, Scott."

"I think I'm getting the picture."

"Hmph. See that you do." Nearly hallucinatory wink. "I am angry
because I am a naturally dissatisfied person. I am a bitch to work
with, and, I suspect, even more to live with. I am angry because we
live in impossibly wealthy time, and yet people suffer all the time.
I am angry because most of the people I fought to protect from
suffering would just as soon see me dead. I am angry because I care,
and I would rather not. I am angry because I know it makes me appear
to be infinitely less shallow than I truly am. There. Now you."

"I don't know."

"A bald-faced lie.  Try again."

"I feel like a weapon.  Xavier points and I shoot."

Interesting look, that one.  "You don't like him."

"He's given me everything I have.  Not like I was doing much before.
But he's holding all the cards, you know?"

"Are you afraid of him?"

"A psychiatrist would say -- one who's not Xavier, though he'd
probably say it, too -- that I have control issues."

"An interesting state of affairs.  I don't suppose the great
professor is *your* psychiatrist?"

"Officially?  Yeah, he is.  Because he wouldn't have got custody

Which makes for a pause in which Jean-Paul breaks stride and Scott
doesn't. Four steps ahead of the man -- maybe for the first time
ever -- before he notices.

"Scott, how old are you?"

"I'm seventeen.  Why, is your conscience hurting?"

"You look much older."

"I *have* got you worried.  People gonna come and take you away?"

"Prosecutable age of consent is fourteen in Ontario. And yes, I am
worried. Particularly that your psychiatrist is using you as a
combat agent."

"It's not quite like that."

"Are you afraid of him?"

"I don't know.  He let me leave."  Thinking about what a huge lie
that is. Fingers in his brain, rearranging chemicals until he was so
horrifically calm.

"Hmm.  And took you back, apparently."  Pause.  "Are you afraid of

"More afraid of what you could choose to do."

"That is fair... you do not have to stay with Xavier, you know."

"I think I prefer being treated like a piece of meat to being
treated like a child."

"And do you prefer being treated as a pawn by a man with
questionable ethics to that?"

"It's time for more meetings --"

"Fuck the meetings, Scott! We are being honest, oui? Speaking like


"Well. I do not want to see you used."

"I appreciate the sentiment, Jean-Paul, but I really don't feel like
talking about this right now."

"You will think about what I've said?"

Hand on his shoulder, forcing Scott to look him, more or less, in
the eye. "I will."

"Okay, good. I do not think I care for this Xavier very much."

"Jean-Paul --"

"Alright, alright, I will stop. I am hungry, and you did not eat
lunch. Join me?"

"I really should get back."

Deep, deep sigh. "And now I have upset you. Let me take you to lunch
to apologize. My treat, oui?" Stops Scott with a gesture before he
can speak. "Please. I have enjoyed our conversation. Perhaps we can
move the topic to something less... controversial?"

"Like what? Religion? Family?"

Wicked smile. "Ah, that is a wonderful suggestion. Tell me of your
family, Scott."

"I don't have one."

"You see? Already we've moved on to something less painful."

Scott snickers despite himself. Black, *black* sense of humor.
"Okay, you can take me to lunch."

"Ah, you are so kind..."

They wind up at Spring Rolls, a crowded but stylish Thai place with,
he has to admit, absolutely incredible food. Makes a note to suggest
it to Jean later, but mainly just watches Jean-Paul consume enough
food for about three Hanks and a Peter.

They have to use another table to hold all the food. Something about
having a metabolism that fast, he supposes. It probably explains why
Quicksilver never ate in public.

Jean-Paul has no such qualms, which suits his personality pretty

"So, what about your family?"

"I have a sister, Jeanne-Marie. She is... troubled in some ways.
Threw herself into the church."

"She's very religious?"

"She's a nun."

"I'll take that as a yes. Do you get to see her very often?"

A shrug. "She came to the prison to pray for me. I fear she is not
very pleased with the choices I've made in life."

"That must be hard."

"Jeanne-Marie does what she does to survive, as I do."

Scott nods, returns his attention to the pad thai, which is as close
to perfect as it can possibly be, and watches Jean-Paul eat.
Surprising to see him do it at a nearly human pace, but he'd slow
down for this food, too.

"Does it bother you?"


"That I eat so much."

"You forget who I live with."

"Ah, yes, your whole team lives in the same house. I think I would
go insane."

"New team that bad?"

"We are all adults.  And we have little in common beyond our mutancy."

"We do okay."  Except for Logan, who's like cyanide down the well.
Who's gone for the time being.  "Gives us a lot of chances for
illicit sex."

He's made Jean-Paul choke.  He's proud of that.

Jean-Paul gropes for his water glass, downs most of it, and shakes
silently for a minute.  Gives Scott a look in the exact middle
ground between sultry and dirty.




"Um, by any count, yeah.  Absolutely true.  We've got seven people
right now, and four of them are fucking each other's brains out."

"Teenagers.  I can only imagine what that volume of hormones would
do to the human mind."

"Says the guy who keeps trying to seduce me."


"You.  Deny it and I'll kick you."

"No.  Who are your resident lovers?"

"Oh.  Um, Jean and Ororo and Bobby and Hank."

"I see a pattern."

"All the X-Men having Big Gay Sex?  I'd noticed."

Long look.  "Interesting phrase."

"I blame TV."

"Does it bother you?"

"Depends.  Jean and Ro, not really.  They're a little too impressed
with themselves, but what the hell.  Bobby and Hank?  Yes.  A lot.
But Bobby's told me I can fuck off, which unless it starts bothering
the team is pretty much the end of it."

"I think I applaud him.  You felt it necessary to interfere, though?"

"I was worried.  Hank's a lot older than him, and a lot bigger than
him, and he had these *bruises* and.  Never mind.  That's none of
your business."

Long, steady look.  Master of the pregnant pause, sitting there
across from him.

"Fuck off.  It isn't."

Nod.  "Alright."

Quiet.  Noise all around them and this mix of people who either
stare at them or don't.  He gets the feeling that maybe really a lot
of these people at least sort of know who Jean-Paul is. Watching him
while he finishes eating and studies the table carefully for a
minute.  Looks at his own fingernails distractedly.

"What's it like to be famous?"

"Hmm?  Oh.  Irritating." And he reaches across the table absently
and picks up Scott's hand.  Looks at it like he's looking for

Brushes a thumb over Scott's palm, but doesn't do anything else that
would give him an excuse to pull away.

"You read palms?"

"Oui. I predict that I will make you come screaming."

Scott supposes it was his turn to choke. And have way too many
images crowding his mind about just how Jean-Paul would go about
doing that. Fully aware that he's blushing.

Jean-Paul searches his face in that way people have when they're
trying to look him in the eye that tends to make them look far, far
more insecure than they really are.

Still, it's an attractive look for as long as it lasts, before Jean-
Paul picks a spot on the visor to stare at. And stares. Not a leer
so much as a promise.


"Scott, I very much want to have sex with you. Can we?"

"Jean-Paul --"

"Now, if you had just said 'no,' I could assume I had no chance --"

"You didn't give me a chance!"

"Scott, you were about to equivocate."

"How do you know?"

"Because I am very, very good at this."

"You've also got an ego the size of a province."

"C'est vrai, but that does not mean I am wrong."

"God, you're unbelievable!"

"And you haven't taken your hand back yet."

"I was being polite!"

And Jean-Paul lifts his hand and kisses it, just once, in the center
of the palm, before releasing it. Scott had honestly believed dry
kisses were supposed to be chaste before now.

"So, you were being polite. That is sweet. You should know by now
that you need not be polite with me. I don't want that from you."

"What do you want?"

"Honesty. Camaraderie. Sex. Perhaps not in that order. I think we
can be very good with each other, Scott."

"Thanks, but I'm not really in the market for a long-distance

"You have no idea how quickly I could reach you in New York from
here if I had a reason."

"Look, Jean-Paul, I'm really flattered, but the truth is I'm not in
the market for *any* relationship. There's just. Too much going on
right now."

"I can be an excellent distraction."

"That's just what I'm afraid of." And Scott immediately wants to
take it back, but it's much too late, judging by the predatory gleam
in Jean-Paul's eyes.

"If I kissed you now, Scott, what would you do?"

"I don't know.  Freeze, take it, go away after and shiver in the
bathroom and do just about anything to avoid coming back out here."

Jean-Paul nods.  And then lays a corporate credit card on top of the
cheque and stands.

"I think we have meetings."

Wordless all the way back.  And really, Jean-Paul could be there in
a couple of seconds without making himself breathless, so he must
still be with Scott because he wants to be.

Just this once, a block from the hotel, one arm wraps around Scott's
neck in a sideways hug and pulls him close for a moment.  Kiss that
he almost can't feel on his hair.  And this incredibly sad look that
he doesn't quite know how to interpret.

Thousands of photographers as soon as they come around the corner.
Walking independently, both of them with their hands in their
pockets. Scott separates himself from the flashbulb-induced
blindness enough to notice that Jean-Paul's not smiling for the
cameras.  But maybe he never does.

Conference room inside in which they both slide in at their team
tables and Xavier and Chretien keep talking.  Jean looks at him like
she's going to say something.  Then looks over at Jean-Paul and

Only later, in the elevator, she says, "You hurt him."

"Sorry.  What?"

"Northstar.  I didn't think it was possible but you hurt him.  Break
his heart in one day?"


She gets off with him and walks him backwards until he has to sit
down in the next alcove.  Gets a better view of her cleavage than he
really should have while she's bending over him.

"How'd you do it?"

"I don't know what you mean."

"I got to feel him brooding all afternoon.  Tell me how."

Leans forward and really if she gets any closer he's going to be
giving Ororo some competition whether he wants to or not.

She smells really, really good.

"I don't know.  Disappointed him, maybe."

"How, Scott."

"I told him what'd happen if he kissed me."

Jean pushes herself upright and walks away from him.  Ignores him
when he calls to her.  Ignores him when he calls her back as Marvel
Girl, which means that he should really haul his ass down there and
drag her back by the hair and remind her that he's in charge.

Instead goes to his room.  Strips the vinyl off and showers and
still smells its plastic edge all over him.

Goes out.  This incredible freedom of being able to walk around in
ordinary clothes without being afraid.  Like as long as he keeps his
head down and nobody looks too hard at the glasses, he could go

Wonders if he could convince Xavier to leave him behind.  Wonders,
if he just ran away and hitch-hiked to Vancouver or somewhere, would
anyone would come after him?  If he came to Jean-Paul's door tonight
and asked whether Alpha Flight would have him, would they?

Suspects he's not at his most welcome right now. Except that he's at
least as shaky and unhappy as he's made Jean-Paul. And this.

He doesn't know what to do with this.

He finds a liquor store. Ducks in and works his way around everyone
else until he comes up with something with a high proof and a price
tag he can cover out of what's in his pockets. Slides in between
two people who look like they're stocking up for the winter months,
and the girl on checkout, who looks like she's three days short on
sleep, doesn't ID him, just glances at the passport in his hand and
the American money he gives her, takes it at par and hands him his

Back to the hotel, somewhere between sweating from the walk and
freezing cold. Upstairs, in his room long enough to find the program
folder somebody's aide gave him yesterday, and finds room numbers.

Two floors up and a walk off to the right to reach Jean-Paul's door.

Leaning against the doorframe and holding out the whiskey when Jean-
Paul answers the knock in his jeans and socks and no shirt.  Stares
at him for a second, then goes back to his bed and finds a sweater.
Pulls it on and comes back.

"Did you want something, Scott?"

Really doesn't want to examine the twinge of disappointment at a
fully-clothed Jean-Paul. "I thought we could continue our

Long, long look before Jean-Paul nods, gestures him in.

Scott takes the chair in the corner of the room, turns it toward the
bed, over which Jean-Paul is quite literally hovering, cross-legged
and fingers folded.

"What do you want to talk about, Scott?"

"Well, I think we still have religion left." Tries a smile. The
bottle is heavy in his hands. What was he thinking?

"Atheist, you?"

"The same."

"Well, that was brief."

"Uh. Yes." And the silence is awkward this time. *Ridiculously*
awkward. Jean-Paul not looking at him at all. God, the flirting
would've been less uncomfortable. "I'm guessing now wasn't the best
time to visit. I'll. Um. I'll get out of your hair." Moves to stand.

"What did you really want to talk about?"


"Tonight. Now. What did you think would need a bottle of cheap
bourbon to get out?"

Scott sits heavily and blows out a breath. Because, well, what *did*
he think he was doing? Apologizing, maybe. "I wanted to apologize."

"You did nothing to apologize for."

"No, that's not... I just wanted to."

And *now* Jean-Paul's looking at him. Somewhat curious, but mostly
resigned. "I won't push you, Scott. I don't have to flirt with you
at all."

"I know."

"Is that what you want?"

"No. Yes. Christ. I want... I want to tell you why I want that."

"You don't have to do that."

And there's something... wrong, disturbing even, with Jean-Paul
sounding even half that gentle. Making it easy for Scott to just
bolt. Hell, probably wants him to. Nobody likes hanging out with the
person who just threatened to run and hide if you kissed them. But.
"I do. Have to say it."


"I mean, you don't have to listen --"

"I'll listen. Honesty, oui?"

"Yes. Yeah. I guess. I guess I'll just spit it out, then. It's not
that I'm not attracted to you. I am. Very attracted. It's just... I
don't have the best history with guys."

"Somebody hurt you."

"You could say that."

"Badly enough that you felt you had to intercede for Bobby."

"Who told me he was old enough to know the difference between
healthy and unhealthy sex, and that I was out of line."

"Bobby is, I think, fifteen."


"I would worry too."

"Hank's nineteen.  It's a smaller age split than you and me."

"Four years in their case.  Eight in ours."

"I want to be able to go over there and kiss you.  You tasted really
good, you know?"

Soft, inward smile.  "Thank you.  You have lovely hands."

"Why did you pick me?"

Hands in the air.  "Choose a reason."

"Give me some."

"You were lovely. You were watching me. You refused to talk during
the first meeting. You watch everyone. You ran away to Magneto. You
came back. You looked utterly miserable in that club."

"Why get me drunk?"

"I thought it might induce you to sleep with me."

"That's blunt."

"It's the truth.  There are rumours about that I'm an unpleasant

Momentary urge to blankly refute that, but... that wouldn't be
honest. And there's something incredibly powerful about this style
of conversation. About this *conversation*. "I don't find you

"You flatter me."

"Annoying, yes. Pushy as hell, definitely. Intermittently

Short bark of laughter, and Jean-Paul rolls over on his back.
Actually lands on the bed for what could be the first time. Gives
Scott an upside down smirk with his head hanging over the side of
the mattress. "And attractive. Let's not forget that, Scott."

"Not possible."

Long, shared look. A serious look, but not, for once, measuring.

"You are a dangerous man, M'sieu Summers."

"Then I'm in the right company."

Jean-Paul brings the back of his wrist to his forehead, sighs
dramatically. "Ah, and just when I am weakened by your disregard,
you build me high once again with flattery. My heart is weak..."

And Scott smiles, opens his mouth, perhaps to comment on the man's
acting ability, but all that comes out is, "I'd like to be your

And Jean-Paul is on his belly and staring at him hard in less than a
blink. "Vraiment? Really?"


Brilliant smile, quickly and expertly hidden behind a leer. "So. We
will be friends, you and I. Kissing friends, perhaps?"

"I don't want to give you the wrong idea..."

Dismissive gesture. "Oui, oui, no sex, you are not ready. Yet. This
I understand. Mais... perhaps I can show you not all kisses are to
be escaped?"

Heart in his throat at just the thought of it, and Scott nods.
"Okay." Expects a rush at him, but Jean-Paul stands slowly,
normally. Eyes on Scott's the entire time as he walks across the
floor. Feet actually *touching* the floor.

Hand on his cheek, warm and callused. He wants to see the blue of
Jean-Paul's eyes. Wants it with a sudden heat that makes him blush.
Tiny curl of a smile on Jean-Paul's mouth and the realization that
he'll be kissing it, just as soon as Jean-Paul leans in and.

Does it. Slow, careful. Dry for long moments of press and near-
release until Scott closes his eyes, opens his mouth, and slips his
tongue past Jean-Paul's lips. Something sweet and reminiscent of
dessert, and hot and wet and Jean-Paul sucking on his tongue for
long moments.

Almost drinking him, and it's too gentle, too slow, too serious or
not serious enough and Scott slips his tongue back into his own
mouth, coaxing Jean-Paul to follow. Jean-Paul's hand on his cheek
and tongue in his mouth and fingers tracing his jaw line and Scott.

Can't help it. Pours himself into the kiss, licking the other man's
tongue and moaning because this is. Everything that Jean-Paul wants
to give him and the promise of so much more.

Wants to reach out and *take* it, pull that lean body against his
own and just crush it to himself. Wants to keep kissing until he
passes out. Wants to run for his life.

And when Jean-Paul pulls away, Scott's more than a little relieved.
"That was..." Soul-searing? Blinding? Very nice?

Low laughter without a trace of airiness, for once. Disturbing and
compelling. "Oui. It was."

Jean-Paul tracing Scott's cheek with his fingers and staring at his
mouth. Which, really, is only fair considering that Scott is staring
at Jean-Paul's. Wet and a little swollen. Kissed. Kissable.

"I think I need that drink now, Scott. Join me?"

"All --"

*Scott, I need to speak with you immediately.*

*What is it, Professor?*

*I'll be waiting in your room.*

He gets the same slightly nauseous feeling as Xavier withdraws from
his mind that he's been getting since he came back from the Savage
Land.  Like he's not doing it very carefully and leaving little raw
bits of Scott behind.

Makes him stagger and by the time his vision clears Jean-Paul's
holding him up.  Arm around his waist, holding him very close.  One
hand on his forehead, tilting his head back so Jean-Paul can look at
his pupils.

"Chrisse, Scott, are you alright?"

"Yeah.  I'm fine."  Pushing away.  "Xavier wants to see me.  Like,

"It wasn't me who made you swoon, then."

"Sorry to disappoint."

Sigh.  "Ah well.  Do you want your bottle?"

"You wanna keep it for me?  I think Xavier might not be too
impressed if I showed up with it."

"Very well."  Reaches out and steadies Scott a little.  "You look

"Yeah, I probably do.  I'll talk to you later, okay?"


Hand trailing down his arm to take his hand, quick squeeze.  And
Scott leaves.

Upstairs though the too-deep rugs in this place.  Makes everything
too quiet, and it smells a bit too much like pink-scented air
fresheners.  The kind he remembers from somebody's house, a long
time ago.  One with white wall-to-wall in the bathroom and furniture
you couldn't sit on or even touch.

His own room's locked, but Xavier has a key card.  Scott's pretty
sure that he's the only one that Xavier's holding a second key on.
He's the only one who walked out, after all, and there's no telling
what he could do next.  He could start holding the cleaning girls
hostage any time now.  Feels like a revocation of the promise the
man gave him, though, that he could always lock his door from the
inside.  More nausea.

Wishes he'd got that drink.

And yeah, Xavier's there.  In the corner, on the other side of the
mess of clothes and papers.  Little wheel tracks through them, so it
can't have been easy, but it leaves him perfectly positioned to
watch the door.

"Sit down, Scott."

Edgy little compulsion in his brain, but he isn't strong enough to
fight this and everything after it too.  He sits, in the middle of
one messy bed. Aware that anybody who photographed him right now
wouldn't be looking to use the shot to promote the upstandingness of
young mutants.  Fear of delinquents in the dark, maybe.

"You should be in bed by now."

"I thought we decided I was a bit old for a curfew."  Remembers that
conversation.  Not one of the bad ones, just that edge of the
psychiatrist-cum-parent speaking.

"We determined that your sleeping habits were your own as long as
they never interfered with your duties."  Long, steady look.  "You
were conspicuously absent this morning."

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that.  Anybody notice?"

"The Minister asked where you were.  Briefly, but he did.  The
others were all present.  As was all of Alpha Flight."


"I slept in.  I'm sorry.  I felt like shit."

"It happens when you drink.  I would have thought you'd have noticed
by now."

"I didn't --"

"I rather think you did.  The image was in Jean's mind, and Ororo's.
Do I need to remind you that your arrest as a minor in possession of
alcohol would do critical damage to our mission?"

"I didn't buy it."

"No, of course not.  I'll allow that you also didn't know what it
was when you drank it, though that alone was remarkably stupid.  But
you accepted the drink, you drank it, and you left the club in the
company of a man eight years your senior, and then were not present
for our morning meetings.

"Scott, as you well know, I feel no need to interfere in my
students' relationships so long as they don't affect the X-Men."

"Why do I get the feeling that any relationship I choose to enter
into will, in some way, affect the X-Men in your opinion?"

"There's no reason for paranoia, Scott."

"The man who has legal custody of me is the world's most powerful
telepath and feels no compunctions about screwing with my mind when
it's convenient. I'd say that's an *excellent* reason for paranoia,

"So you want it to be that sort of conversation?"

"Is there any other kind with you? You've got an agenda. Fine, I
signed on. Now get the hell off my back and out of my room."

"You have responsibilities --"

"And I have every intention of fulfilling them for as long as we're
working together. Isn't that what you said? 'More of a partnership
than anything else,' isn't that right?"

"I wasn't aware of any definition of partnership that involves one
of the partners taking off with no --"


"*Word*. Scott, why are you so angry?"

"Because you don't trust me enough to make up my own mind, for one.
Because you don't trust me enough to tell me *half* the things going
on in *your* mind for another. That's enough to start."

Gently, "I've never lied to you."

"And you and I both know that's not the same thing."

"And you and I both know that there are other telepaths out there
who could easily pick past any shields you might put up to get to
any and all information I release. We are not safe, Scott. You
should know that best of all."

"Wonderful, let's just drag my past into it."

"If you wish."

Angry, angry, and Scott forces himself to pause before he says
anything else. Hard to concentrate when he's straining so hard to
feel any touch of the Professor's mind to his own, but he can do
this. He can do this. "Stay out of my head."

"Scott --"

"No. No equivocating, no soothing voices, no psychic commands, no
little mood adjustments whenever you feel like it. No more. Or I'm

"And where will you go?"

"As far away from you as I can get."

Long, long moments of silence. Not even sure he could believe the
man even if he did promise. Not looking forward to being on the
wrong side of him. Nowhere near convinced he has a *right* side.

"All right, Scott. I will not enter your mind without your
permission, unless you are in grave danger."

"And who decides that?"

The Professor sighs. Rubs the bridge of his nose. At least the
damned cat couldn't come. "You do realize that there is the
possibility that you might not be in any condition to make that

Feels young. Stupid, lost. Wonders how difficult it is to get
Canadian citizenship. Hell, Zimbabwean citizenship. "Fine. Fine, all
right. If I'm in danger." Feels like he's giving away the house.
"Are we done?"

"I need your word that you're going to stick this out, Scott."

Narrows his eyes at him.

"I can't help it if you persist in screaming your thoughts across
the room."

"I don't want to be your pawn."

"We're all pawns in *someone's* game."

"And I don't want your philosophy."

"Do I have your word or not?"

"I'll think about it."

"I'm afraid I need better than that, Scott."

"It's been a long time since you've given me any reason to trust
you, Professor."

"It's been a long time since you've bothered to try."

Headache coming on and Scott grits his teeth against it. Doesn't
help remotely. "You killed Magneto."

"There is no prison in the world that would have been capable of
holding him."

"So you're playing judge, jury and executioner now?"

"We all do what's necessary, Scott. I think you'll find your friend
Jean-Paul has a similar philosophy --"

"I don't want to talk about him with you."

"All right." Mild as milk. "The point remains."

"So it does." Brief moment to wish he believed in a God he could
pray to. "All right. All right. I promise. But I wouldn't kill for
Magneto and I won't kill for you."

"Thank you. And you do realize that I hope the situation never
arises where that would be necessary?"

"I'll get back to you on that. Now can I sleep, please?"

"I think that would be an excellent idea. I'll leave you to it."
Wheels himself to the door. Looks back. "I don't want to be your
enemy, Scott."

"And I sure as hell don't want to be yours. Good night."

"And to you."

Just curls up on his bed with his clothes on for a minute.  Knees up
against his belly, shoes still on.  Mess in here that he should've
dealt with instead of leaving it for the staff to deal with.  Wants
to be back in Westchester or New York or somewhere really remote on
the West Coast where he can just sort of crouch in one of those big,
ancient trees for the next century.

Kicks off his shoes after a while.

There's a kind of warm glow coming off the city outside.  Edges of
condensed car exhaust.  He can hardly believe how cold it is for
October. Gold-on-black that gives him something to stare at out the


"Fuck off."  Very softly.

Longer knock.

"Scott?"  Jean-Paul.

Has to pull a lot of bits of himself together to answer the door.
Messy hair and no shoes and his sweater pushed up his belly.  T-
shirt showing underneath.

Sleepy, "What?"

"Are you alright?"

Shakes himself out.  Feels like a dog doing it, all his hair flying.
"Yeah, I think so.  Sorry about running out on you."  Rubs both
hands over his face, wishing vaguely that he could really work the
heels of his hands into his eyes, get some of the ache out of them.
"Fuck I'm tired."

Jean-Paul nods.  Steps in just that much closer.

"This is a shit thing to say, but don't kiss me right now, okay?"

"I won't."  Soft breath against his cheek.

Leans into him for a second, shoulder to shoulder.  Big arms around
his shoulders sometime after.  Bigger than they should be,
considering most of Jean-Paul is tendon and bone.  Just muscle mass,
probably, the kind that you build up by being older than Scott is,
but at any rate it makes him a pretty solid surface to lean against.
Hugging him with this fierce tightness that he wants to shake off
for the first couple of seconds.

And then takes it.  Arms around his shoulders, and fuck him for a
human wreck, because this is the only friend he's got, and Jean-
Paul's been pretty open about his quest to get into Scott's pants.
Enough of that hanging over him that he can't give the hug back.
Just leans against Jean-Paul and rests his forehead against the
man's neck and sags a bit.

Eventually stands up again and moves out of range.  Hugging himself
in a way that he doesn't want to be.

"See you tomorrow?"

Jagged little smile that makes him shiver.  "Goodnight, Scott."

Tries a smile in return. "Good night."

And then a little too restless to go right to bed. Straightens the
room some. Folds and re-packs the dirty clothes on the bottom of the
suitcase, sniffs the uniform and decides to switch to the extra one
for tomorrow. Doesn't want to encourage the Professor to mindfuck
any local dry cleaners.

Or anyone else, ever, really.

Just feels extremely... dishonest. And that's pretty much the word
of the day, isn't it?

Paces a little. Doesn't really have the energy for it, but doesn't
especially want to get in the bed, either. Even bigger than the one
at the mansion. Too much space. Too much room.

Considers asking the Professor for something nice and narrow,
considers the problems of that should Jean-Paul...

And he said he'd come.

Too much to think about tonight.

Crawls into bed and has just enough time to realize how tired he
really is before passing out.

Still dark when he wakes up, which he supposes is a good sign.
Checks the clock. Quarter to six. Idly considers waking Jean-Paul
for a nice, brisk run. Decides to preserve the friendship a little
longer, but there's no way he's getting back to sleep. Winds up just
wandering the halls for a while, nodding to the security guards.
Third time past the guys in the lobby and they make him sit down and
drink some coffee. It doesn't seem quite logical, but he goes with

Manages to talk about the weather, and a *lot* about New York.
Doesn't know enough about the tourist areas to really be much help,
but he supposes it looks good on the whole interpersonal relations

Back to his room to splash some water on his face before the
breakfast speeches, and to avoid being the first one there. Doesn't
particularly want to *look* like he's just gotten that stern
talking-to he suspects they all know he got.

Only a few speeches this time around. Department H representative
talking about their goals for Alpha Flight. Team arrayed behind and
to either side of him, freshly scrubbed and fully in uniform. One
really, really little guy. One really, really big guy. Though to be
fair, the big guy looks like he'd be way more comfortable in, say, a
library. Or possibly a comics shop. Code name... Sasquatch. Yeah,
that was it. Odd. Very odd.

One long, tall brunette who looks like she could kick his ass six
ways from Sunday, and also looks like she knows it. Lily or
something. Damn. He really *is* unprepared. Vague, brief moment of
wanting to apologize to the Professor, but it passes.

A man and a woman giving off serious 'together' vibes. Guesses those
would be the co-leaders... Heather and Mac. God, at least he
remembered that much. And not mutants at all. Cyborgs of some kind.
Wonders how Jean-Paul feels about that.

Catches him looking at him, one eyebrow raised. Sudden, highly
rational fear that the man will do... something. Scott clears his
throat and focuses on the speaker again. Nothing new, but nothing
particularly ominous, either.

Good enough.

And then filing past the reporters for obligatory "candid" shots.
Scott smiles for the camera and Jean moves up beside him for a few
shots. Wonderful.

"He's not unhappy anymore."


"Um, yeah. Scott?"


"I'm sorry, okay?"

Nearly stumbles, but plays it off as best he can. "Okay..."

"I just. Can we talk? Sometime when it's not insane?"

Now *that's* ominous, but he's going to be on his best behavior
today if it kills him. "Sure, Jean."

Quick squeeze of his hand and she's slipping through the press of
reporters, dignitaries, and mutants again. Presumably back to Ro.

Breakfast is good and stressful, complete with reporter-musical-
chairs, each and every one of them with a plastic smile and a
question timed for the moment he manages to get some food in his
mouth. This, at least, he can do. God knows they've practiced their

Little girl reporter, of all things.  Looks about three or four
years older than he is at the absolute outside.  Ponytail and a
little grin, notebook in one hand and dictaphone in the other.  She
wins the chair war and gets him in a corner, like they're just
friends.  One foot under her and these half-teasing questions about
whether he likes the country, the people.  How he feels about doing
this at his age, and a little wanna-tell-me-how-old-you-are look.
Followed by exactly the same as a formal question, which he manages
not to answer.

Which must piss her off, because the next thing she says is, "So.
How much of the city did you get to see with Northstar?"

Little tilt of the man's head at the sound of his name, but he's
twenty feet away, and the man who's interviewing him is soft-voiced,
bearded, and armed with a CBC recorder.

"Oh god, I don't know.  We had lunch at a place called something
like Golden Spring, but I haven't had a chance to sightsee

"Are you friends?"

"I think so.  I've known him for about three days."

"Is your relationship with him causing any friction between your

The phrase that immediately leaps into Scott's mind is, *When did
you stop beating your mistress?*

Followed by, *Ride of the Valkyries*.

As a middle-aged, overweight, long-haired woman in something like a
cross between bondage gear and a Halloween costume runs shrieking
towards him. Waving a toy sword.  Scott isn't sure he understands a
word she's saying.

Maybe he looks pathetic and helpless, or maybe it's just because she
knows he's already screwed, that the little girl leans over and
says, "She's Mary Walsh.  She's a comedian, and she has pretty much
total access.  She's gonna come over here and yell at you for a
minute.  Smile and nod.  Don't hit her. Everybody in the country's
gonna see this the day after tomorrow."

"What's she *saying*?"

"That's a Newfoundland accent.  Just smile and nod.  I'm so gone."

"Hello my darling!  As Marg, Princess Warrior, I heard about your
little quest and I just had to throw on my little suit of power and
come help you!  Ooooooh!  Look at you!"

Hand that clamps around his chin and squeezes his cheeks in like the
grip of the aunt from hell.

"Good lord but they're turning them out young these days!  When I
was your age, b'y, and I'll have you know it wasn't so long ago as
all that, they made your superheroes out of stronger stuff than you.
I likes my men with a little meat on them.  Come on.  Up with you."

The same hand lifts him more or less straight onto his feet.  He's
not quite sure how she got to be so strong.  He wishes the cameraman
and the guy with the boom would stop looking at him with quite such
helpless grins.

"Just a little fella, aren't you, duckling?  And those terrible
men're all about makin' you rescue damsels!  Bet you couldn't even
pick me up."  She lets go of his chin, but the arm clamps around the
back of his neck, and she lets her knees give.  Staggering under her
extra weight.  "Poor little fella.  Can't even lift the likes of me.
Not that you couldn't make two damsels of me, but come on, my love.
Give it a go."

And what the hell.  Smile and nod and try it.  Arm under her
shoulders, arm under her knees.  Shorter than he is, but solid and
fierce, and she's swinging her sword wildly.  Finally gets her up
and boosts her in against him, grins at the camera as best he can.

She kisses him.  Wet and messy and it's obviously meant as a joke,
but his eyes bug out anyway.

Moment where she pulls back and points his face towards the camera,
obviously capturing his expression for posterity, and why couldn't
this have happened to Hank?  Or Peter?  Or Jean.  Jean would've been
a good choice. Bug her about her new lesbian love life.

And over his shoulder, the lady in his arms yells, "Oh!  Mr. Beaubier
have I got a lovely little one for you!"

Something he can't hear.  She's heavy and she keeps *wiggling* and
it's going to look so, *so* bad if he drops her.

"No you don't!  I've got him all held down for you!  Peter you old
dog, you give him to us.  Come on."

Jean-Paul comes.  With his hands in his pockets and his face already
faintly red, trailed by the man from the CBC.  Who looks like he's
going to kill himself laughing very, very quietly.

"Alright, my love.  I've tested him for you and I'm willing to
declare him the best little kisser the poor old yanks brought with
'em, but I wants a second opinion."

Jean Paul puts his hands up.  Covers his face for a moment.  Asks,

Job asked "Why?" in that exact same tone.

"For both sides of the court, boy.  We've got my opinion for the
ladies, and we need yours for the men's."

Jean-Paul dodges the guy with the boom and steps too close.  "Marg"
gets him in a headlock.  Grins at the camera and announces, "Faster
than a weaseling Northstar!"  Kisses him on the side of the head and
pulls him in.  "One kiss, love.  For the greater knowledge we're
supposed to have of all you sort."

Awkward as hell, and in a minute Scott's back's gonna give.
Realizes that Jean-Paul's hovering close to a foot off the ground to
lean over the leather-clad body between them.  Soft lips across his
cheek that whisper, "Sorry."

This very soft, careful kiss just to the side of his mouth.

"You can do better than that, b'y."

Jean-Paul backs off.  Puts his hands up in front of his face and
shakes his head.

In Scott's ear, she whispers, "It's alright.  You can put me down."

His knees, somehow, don't give.  Swings her down and lets her hold
him around the neck for a second.  Competent fingers work at his
neck and when she pulls away he's wearing a very small red cape.
Goes with his face.

Makes him jump when he pats his ass.  And marches away, sword out,
tech guys trailing after.

And the world goes distinctly pink as everybody and their mother
gets the apparently obligatory post-Marg, Princess Warrior shot of
him. Canadians, he's decided, are clearly bizarre.

By the time he's fixed his expression, it's much, much too late, and
he returns to his breakfast, which is now extremely cold and
rubbery, but he finishes it anyway. Surprisingly uninterrupted. It's
possible they're taking pity on him, but that doesn't seem quite in
character for reporters.

Wanders over for more coffee and gets to nearly finish *that* in
peace before another reporter corners him. This one in a very good
suit who, for some reason, wants him to talk about the economy.

Scott fakes it as best he can until the man wanders off in the vague
direction of Ro, who's getting her hair petted by far too many
different people. *Her* smile doesn't slip. But then again, it seems
painted on at this point, so he supposes that none of them are
getting off easy here.

Sighs again and decides to not take the opportunity to escape. Works
on making his expression as blank and noncommittally pleasant as he
can. Thinks he probably looks more like a sacrificial lamb than
anything else.

Sure enough, cameras start pointing in his direction again.

And soon there are more speeches, and Scott's beginning to wonder if
they might not all be the same speech. At this point, no one can
possibly be listening close enough to be sure.

The professor goes on just before lunch, and, perhaps picking up on
the entire room's mood, keeps it brief. Tolerance. International
cooperation. Dangers of the Sentinel program. Hope for the future.

Less than twenty minutes, all told, and Scott could almost *hug* the


Waits until there's a lull in the congratulatory crush at the front
of the room before sending, *Headed out to lunch. I'll be back in
plenty of time for the closing ceremonies.*

*Thank you, Scott.*

Makes a break for the exit and has made it two blocks away before
Jean-Paul just sort of... appears at his side. No way in hell he's
going to get used to that.

Companionable silence for another block, mostly because Scott can't
think of a thing to say.

"Italian, Scott?"


"For lunch. I know a place where the portions are fit for the gods."

"They probably run in fear when they see you coming."

"Ah, but *you* don't, and this is enough for me."

"I'm a practical man, Jean-Paul. It's not like I'd get all that

"From me? No, I do not think so."

Smiling at each other for long moments before Scott realizes that's
what he's doing and then he just hopes he can blame his blush on the
ridiculously cold wind. The uniform keeps his body warm enough, but
it could use a mask. Maybe a long, vinyl scarf.

*When club-kids do winter*

Grinning again, and fuck it, it feels good. Almost as good as when
their arms occasionally brush. Really, really wants to kiss Jean-
Paul again, preferably someplace far away from the rest of the
world. Maybe the moon.

He really didn't get enough breakfast. Or sleep for that matter.
Should be something to worry about, but it really isn't.

"So, Scott..."


"Did you plan on wearing the cape all day?"

The cape. The *cape* --! He'd forgotten the damned thing. Scrabbles
at his back to get it off, but he can't get a hold on the thing and
Jean-Paul is laughing his skinny ass off and --

"It blew off two blocks ago. I swear."

"I was wearing it all morning?!"

"Relax, relax! It just made you look like a... good sport?"

"Oh. Well. Good?"

"You really didn't know it was there?"

An extra brightness in Jean-Paul's purple-but-really-blue eyes. He's
clearly delighted by the turn of events. Wonderful.

But also, really... he likes the way it looks on Jean-Paul's face.
Really a lot if he's being honest with himself.

Heat of the restaurant fogs his visor instantly, which he really
should've expected. Steals a napkin from the nearest empty table and
squeezes his eyes shut. Wipes the visor, warms it against his skin,
wipes it a little more. Unconscious routine, and when he has it back
on and opens his eyes again Jean-Paul is staring.

"You cannot open them at all?"

"Not without large amounts of property damage."

"I had hoped..." Abortive reach for Scott's face. "... to see your

"I'm reasonably sure they're a fairly ordinary blue."

Crooked smile. "Thank you, Scott. Now I know everything I need to
know about them."

"Good.  Then you get to owe me an answer."  Nods at the spread
hands. "What the hell was that, earlier?"

Jean-Paul.  Laughs.  Damn him.  "I have been a favourite target of
Mary Walsh's show for some time.  They accost politicians and public
figures and embarrass them."

"And the secret service doesn't stop them?"

Jean-Paul cocks his head.  "There isn't one.  The last Canadian
politician to die by violence was hit by a bus."

"I could live here, I think."

"You would be welcome.  We could add you to the list of young
athletes from strange countries who stay after every athletic event.
Do you throw the discus?"

"Sorry, no." Pause. "Why'd she pick me?"

"Mary?  I expect because she thought you were cute and helpless."

"As opposed to because you kissed me in public?"


"One of the reporters asked if I was your lover."

"He was bored."


"Alright, she was bored.  It is not national news.  Your lovely,
shell-shocked expression will be, but this, like all things, shall

This time, Jean-Paul does touch him.  Brush of a thumb across his
cheekbone that he almost leans into.  Not quite, but his neck moved,
and Jean-Paul might have felt it.

If he does, he lets it be.  Orders and eats pasta like a one-man
famine while Scott steals his meatballs.  Protein.  He's restless,
more so now that he's not hungry anymore.  Like he could get out and
run for miles.  Fight something.  Run.

So.  Outside.  It's colder again, and he's tempted to revise the
need to somewhere *indoors* to run, but decides he's not that picky.
Anywhere'll do.  Park.  Long, empty street.  Beach.  Hotel hallway,
except that he can picture Xavier's face when he inevitably gets
caught with his dignity down around his ankles.

Park on his right, just a half-block of green space turned silver-
brown in the cold.  Jungle-gym in the shape of a rocket in one
corner with a couple of swings.  Nobody in it.

Shakes himself loose and runs for the other end, hard, trying to
exhaust himself rather than build muscle or cardio.  Touches the
bench on the other side and runs back.  Runs the perimeter and just
runs until his head's silent and he's hot from it.

Until Jean-Paul catches him around the waist like he's standing
still and pulls him down.

Cool hands rubbing over his face.  Hard on his cheeks until his
breathing steadies.  Shape of him this washed range of colours
against the red-grey of the sky.

"Feel better?"


Hand that pulls him up to a sitting position.  His own hands are
icy.  Needs a scarf, needs gloves.  It's got to be below freezing,
but he doesn't know how much.  The humidity's turning to ice on the

Brief moment of foreboding about just how *much* Bobby's going to
enjoy the upcoming winter and then Jean-Paul is kneeling in front of
him. Close, very close, and in this weather Scott can tell just how
warm the man really is.

Fast metabolism, radiates heat, right. Holding him now and Jean-Paul
is... vibrating? "Are you okay?"

"I should be asking you that question, Scott." Hint of a scold.

"I'm just... used to a more active life. We've been doing nothing but
sitting around for days."

"All right." Holding Scott's hands between his own. "Perhaps we can
convince you to dress appropriately the next time you need to burn
off energy?" Warm, teasing voice that shoots right through him.

"Um, yeah. Sorry about that --"

"Or perhaps I can convince you to find another way to burn?"

God, that *voice*. "Jean-Paul..."

"May I kiss you, Scott?"

Low, sweet plea that makes Scott moan. "Please..."

"*Chrisse*, you are beautiful --"

Kiss neither gentle nor rough, just a sharing of self that rocks
Scott to the core. Warm lips and hot tongue and Scott's hands are
still trapped between Jean-Paul's and there's a long, lean thigh
between his own. Just barely not touching him. An invitation, an
offer clearly made and Scott has to touch.

Pulls out of Jean-Paul's hold, earning a low, disappointed noise
that makes Scott just haul the man into his lap. Jean-Paul
straddling him and Scott's hands roving over his back and kissing
hard now. Pure passion, blinding and too needful for fear.

Jean-Paul's hands on his chest, half-crushed between them, but still
moving, searching, *touching* him with pleased hunger and Scott.

Wants to be naked with this man.

Wants to forget everything and everyone but this, right here. Jean-
Paul so open, despite the fact that Scott knows -- *knows* -- that
he can't possibly know anything like the whole of the man.

Wants to, and wants to confess the desire, and every other. "Oh,
God, Jean-Paul --"

Kisses all over his face, his jaw, the high edge of his throat left
bare by the uniform. This beautiful body draped over Scott's own.
The promise of friendship and raw pleasure.

Wants to take some of this.

Has to flip them without the advantage of flight, but he's
marginally taller, and it gives him leverage.  Not going to play the
ravished beauty in this, even if he felt like one.  Gets Jean-Paul's
shoulders down and lays his weight across the man's chest.  Looks at
him for a second.

Reaching, ruffling fingers.  "I like your messy hair, Scott."


Scott kisses him.  All the weight of his head behind it.  All the
control's his and Jean-Paul just relaxes into it.  Soft mouth
working against him, licking around his mouth but not demanding
anything.  Hands that just stay on his shoulders instead of pulling
his head down.

Crackle of the frost under them when Jean-Paul rolls him off and
lays on his side, panting.  Wet mouth with lips cracking in the
cold.  One hand rubbing from Scott's shoulder down to his hip.

"I think if we don't want to be arrested we had better stop."

Which isn't quite what his body's asking for, but getting arrested
for public indecency probably isn't the best way to stay on Xavier's
good side this week.  Though he wonders if he could make some
argument about healthy sexuality and any red-blooded American male
in the same situation.

And if he isn't going to just throw Jean-Paul down and do him right
here, he needs to get up.  Feet under him all on his own, stands,
walks the half-dozen yards to the swings and drops himself into one
canvas-rubber sling.  Cold chains against his fingers.

Jean-Paul hovers in front of him.  Leg just slightly to the side to
avoid getting bashed when Scott moves towards him, feet a few inches
off the ground. Pulls his knees up and crouches over them, at eye-
level.  Nothing about the shape of him clear from the black uniform,
but Scott wonders if he's hard.

Scott is.  Thinking about cold and waiting for his arousal to ease
and praying Jean-Paul won't touch him until it does.

Just a faint touch on his knuckles, like Jean-Paul knows what he's
thinking, more friendly than anything else.  "Are you prepared to
move?  They will be expecting us back."

"Yeah, I guess."

It's so *cold*.  His hands feel like raw meat, even shoved into his
pockets. Aching a bit all over from the time they spent on the
ground. Walking back through this urban world where people mostly
ignore them, and where everything's so red-washed-grey that he's
having trouble telling the sky from the ground.

Warmer moment when the first snow hits him.  Single bits falling,
and it's so grey he couldn't see them until they hit.  Something
dangerous that he'll have to remember, but also just startlingly
cold-wet on his still-burning face.

Doesn't really snow any harder after that, but he's more aware of
it. Single-flakes falling and the faint disappointment on the faces
of everyone around him.  Like this is the beginning of something
huge and not very well-loved.  Canadian winter.  The kind you need a
better coat for than his.

There are reporters outside the hotel, but they're mostly hunched in
on themselves inside their coats, and smoking.  Small groups
sheltering lighters.  The girl who abandoned him to Marg, Princess
Warrior, is there, buried in a ski jacket and sucking on the
cigarette like it's her last hope for survival.

And this gust of wind and snow that makes him flinch and sends a
kind of collective moan through the smokers.  Jean-Paul behind him
with one hand on his waist, and in spite of the audience he thinks
he could take being kissed again.

An odd thought, one he wants to examine sometime after Jean-Paul
kisses him breathless again. No, no. Think. He can do this.
Something quick and easy, a nice rationalization.

No, a reason.

Sneaks a glance at Jean-Paul as they weave their way up the steps
around all the reporters, who apparently could care less that they
existed. More strangeness. These same people will soon be all bright
eyes and predatory smiles, but it's just a job to them. And Jean-
Paul's own smile isn't going anywhere.

*I put it there.*

And that's it, really. His choice, nothing riding on it but a
friendship he chose. He could have sex with this man, but only if
*he* wants to. When he does.

No one in the hall for a few steps, and Scott rests his hand in the
small of Jean-Paul's back. Just a touch, just a moment before
pulling away again.

Whispers, "I want you."

"When?" Barely a hiss of breath and Scott has to shiver.

"After closing ceremonies. We. We'll have time."

Curt nod. "Until then, my friend."

"I was hoping we could... continue our conversation."

"I would not be able to keep from touching you... especially when
you insist on blushing like that. Tres, tres beau." Teasing voice
with so much *heat*.

More on his cheeks. "Um. You may have a point. I'll just. Um. Are we
supposed to be in formal dress for this?"

"Sadly, no. I would like to see you... out of that damnable uniform,
but I think we are supposed to wander through the nice ladies and
gentlemen as we are."

"Sounds more like a freakshow than a dinner."

At the elevators now, and there are a few dignitaries hurrying their
way. Jean-Paul leans in to whisper, "surely you expected no
different...? Until later, Scott."

Bang of the fire door opening halfway down the hall and Jean-Paul is
gone, leaving Scott to the dignitaries. Blankly pleasant
expression... on.

On for hours.  While he shakes people's hands and nods and gets
patted on the shoulder.  None of it settling into his head the way
it should, so he settles for the next best thing, which is standing
beside Xavier and nodding politely while other people talk.

Gets the feeling that Xavier's happy to have him there, though he
doesn't say or send anything.  Everyone else is moving separately,
but it's his privilege as leader of the X-Men and first of Xavier's
students to just stand here and be serious and quiet if he wants to.
As long as he answers anything people ask him, he's doing his job.

And the next time people excuse themselves, he sits for a minute.
Lets his head sag, breathes the stress out, and pulls back together.
Watches Ro slide through the crowd towards them and Jean talk to the
Assistant Deputy Minister.  Her hand on the arm of his suit.
Flirting. Scott wonders if he should worry.

*Possibly, Scott.  I don't know yet.*


*As I said, I don't know.  But the situation could damage the team
if it becomes any more fragile.*  And then aloud, "How was your

Not exactly casual, but it feels cordial, at least.  Like they might
not fight anymore for a while.  Funny that knowing that should let
him relax. Not always happy with the man but he's really genuinely
all he's got.

"It was okay.  Do you want me to say something to one of them?"

"I'll leave it to your discretion for now, Scott."

So he'll have to deal with that, later.  Probably fight with Jean
about it, in the Blackbird or later when they're home.  And he knows
she isn't doing it on purpose, but she does flirt.  With pretty much
everything in pants, not that he's counting.  And if she's holding
him accountable for making people miserable...

Kind of thing that makes him chew really deliberately during supper.
People talk, and pictures get taken, and every so often he turns
towards the podium like he's listening.  He's not *good* at this.
Xavier won't let him close enough to the centre of things to play
tactics, and the quiet talk that's all the rest of a conference like
this just makes him want to grow a shell. Grateful that they didn't
subject Bobby to this, at least.

Stands for whatever the last toast is, and gets just a glimpse of
Jean-Paul down the other side.  Extra burn in his stomach when the
wine goes down. Cold and warmth and this thing he's been waiting on
for hours.  As soon as he gets out of here.

Easier and faster than it should be.  Reporters go home and
ministers go home and good little mutants retire to their hotel
rooms and sleep their crime-fighting sleep.

Shaking and tired and still wanting, in the elevator.  The one he
waited a dog's age for because Jean and Ro were in the other one,
and he could actually see Jean leaning in.  Let them make that one
up themselves and he'll sort it out tomorrow or the day after.

His elevator, and this breath of wind next to him.  Jean-Paul who
hugs him but doesn't offer to get off on Scott's floor.  Warm grin
just before the doors close on him.

This is probably his punishment for making the man wait. Irritating
as all hell. But also oddly... cute. Like Jean-Paul feels the need
to make up for past good behavior, lest Scott get the wrong idea.

The man has a lot invested in being the bad guy, just as Scott has
way too much invested in being good.

Scott smiles to himself. He doesn't plan on being very good at all.

And, true to form, Jean-Paul appears just as Scott's closing his
door, bottle of chilled champagne in one hand, roll of condoms in
the other.

"Ambitious much, Jean-Paul?"

"Call it... hopeful."

Long, good moment in the half-open doorway, close but not quite
touching. Scott leans in close enough to kiss. "I need a shower."
There. Take *that*.

"I could lick you clean, beautiful boy..."

And so much for taking control of the game, because Scott has to
kiss him. Right there for anyone who walks by to snap a picture. Get
that wicked tongue in his mouth and suck and suck, press close,
slide his leg between lean thighs and push Jean-Paul back against
the door frame.

Sex on legs, oh yes, definitely, and Scott *wants*.

And so does Jean-Paul, who doesn't drop anything. Just presses his
wrists against Scott's back and rubs, fucking Scott's mouth with his
tongue and spreading his legs. No equivocation, just pure sex.

He's not going to make it to the shower, but he can at least move
the party indoors.

Moment of pure, petty joy. Hank has a fifteen year old boy and Ororo
has the world's most determined flirt, but he has... Jean-Paul. All
this, all of it --

"Yes, Scott, anything you want --" Kissing him again and backing
them into the room, to the bed where he drops everything *but*
Scott. Hands all over him, searching blindly for the uniform
fastenings and Scott gets his hands in Jean Paul's hair. Tilts his
head for a better angle and drinks him down. So fucking *good*.

Top of the uniform cracked open and the bodysuit he's wearing
beneath it might as well be skin.

Jean-Paul pushes him off, pushes him back. Hair wild and eyes wilder.
Breathing a little roughly. Mouth so much redder than anything else
and Scott hauls him back again for another kiss, and another and Scott
pauses only a moment before sleeking a hand over Jean-Paul's ass.
Round and hard and perfect against his palm.

Barely manages to let go long enough to fumble for the zipper hidden
under Jean-Paul's hair. Gets it open and. Skin. Hot and finely grained
and the vastly important and completely nonsensical realization that
the man is naked, absolutely naked under his clothes.

Breaks the kiss himself this time to peel Jean-Paul out of the
uniform. Lean-muscled and. Beautiful. Wants this. *Wants* this and
Jean-Paul isn't stopping him. Barely touching him, ghosts of contact
on his face, his shoulders, and Scott leans in to one copper-brown
nipple and sucks.

Gasps at Jean-Paul's moan, this strange, huge gift to make the man
feel something good and a moment of blank understanding, large and
blinding and brief.

And then Scott can only focus on that skin.

The way it tastes.  And just that it's human skin.  Soft textures and
tastes in it, and he wishes he could really tell what colour it is,
beyond 'pale'. Olive or fair?  Not something he's going to get to
know, though.  Just his imagination to go by, and the smell of it.
Something warm and a little bit sweet.  Little shivers in it.

Little shivers all over Jean-Paul's body.  Little raw places that
Scott's stubble leaves on that chest.  Going to have to be careful.

Fingers in his hair suggesting that what he was doing was about
exactly right, and would he mind doing it again.  Not forcing, not
even any real pressure, but there's a request there.  Thumbs sliding
down to rub his jawline.

On either side of his face and lifting him up so Jean-Paul can kiss
him again.  Burrow into his neck and nibble at it while Scott pants.

Hand that slides in and strokes his ass and puts them close enough
that any amount of serious movement is going to get obscene pretty
fast.  And even if Scott leans back, gets his hands in and gets the
man's shirt actually *off*, Jean-Paul's still holding them together,
still bucking a little against Scott's hip.  Other arm up when Scott
lifts it, watching the way Jean-Paul's whole body stretches with the
lift. Hooks the hand behind his neck and just stands there, rocking

All this flesh on offer suddenly.  Bare chest and bare belly and dark
hair just showing between his navel and the waist of his pants.  Rubs
his hands along the side-seams.

"These tear-away?"

Laughter.  "No.  Only Walter's are.  It proved easier than providing
him with a uniform every time he transformed.  But all of our uniforms
are based on the same design, so they do look that way."  Shivers as
the hand brushes his thigh.

Long, long arch as he lets go of his neck and brings the arm around
Scott's neck to kiss him again.  Like they could just stand in the
middle of this room and kiss all night.  Rock against each other and
ignore the latex and alcohol at their feet and maybe sometime towards
morning get absolutely all their clothes off.

Hand that touches his throat for a second before he realizes that it's
asking about just that.  Clothes.  Would he consider losing his?  Some
of them?  And yeah, if it results in feeling Jean-Paul that much
better against his chest, he wants the jacket off.  Heavy vinyl, too
hot right now and he's struggling out of it as soon as Jean-Paul has
it undone.

On the floor and yeah, against him. Hard nipples rubbing through the
body suit.  Weight against him walking him back.  Gets him sat down on
the bed and gone and back in a slightly unnerving blink.  Champagne
and water glasses and that specially intent expression currently
focused on getting the cork loose.

"I swear to god you don't need to get me drunk."

Fractured purple eyes.  It's a long look that ends with a glass of
champagne and a kiss on his shoulder.

"Work on drinking that for a minute, Scott."  Warm touch moving all
over him.  Chest and stomach and back, circling in a way that could
easily just be comforting.  Mouthing his neck.  Teasing at the zipper
at the base of his neck.  Kiss just where the cloth ends.  Only real
skin he's showing.  "Can I unzip this?"

Big thought of oh-god-naked that ends with him saying, "Yes."

Unzipped all the way to his waist, and Jean-Paul's hands are inside,
god *inside*, his clothes, and the drink is sounding like a really
good idea. Finishes it fast and lets the glass tip over on the
bedspread.  Leans forward over the hand Jean-Paul's got against his
stomach and lets the man kiss his back.  Pushing the suit wider open.
Sometimes he just breathes on him and even that's enough to make his
hair stand up.  It's been.  He doesn't know how long it's been since
he let anybody touch him.  He didn't even like wrestling with Logan in

Soft, wet kiss and Jean-Paul tongues the small of his back like it
might open up for him.  Eases Scott onto his stomach and puts his
whole attention into it.  Just occasionally brushing a hand over his
ass and then just enough to remind Scott it's there.  Rubbing the
insides of his thighs and rubbing circles on his shoulder blades.

"There, Scott.  Does that feel good?"

Loaded question, and Scott wonders how much of this is the oddly
gentle friend he's made and how much is the terrorist.  Master of
breaching security lines and going where you told him a dozen times he
couldn't be. Maybe not like this, but...

Honesty. "Yeah. Yes, but." Has to bite his lip to keep from throwing
the man off in a fit of whatever it is that he will not, will *not*
call panic. "Go slow."

"Of course..." Spoken into the hollow of his spine, making him shiver,
tense into the wet, wet kiss that follows. Strange, viciously slow
arcs of sensation and what was he thinking? Fast would be so much
easier than this, anything just to have it *done*.

Jean-Paul making love to his back like it's the only part of him that
exists. Making him achingly aware of every muscle, and especially that
incredible bundle of nerves just above his tailbone. Great place to
punch. Wonderful, awful place to be kissed. Tongued and bitten until
Scott's hard enough to drill something.

Hard enough to hump the mattress just a little. Controlling the
motions as best he can but still feeling every muscle group he has to
move to do it. Aware of them, and how it all must look to Jean-Paul.
Hard not to blush at that. Impossible, even having admitted that he
wants this.

Hard teeth beneath his shoulder blade and Scott gasps, nowhere near
ready for it, or to be soothed by that tongue. Broad, flat licks and
hands on his hips, shaping themselves to him. Thumbs kneading into the
muscle, fingers tracing the bone. A moment to realize Jean-Paul's
actually moving him, guiding his thrusts against the mattress, slow
and rough.

Straddling Scott's thighs, and God, he can feel Jean-Paul's eyes on
him and keeps his own tightly shut behind the visor.

Feels like he's being gentled to this, to the idea that someone else
can control his body and every reaction. That Jean-Paul can *have* him
and it would still be... okay.

Spit drying cool on his back and Scott wants to be touched there
again, catches himself arching for it, pushing up on his elbows, and
blushes hard. Gets the job done, though. Hands on his back again after
a brief caress and a longer squeeze to his ass.

No way to come out of this believing anything but that Jean-Paul finds
him attractive. That he *is* attractive, sexy in some way that can be
seen. Some sure, adult way where no one has to be hurt.

Trusts Jean-Paul, and wants, maybe more than anything, to be able to
keep doing it.

Fingers brushing every bitten spot, digging in where he's tense and
warming him. Nothing soothing about this. Scott's body knows the feel
of Jean-Paul's mouth now, and every time the man pauses Scott tenses
up again in anticipation.

"Scott, are you okay?" Genuine curiosity, which is just too much and
not enough of everything he needs.

"Yeah --" Shocked at the sound of his own voice, low and needy and
harsh. "I just... it feels good."

And there's the kiss he's been expecting. Jean-Paul sliding down his
body, covering him. Hands on Scott's arms and mouth on the back of his
neck. Wet and maddeningly gentle and Scott can't breathe, can't think.
Bends his head and arches up into it. Lips and teeth and tongue
working him and oh, God, leaving marks.

Humping the mattress again, this time pushing up against Jean-Paul's
erection every time. Blinding, absolutely blinding and Scott has to
push him off. Turn over onto his back and grab and pull and shift
until Jean-Paul's above him. Until he can see him.

Bruised soft mouth and uniform sitting dangerously low on his hips.
Dipping curve of pelvis clearly visible and painfully defined. Scott
seats his thumbs there, brushes thin, thin skin over and over until
Jean-Paul starts to move.

Little thrusts against him, cock to cock and Scott hopes like hell
Jean-Paul realizes that his eyes are open now. That he's *looking*,
drinking him in.

Wants to fall right into the hunger he sees in Jean-Paul's eyes.

Thinks maybe he already has.

Food for lust, something like that.  Ready for it when Jean-Paul wraps
his fingers in the slick black still covering his chest and arms and
starts peeling it forward.  Over his shoulders and off, getting one
hand free at a time and kissing it, palm and wrist and elbow.
Smouldering there and settled in a way that says he could ride the
twists of Scott's body, if not forever then for long enough to get
some fairly serious things proven.

Finally just balls the slick blackness at Scott's waist and lays down
against him.  Naked chest to his, rubbing back and forth like skin
contact is the best of all possible gifts.  Kissing like that.  Extra
friction that he's milking for all it's worth, pushing Scott until
he's got to grind his teeth down to stubs or whimper.

What actually comes out is a kind of mix of those two. Aching jaw from
keeping himself quiet. Wants to gasp when Jean-Paul licks his chest
and has to unlock his teeth to do it. Hissing and pushing against the
thigh between his legs and he wishes the man would kiss him again so
he wouldn't have to worry so much about the noise.

Takes it, finally, when he gets that Jean-Paul isn't ever going to
give him exactly what he wants. Has to make some of this happen on his
own. Coming in from the side and pushing into his mouth, letting the
aching noises come out. Pulling back after that and sucking on the
man's lips. Hand that locks into his and just holds it, out beside
them, fingers rubbing gently into the centre of his palm and making
him shiver.

Arch and stretch back, push against his shoulder while Jean-Paul tries
to get both hands behind him without dislocating his shoulder.
Somehow without stopping this careful attention to Scott's mouth.
Rubbing into the stubble like it's a new, bright edge on the

Lays Scott's hand at the small of his naked back. Holds the wrist and
pushes down. Scott's hand down the back of his uniform pants and the
bastard's *grinning* at him.

Come on, Scott. Are you in?

Is he?

Not sure, but it's new, warm skin, and every time he presses, Jean-
Paul makes him glad he did.  Can't bring himself to get the hand right
down where he knows Jean-Paul really wants it, settles for rubbing
hard, pulling him in closer.

Softly, "Fair enough.  How are you, Scott?"

"I'm okay."  Hard to talk.  His throat feels like he's been crying.
"Can I sit up for a minute?"

Jean-Paul nods and shifts off him.  Sits up and offers a hand that
pulls Scott in against his chest once he's upright.  Something about
the position tempting to just swing his legs across Jean-Paul's lap
and get closer.  But he wanted air.

He leans back, squirms until he finds the headboard to brace against.
Still touching, but only calf to knee.  Breathing deeply and rubbing
his arms.

Watching while Jean-Paul bends over his feet.  Unlaces his boots,
peels his socks off.  Bare feet very, very pale against the black of
both their uniforms, black-covered ankle cupped in Jean-Paul's hand.
Raises the foot to his mouth and kisses it.  On top, licking carefully
at the huge number of long bones in it.

"Jesus.  God.  Do that again?"

"If you wish."  Again, other foot.  Sliding down to offer more leg,
more foot.  Hands up the legs of his uniform pants.  On top of the
body suit and making it clear that it'd be better if he was naked, or
closer to it.

Still watching Jean-Paul when he looses both clasps at the sides of
his uniform pants and works them off.  Pulls his knees up and watches
the other man from over top of the stretched black.  Cold on his bare
feet where they got kissed.

Jean-Paul reaches out and touches his stomach.  Rubs a thumb up and
down once, then lays the hand on Scott's knee.

"Can I choose what you take off next?"

"I'm not sure --"

"Please Scott.  I would like to see you with your visor off."

"Maybe I didn't make the part about horrible death and property damage

"Keep your eyes closed.  I don't want to make love to you while you're
wearing that thing.  It makes you look like a weapon."

Makes him go cold.  "Not to put to blunt an edge on it, but like hell
am I doing this blind."

"I think you had glasses on when you were in the club.  Can you wear

He could.  Closer to naked without the visor's weight, but he's got
more expression without it.  There's enough light to see the bruise
forming on Jean-Paul's cheekbone, and Scott wonders how long ago he
caught him with the edge of it.

Scott leans forward and hooks his fingers in the waist of the man's
pants. Pulls him forward. Control. His choice on his terms.

"When you have these off."

Gone in a blink, which he probably should've expected. Jean-Paul
straddling his lap and utterly naked.

"*Jesus*, Jean-Paul! Give a man some warning."

Two fingers on his cheek. "Hm. I think not."

And Scott has to look.

Jean-Paul slightly hunched over him like the world's prettiest
gargoyle. Lean, hard chest and muscled concavity of belly. Longish
cock hard and slim. Dark in his vision and wet at the tip. Scott
brushes his thumb over the head, does it again when it makes Jean-Paul
hunch a little more.

Runs his other hand up the side of Jean-Paul's torso. Ribs present but
not starkly so. Brush of dark hair under the arm he's using to brace
himself on the wall.

And Scott leans over as best as he can, moving as little as possible.
Shades case in the top drawer of the nightstand. Squeezes his eyes
shut and pulls off the visor --

"A moment, Scott."

Breath on his cheek and Jean-Paul is kissing his eyes, nuzzling
against them gently and licking at the shallow grooves left behind by
the visor. It feels. It feels...

Just wants to push his face into it and does. Nuzzles and sloppy
kisses until Scott can find Jean-Paul's mouth, always pulling away
before Scott can make the kiss as deep as he needs it to be. Too fast
to catch and not going anywhere.

"So is this eyelid fetish new?"

"Ah, oui. You hide them so demurely, how can it be otherwise?"

Soft kisses to his eyelids, left then right then left again. Soft
brushes at his lashes and finally Jean-Paul's hands, rubbing at the
thin skin and occipital ridges. Scott knows the skin here is not quite
normal, can't be since otherwise he would've blown it all off a long
time ago but this is...

"Let me put the glasses on, Jean-Paul."

"But I'm not done..."

"Please." And apparently he sounds (desperate) serious enough to make
Jean-Paul pause.

Pull away far enough to let Scott get the glasses on. Opens his eyes
to find Jean-Paul studying him. Calm and serious. "Do I owe you an

"No, it's okay. I don't much like taking unnecessary risks."

"What about me? Am I not a risk?" Played comically, but not entirely

"You're necessary."

Studied again, but only for just long enough for Scott to notice. "And
yet you will not let me keep you."

"I'm not a pet."

"Not even my pet? I suppose I must learn to do without... but perhaps
not without a taste..." Mercurial flash back to amused.

Kissing again, curled together, and this time Scott can be bolder. Pull
Jean-Paul in by the hips and spread him one-handed. Drinks in the gasp
and moves to moderately safer areas. Strip of skin behind his balls,
thin and hot. Shifts and presses until he finds the right spot, the
spot that makes Jean-Paul thrust hard against him, makes him need very
much to be naked. Pulls his hand away and gets bitten for his trouble.
Lightly, but the point was made.

"I just want to get my pants off!"

"Ah. Sorry." Pause. "Go ahead."

Laughs against the other man's mouth and pulls the suit down, leaving
just his boxer briefs --

"I shudder to think about how many layers of clothing you must wear in
winter, Scott."

"Not all of us come with our own internal furnaces."

"True, but were I not a model of patience and restraint, I fear I
would be frustrated."

Scott rolls over on his back, furrows his brow. "I think you're trying
to make a point, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it
must be."

Jean-Paul growls. Pounces.

Mouths Scott's cock through the boxers, wet and hot and serious. Hands
twined in Scott's own to keep him still and then sucks.


Hard enough to make Scott arch off the bed and bite off a yell. Can't
think clearly enough to curse, can't grab Jean-Paul's hand, can't do
anything but take it. Feels himself leaking and can't stop thrusting
his hips into it. On and on until Scott knows -- *knows* -- he's going
to come and then just.


"Oh, you *bastard* --"

"Such language! What would the Professor say?"

"The same thing if you were sucking *his* cock!"

Jean-Paul snickering against Scott, random nuzzles and pushes against
his cock. Just barely enough to push into, never long enough. Never
hard enough and now that he's had a taste he just wants more.

"Jesus, Jean-Paul, God, suck me..."

One warm hand dives into his boxers and pulls his cock out.  Rubs just
under the head while Scott twists under him.  Other hand working the
cloth off his hips.  Just off.  Naked legs and naked hips and naked
cock that Jean-Paul kisses.  Cups his balls and nudges his legs apart
and then bends over him.

It shouldn't be possible for Jean-Paul to do this, feels like he
hasn't got any *teeth*.  He's done something with his lips, not that
it matters.  Soft, wet, *hot*, slick all up and down him.  Tongue
working around the head, under and into the groove and all along the
underside.  Thumb touching his own lips and touching the root.

Hand *clamped* around the base of him, just absolutely still, and it's
like something out of another person's life that Jean-Paul's doing
this for him. Can't even touch himself sometimes and now he's got this
man's mouth sucking his *cock*.  Making soft purring noises like it's
incredible fun.

Curve of his lips that Scott feels like a spark, and the hand's gone.
And even Scott knows that this is utterly the wrong angle, but Jean-
Paul's bringing his head down, breathing carefully and laying his head
on one side and pushing and pushing until his nose his brushing
Scott's belly and the head of Scott's cock is down his throat.  Like
the tightest, slickest hand in the world.

Biting his own fist now to keep quiet.  His hips took on a life of
their own the first time Jean-Paul swallowed around him, and he's
going to have to apologize for this, he really is.  Fucking down into
that tight little space while he's got both hands in Jean-Paul's hair
and oh god, he has to stop this.  Exactly what he swore he'd never do
to anyone, trap them like that. Has to pry his fingers loose and by
the time he does he's shaking, and Jean-Paul never lets go.  Just
reaches blindly with one hand and catches Scott's and holds it.  Other
fingers stroking his balls, careful and precise and picking up on
every little thing that makes him move.

Drooling on him, sucking and humming and holding him, fingers in his
palm again in something that's way too much like comfort.

Reaching with both their hands for the one in Scott's mouth, and
pulling it loose.  Hard rub of a thumb across his palm.

He groans.  Loses it into a whimper towards the end, can't help it.
Just about impossible not to make noise, no matter how badly he needs
control. This mouth on his *cock*, fingers gone from his balls
catching the drool-slick around Jean-Paul's mouth and rubbing it on
him, rubbing in it and nudging his legs apart and reaching down to
just brush him behind his balls.  Shiver and a, "God, Jean-Paul," when
they touch his hole.

And up again, rubbing behind his balls with careful, slick tips until
he's almost yowling, least dignified he can remember being and only
held down by the hand clamped onto his.

Throat open and hand in his, pulling him over.  Riding him out when he
comes howling.

Only slides off once he's collapsed against the pillows.  Panting and
shaking and Jean-Paul strokes him and pulls his head back so
carefully. Kisses Scott's thigh, and his hip.  Straightens and grins
at him.

And then scoots across the bed to retrieve the champagne bottle and
the second glass.  Pours and drinks and visibly rolls it around in his
mouth before swallowing.  Takes the glass and comes back.  Up Scott's
body, straddling his waist.  Bends and kisses him.  Gives him the
champagne and the lingering taste of himself.

Kisses him for a long time, champagne between them, refilling the
glass and drinking and sharing and sucking it off Scott's fingers.

Kissing and drinking about the only thing Scott can manage for a
while, half-stunned and every nerve ending buzzing from Jean-Paul.
Sucking his cock. Which he'd asked for. Hell, demanded.

Terrifying power there, this strangely *free* brand of sex. Free in
every sense of the word. Jean-Paul hard against his hip and anything
but demanding.

Happy with Scott. Happy to pleasure him, share with him. The
ludicrously obvious realization that yes, this is exactly what Jean-
Paul wanted from him. Not all of it, not by a long shot, but.

An entirely new definition of sex for Scott to ponder. Everything that
Jean tried to tell him. Everything that *Bobby* tried to tell him.

"I feel. Extremely dumb."

"Then I have done my job correctly."

More kisses, more champagne. Scott could really, really get to like
champagne. Light and sweet and subtly ticklish. Not unlike the kisses,
really. He could really, really get to like kissing Jean-Paul.

All right, he already has. But still.

"No, I mean. I didn't think..." Didn't think you wouldn't hurt me. But
then, he's not done yet, is he?

"Scott, you are a beauty, and you should tell me the names of everyone
who has ever hurt you, so that I may do many things to them of which
you would not approve." Teasingly serious. Scott didn't think he could
possibly blush anymore than he already has, but clearly this is a
night to showcase exactly why no one ever pays Scott to think.

Shakes off a little of the haze internally. "What do you... what can I
do for you?"

"Mmm. You can relax, and let me make you hard again, and then you can
fuck me."

"Um. Oh." Definitely not what he was expecting.

Jean-Paul rests his smile against Scott's cheek. "And then you can let
me touch you, all night long. I would like that. May I have it?"

"I don't. I've never -- I don't want to hurt you."

"Do you think I would let you? That is not really my style, cher. I
think perhaps I must teach you a few things about sex."

"I didn't think you wanted a student." Jean-Paul kisses his frown,
making Scott aware of it and need to erase it. Blank his face,

"No, no! Not the politician face, please, you make me feel as though I
should be wearing a terrible suit and boring the life out of you."

Honesty, honesty. "You make me feel very, very young, Jean-Paul."

"But you are young! There is no shame in that. But no, no, I do not
mean to make you uncomfortable. That is, perhaps, the least of my
desires. Should I ask why you do not want to fuck me?"

"No, you shouldn't."

"Then I will not."

Languid silence and that long, lean body close to his own. Warm,
almost snuggling. Brief, wistful image of Bobby curled up on Hank in
some improbable position, peacefully asleep. No way they could have
brought those two along. Bobby, he thinks, is probably very happy with
the way things have gone.

One blow-job from an ex-terrorist and now Scott has no choice but to
do his best to accept that. And no, that's not really all it is, but.

Traitorous mind using the silence to imagine what it would be like to
be inside all of that heat. Jean-Paul, spitted on his cock and. And
what? Would he make noise? Or would he just grit his teeth and take it
in silence?

Latter both more and far less likely in his head. Intellectually he
understands that people, many, many people enjoy being fucked (made
love to) that way. Emotionally...

Crowd of images of life before Xavier. Makes him stiffen and tense and
how could he *want* that from him?


Offers a non-committal grunt in response.

"Oh, Scott..."

"Why are you like this with me?"

"Because it is easy."

No question of what he might mean. Implicit understanding and God, why
can't everyone just *get* him the way Jean-Paul seems to? How
horrifying would that be?

"Scott? I am not a nice person, but... you are the first person in a
long, long while who I've had to remind of that fact. It is not a
comfortable feeling, but it is a good one."

"Don't ask me to fuck you. I want. Anything else. Anything."

Low groan and Jean-Paul pressing hard against his hip. Arm wrapped
tight around Scott's waist and Scott turns into it. Kisses Jean-Paul
hard, biting at his lower lip and pushing until he's on top. Pushing
Jean-Paul's legs wide and God, yeah, skin to skin. So *hot*.

Getting hard again just from this, has to touch him. Hands skimming
Jean-Paul's sides, closing on those impossibly lean hips for a moment
and then up again. Thrusting against each other this slow kind of

"I can... let me suck you, Jean-Paul. Do you want that?"

"Scott..."  It sounds like a growl.  Almost like he's angry, and he
doesn't want to, but Scott flinches.  Ducks his head for a second and
lets the mess of his hair get between them.  Mostly standing straight
up tonight, sweat and the remains of his gel, and it's only the fact
that he needs a haircut that's giving him anything to hide behind.

And then fingers pushing underneath.  Pushing against his mouth until
he opens and Scott sucks one of Jean-Paul's fingers like he could
convince the man that maybe this is enough.

Jean-Paul pushes the bangs out of Scott's face, just like he actually
expects to be able to see his eyes.  Even Scott doesn't remember what
they looked like, not really.  What he looked like with them to give him

"I would like that very much, Scott."  Softly.  It doesn't quite match
the finger crooking in his mouth, but it's fierce and muted.

Scott tugs him down and cat-rubs against his face, beard-stubble brushing
and hissing and making him start. Bites his throat. Pushes on his
shoulders, not hard, but like he wants to be pushing harder than he
is. Down. And he can do this, if he just breathes deeply. Remembers
how good it felt with Jean-Paul's mouth around him, and maybe more how
happy Jean-Paul sounded while he was doing it.

Careful, and he knows he's good with his mouth. Teeth catching on the
bottom of Jean-Paul's navel for a second. Kisses one hip and knows
he's stalling and has to go with it anyway. Kiss all around, edging
the dark hair, bending to mouth on his thighs. Thinking that he should
enjoy this. Get a sense of the skin he's touching, pay attention to
his partner. Basic "Joy of Sex-ed" stuff that started showing up on
his curriculum at Xavier's, but only in the last couple of months.
Suggestion, maybe. Get your head together, Scott.

Deep breath and it's not really that hard, just has to bring his mouth
in and touch.  Soft, slick, hot skin against his lips.  Rubbing the
slit with his lips.  Manages to stay put the first time Jean-Paul
tries to hold in a thrust.

Very, very small whisper that he's probably not supposed to hear, but
it's in English and he can't not.  "Tease."

And well.  Fuck. That hurt.  Deep breath and he opens his mouth,
careful with his teeth until the head's out of danger.  Then closed.
He's going to remember that this is fun.  He *is*.  Remember things
like body-smell and touch and the little noises Jean-Paul's making.
Ragged accent dragging the praise out, asking and begging and
groaning.  And if he keeps his hand between his mouth and Jean-Paul's
body, he'll be okay.

*Knows* this is good for Jean-Paul.  Feels him shaking like some
quiet, jet-fueled engine.  Every part of him not crawling away in
pathetic terror's actually wired into the happiness he's creating.
Enough that he thinks he could finish this.  Do a decent job, let
Jean-Paul know how much he liked having it done to him.

Books instead of experience that he needs to hang onto.  Soft
watercolors, mostly not of sex like this, no breasts involved here,
but he does get that it's all supposed to be about the same.  Breathe,
remember.  Afternoons in his room, door locked and all his clothes on,
sitting in the chair by the window, keeping his breathing steady and
just studying.  *A spontaneous genital kiss to a man is one of the
most moving gestures in the whole sexual experience.*

And hell, maybe not totally spontaneous, but he's getting the praise
he wanted. Fingers that brush the back of his neck without pushing him
down.  Making him shiver and arch into them.  Actually work his head
around the first time one brushes him behind the ear.  Laugh from
above him and he gets it again, behind, around, into the shell's rim.
One leg pushing out to rub against his shoulder.

"Oh Scott.  Yes, love.  Thank you oh thank you oh thank you oh Scott
n'arrete pas, cher, please don't stop."

Fingers that slide forward from his ears to his face, touch him, and
he guesses he probably should be grateful for the state of his eyes
because no way is he going to cry while he's doing this.  Hot face,
burning, but he's still breathing and everything's wet, slick, noisy.

He can do this.

"Scott."  Serious, there, just like he wasn't gasping a second ago.
"Scott, look at me."  Fingers tilting his head.  He's not going to let
go, doesn't quite have to.  Eases off sucking and stares up the line
of Jean-Paul's body to where he's pushed himself half up.  "Scott, you
don't have to do this. You can stop if you need to."

He can't.  Not really.  Needs to finish this before he goes and crawls
back into his shell forever.  Sees himself thirty years old and
terrified every time somebody touches him.  A perfectly good leader
for the X-Men and a wreck of a human being.  Wonders how long he'd
last like that.

Scott shakes his head as best he can.  Couple of breaths before he
works on it anymore, but that's all.  Just needs to get comfortable.
Lie on his side, maybe.  Get an arm underneath to support himself, get
his knees up beside.  Jean-Paul sat up is.  Yeah, he's gorgeous.
Sexiest fucking thing on the face of the earth, and knows it.  He must
have looked like somebody's fantasy in those last seconds before they
took him down.

Wants to know suddenly if any of that's marked out on Jean-Paul's
body. What it took them to convince him that he was going to give up
organizing resistance and come be a superhero for the government.

Needs his other hand to coax Jean-Paul's leg up.  Get it bent over
Scott's hip, holding him in.  God, he's so warm.  Always touching him.
Rubbing him with one leg and the other, fingers on the back of his
neck, whimpering when Scott licks him all over.

He's keeping Jean-Paul from thrusting.  Or, well, he probably still
could, the ability to fly being what it is, but if he doesn't use
that, he hasn't got the leverage.  Something like security for Scott
while he's doing this. Sucking long and squeezing with the hand he's
reclaimed from the soft skin at the backs of Jean-Paul's knees.  Gets
his head in just right and works it up and down.  Sucking just the
head at the end, pulling at the skin's tightness until Jean-Paul's
hands and legs are both pushing at him.  Gets that.  Pulls back and
doesn't have to decide whether he's going to swallow.

Keeps his hand on, though, under Jean-Paul's.  Touching him while he

Sticky fingers that he can carefully lick, after.

Lays his cheek against Jean-Paul's thigh for a while.  Kisses it once.
Waits for his heart to slow down a bit before climbing back up.  Not
even down yet before Jean-Paul jumps him.  Some part of Scott's brain
protesting that Jean-Paul shouldn't have the muscle control to do
that, yet.  The rest of him wired into the man straddling his waist
and holding him down.


"Jean-Paul --"

Jean-Paul kisses him.  Hard and angry.  "You'd be crying if you were
physically capable, wouldn't you?"


"Don't. You tell me *don't*. I do not want to be some altar for your
personal *sacrifice*, Scott!"

Staring at him. Practically *burning* at him, and yeah, Scott's hard
again. Wants to touch, do anything to keep Jean-Paul away from *this*.
Reaches up to his face and gets his hand slapped away.

"*Talk* to me, Scott."

"I don't know how to do this any other way, all right? Is that what
you want to hear?"

Jean-Paul gone from him in a heartbeat. Pacing the room naked and just
slightly faster than human. Angry, frustrated, and it just feels like
one more fuck-up. One more reason to just shut himself away and. No.

"This is the only way I know how to try."

Jean-Paul staring at him, arms crossed and just *watching*. Pure
intensity. Presence all in that long, lean body. "I am your...

And Scott has to sit up for that. Swing his legs over the side of the
bed and stand up and just get in Jean-Paul's face. Doesn't want to be
mistaken. "I wouldn't try this with you if I didn't want you very,
very badly."

Glittering at him from up close. "Mm. You do not know how badly
I want to believe that."

"Please do. Please. I'm. I can do better --"

Hands on his shoulders and those eyes blazing at him again. "No, no!
I'm not some --" Cuts himself off abruptly. Squeezes Scott's shoulders
and tries again. "I'm not going to grade you for some... some
*performance*. Forgive me, Scott. My ego is having trouble accepting a
sexual partner who will not give all of himself to me on command."
Rueful smile. "But if you want me, you must show me how, oui? As I
will show you..."

Hand on his cock so fast Scott's knees try to buckle. Gasps aloud and
earns a kiss almost too quick to register. Jean-Paul stroking him
slowly. Hard grip and not-slick enough hand. Friction and he can't
tear his eyes away from Jean-Paul's.

"I like this, Scott. I like it a lot."

Bites off a moan.

"I like watching you, hearing you. Seeing you react to this. Knowing
how good it feels to you."

Thumb over the head of his cock, teasing at the slit and Jean-Paul's

"I love the feel of you in my hand. So hard for me. Soft, hot skin.
The flare at the head of your cock... you are very sensitive there. Do
you want me to touch you there?"

"Jean-Paul --"

"Tell me. Please."

"Oh, God yes..." No thought, no chance of resistance.

"Will you fuck my fist? I want you to. I want to feel it. I want to
imagine you inside me, Scott."

Has to do it, pumping into Jean-Paul's tight hold and just *needing*.
Orgasm already building and God, just *feeling* this. Somehow more
intimate than the blowjob. Premeditated and irresistible.

"Oui, just like that. Does it make you want to touch me?"

Immediately scrabbling for him, but Jean-Paul moves away and Scott
staggers. "Don't --"

"No, you don't touch me. Not yet, oui?"

"But I..." Some small understanding that this is Jean-Paul's game now.
Or, not really a game, but. Something. Can't think. "I... I won't.
Please touch me."

Close again, soft kiss on his cheek. "That's good, Scott. You're very
beautiful. Answer my question?"

"Y-yeah. Yes. I want to touch you."

Slight shift and Jean-Paul has both hands on him now, stroking him and
cupping Scott's balls. Teasing them a little, touching and tugging
them. "I like you hard for me. I would have you like this all day, all
night. Thinking about my hands."

"And your mouth."

Slow, moderately malevolent grin. "Yes, my mouth, too. Do you want me
to kiss you?"


"I have my own experiment, Scott."

"What...?" Jean-Paul switches hands, rubs fingers slick with Scott's
pre-come behind his balls and Scott spreads his legs before he can
think, shaking his head and thrusting against Jean-Paul's palm.

"Shh, I won't hurt you. Tell me you trust me."

"I. I... God..."

"Say it."

"I trust you --"

And before the words are fully out there's a finger inside him to the
second knuckle. No pain, just this terrifying *fullness* where
nothing... should be nothing and Jean-Paul's *rubbing* there. Inside
him. Stroking him a little faster now and watching, watching. Lower
lip caught between his own teeth for a moment that makes Scott lean in
despite himself.

Jean-Paul pulls away, shakes his head. Not teasing now, only denying
and Scott's hands are fists at his sides. Short nails digging into his
palms and Jean-Paul. Inside him.

Fucking Scott with his finger for long moments, so strange, and god so
sensitive. Too sensitive.

And maybe he said it aloud because Jean-Paul slips out. Lets him go.

And is around behind him before Scott can say a word.

"A better angle for this, beauty. Remember that I will not hurt you."

And God, somehow deeper this way and Scott clenches once and there's
the burn, like it was waiting for him, but Jean-Paul is mouthing his
neck, wet and messy and God, so good. Sweating now and leaning back
against Jean-Paul. Looks down to see his cock moving in and out of
that fist and gasps. Moans.

So sexy. So good at this. Lets his head fall back against Jean-Paul's
shoulder and then he does. Something. No, he knows this. Prostate
gland. Yeah, that, and knowing it does nothing to keep his scalp from
prickling, to keep him from pushing back on Jean-Paul's finger as hard
as he's thrusting into his fist and he can't understand a word the
man's saying as he just *works* him.

Low and French and *hungry* and Scott can't do anything but take it.

Even if his knees give.  He has to trust this.  The way it feels so
good, like he could just push himself onto that hand and go crazy from
it.  Push up on his toes and then drop his weight to see if he can get
it just a little deeper.  Gets licked on the ear for it and Jean-Paul
gives it to him. Angles his hand and pushes, gets it in deep and works
it.  Hard, tight, deliberate strokes on his cock that aren't going to
let him come.  Yet.

God, *arching* himself back onto it.  His whole body connected to the
two hands around him.  Desperate for it.  Rubbing himself against
Jean-Paul's body like a warm, beautiful slut.

"Oh yes, Scott.  You like this?"

"Oh fuck.  Fuck yes.  Can you just...?"

Jean-Paul bites his neck.  Mauls it along the tendon, letting the
teeth drag over and over his skin.  Pain-edge that's only threatening
as far as the primal need to protect the throat is concerned, and even
that's apparently wired into his cock.

"I can, Scott.  Trust me and lie down."

He has to take this.  Still moans when Jean-Paul pulls his finger out,
fast enough that Scott doesn't have time to think about it first.
Kisses his neck and walks him to the bed with one hand still on his
cock.  Nudges his knee up, helps him onto the bed, lays him down on
his stomach.  Cock hard against the bed, enough that he wants to just
thrust against the bedspread and let Jean-Paul watch him.

Rustle of nylon and Jean-Paul's back behind him.  Spreads his legs and
rubs the insides of his thighs right up to his ass.  Licks him there
and climbs up beside him and lets his cock brush Scott's arm.

"Up on your knees lovely."

Slides in behind him and bends and bites Scott's shoulder.  Kisses his
back, every muscle of it.  Wraps one big hand back around Scott's
cock.  Enormous hands, enormous feet, like Michelangelo's David.  Big
knuckles rubbing against his cock.  One between his legs rubbing at
his prostate from outside.  Slick.

Finger in him, fast and hard.  In to the second knuckle, and then the
other one's there, pushing at his ass and working in.  Stretching him.

"Jean-Paul I don't --"

"Shhh, lovely.  I would never do anything against your will.  Trust

Two fingers in him. Pushing deep and pushing at him, impossible to
ignore and they feel so *good*.  Like he's dissolved into the soft
lines of somebody who can love this, just give up and let Jean-Paul
carry him through it, kiss him and bite him and one of these days,
hours, he's going to hold Jean-Paul down and pay him for all this.
Kiss him and bite and lick him all over and give him anything,
*anything* he wants.

Slick in the hand around his cock.  Sudden slipperiness making it
impossible not to thrust.  Frantically.  Hard, hard, *hard* into the
grip on him, letting the fingers follow him and then push *deep* when
he slams back. Whining in a way he hates but that he's starting to
understand Jean-Paul loves and gets off on hearing and since he can't
stop anyway, how could he not give him that?

"There, Scott.  This is what you wanted, wasn't it?"  Yes.  Reduced to
just what his body needs and the steady reassurance of Jean-Paul's
breath against the side of his face.  "Good.  Come for me."

Tightens his grip.  Twists the fingers inside, rubs a thumb against
the soft skin outside, and Scott makes this helpless low-throat sound,
animal wanting that ends with crawling, shivering ecstasy.  Coming all
over Jean-Paul's hand with the man's fingers up his ass and the man's
tongue in his ear, and Scott just manages to get Jean-Paul's name out
before his elbows buckle.

Actually blacks out for a few moments before waking up to find himself
pretty much one with the bed. Water running in the bathroom and yeah,
a shower would be good right about now.

Just as soon as his body remembers motor function. Turns over just in
time to see Jean-Paul backlit by the bathroom light, very obviously
watching him. Very obviously hard.

God, yes, wants to give some of this *back*, gets this now, but he's
not sure he can do anything but lay here like a lump.

Still trying to come up with something to say when Jean-Paul crawls on
top of him. Kisses him with slow affection. Arms still too weak from
his orgasm to even hold him, so Scott just kisses back. Tries to
communicate something of what he's feeling. 'Thinking' far too
optimistic a word for it.

"Perhaps, once you are asleep, I will tie you to this bed with the
shreds of your uniform. There are far too many things I want to do to
you, with you, for you to leave in the morning."

Smiling. He's reasonably sure Jean-Paul's kidding. But it isn't
precisely a *bad* thought... "Afternoon. We leave around lunchtime."

"Ah, oui? Then we have a little time." Another long kiss and then
Jean-Paul's reaching over him for the champagne. Doesn't bother with
the glasses this time, and Scott supposes there's no real point right
about now.

Manages to sit up and take a long swallow. Not icy, but still cool.
Sweet and tart. Addictive like this, sips between kisses.

He'll never be able to drink the stuff again without remembering...
this. Cock making one mournful little twitch. Not again. Not tonight
at least.

Finally reaches for Jean-Paul, for his cock. Earns a hissed breath and
a kiss to his hair. Jean-Paul half-curled around him like some great

Scott nuzzles his chest, finds a nipple and bites. Hand in his sweat-
damp hair and Jean-Paul thrusting into his hand.

Thinks about everything the man said and suddenly his palm is far too
sensitive for anything *but* sex. Thinks about what it would be like
to have this inside him, long and hot and driving in... Sucks hard and
wet and messily at Jean-Paul's chest.

Addictive, yes. Salt-spicy with sweat and really, the X-Men could use
a speedster. For. Something. Smiles to himself and listens for Jean-
Paul's little sounds. Lets them guide his hand. He apparently likes it
hard, much harder than Scott thinks he'd be able to stand it on the
upstroke. Likes it when he thumbs at the head and bites the nipple
between his lips just this hard.

Soft murmurs into his hair, not even close to English. "What are you

"I am being terribly obscene ah -- don't stop, Scott, don't stop."

"I won't."

"Nnn Scott... you make me so hard..."

"Good. That's. You're so fucking sexy, Jean-Paul."

Low cry that just makes Scott stroke faster, lick a little feverishly
at all the skin he can reach. Wants it to be good for him. Needs it to
be. Hand stroking his cheek and fingers in his mouth. Soap and the
lingering taste of himself. Hopes to God neither of them have to shake
any more hands tomorrow and sucks.

"Oh, Scott, your *mouth* --"

Biting at those long, strong fingers when Jean-Paul's thrusts go
ragged and Scott doesn't let himself think, just shifts enough onto
his side to get a hand on Jean-Paul's ass, in the cleft and. Teases.

"Chrisse --!"

Jean-Paul coming all over his hand, hunched tight around him and
shaking his way through it.

Just so gorgeous and powerful Scott can't believe it. So *hot* and
they're kissing again, always coming back to that, Jean-Paul's hands
holding Scott's head still and them drinking each other. Wetly and
with intention.

Can't stop thinking about any of it, but especially not Jean-Paul
coming in his arms like that. So easily, so *hard* and Scott wraps his
arms around Jean-Paul and holds him close. Breathing against his
throat and kissing every time he realizes he's not doing anything.

So good.

And just drifting eventually.  Not actually asleep but not focused on
anything other than warmth and skin.  Just about gone when knuckles
brush his back and Jean-Paul whispers, "We should get you clean."

Scott whimpers and burrows in against Jean-Paul's neck.  Mutters
something that's probably, "No."  Too tired.  Too comfortable.

Jean-Paul sighs.  Extricates himself from Scott and.  Gone.  Like a
breath of cold air on Scott's body.

Back before he has time to actually protest.  Warm, wrung-out
washcloth that starts on his chest and works down.  Belly, cock,
insides of his thighs. Gone and back against and Jean-Paul boosts him
onto his side, wipes his ass and the insides of his thighs and kisses
Scott before the next flash of cold air hits.  Once more, cleaner
cloth, warmer, wiping his fingers and the palms of his hands.
Carefully, with a lot of attention to individual fingers and the place
where Scott's palm-lines converge.  Rubs over the backs of them and
kisses his knuckles.

And then just in beside him.  Warm body and after a while Jean-Paul
rearranges Scott enough to get the blankets out from under them.

Both of them curled up together under the covers, and after a while
Jean-Paul climbs out again and steals the comforter off the other bed.
Curls up against Scott and proceeds to make him very aware of the
virtues of body heat and drops off to sleep almost as quickly as Scott

Scott wakes up once in the night and gets out of bed out of habit.
Walks to the window and pushes the curtains back and discovers it's
snowing.  He wants to think it's beautiful but mostly it just looks
cold.  Heavy masses of paleness falling and then swirling up again.
He goes back to bed.

Lays himself in beside Jean-Paul, who slides in and wraps around him.
Scott's just awake enough that he can't drift off immediately, though.
Lies there and wonders in a disconnected kind of way how he got here,
and has several independently incoherent thoughts about how good
skin against his bare back feels, and something about this experience
of actually sleeping next to another person.

Random thoughts about snow and toboggans and cars and fish and at some
point he's asleep.

Wakes up curled in against Jean-Paul, one arm thrown over his waist,
the other half-crushed and asleep between them. Doesn't want to move.
Doesn't want to breathe, or do anything that would wake the man up.
Stills himself and just tries to think. Hard with the warm sleep scent
Jean-Paul's giving off. Just wants to get as close as he can and
breathe him in.

And that's enough to think about. Three short days and he's... pretty
firmly in like with a caustic male ex-terrorist who will most probably
go back to being thoroughly criminalistic as soon as he can figure out
how to go about it.

Okay, maybe not time to think about that.

Just the idea of the X-Men having to go against Jean-Paul someday...
no. No.

Squeezes a little tighter and earns a sleepily incomprehensible

Better to hope, imagine the Canadian government will find some way to
keep the man occupied without going against his principles.

And yeah, that's part of it. Jean-Paul is this principled, highly
political, dangerously intelligent being. Yes, he'll just cross his
fingers that no one allows the man get bored, because that would be.

Scott smiles to himself. He could come up with a few ways to keep the
man interested. And just like that, keeping Jean-Paul asleep is
suddenly far less important than making love to him.

Dry, warm kisses and touching him all over, as much as he wants. Half-
searching for scars and finally finding them. Long, thin hairless line
along a thigh muscle. Nasty, that. Probably near fatal.

Pock in one shoulder. Bullet.

Kisses that spot carefully and wonders how it all feels in cold

Rests his cheek against Jean-Paul's chest and just lives in his
heartbeat for long moments.


Cluster of thin scars on the side of his throat that Scott isn't sure
how he missed. Carefully, carefully doesn't think about how those
must've bled. How close they are to the deep, steady beat of Jean-
Paul's pulse.

A dangerous man, and Scott doesn't care to question his
possessiveness, not right now.

Would do anything other than come off needy right now, because,
God... it wasn't as if. Friend. He has a friend, for whatever else he
has. A lover as long as Jean-Paul sleeps.

Licks the hollow of Jean-Paul's throat, the stark line of collarbone.
Buries his face in the soft skin between arm and torso and inhales.
Sharp, but not offensive. Undeniably male and Scott's cock is clearly
ready to face the day.

Licks him there --

"Mmm, Scott..."

Sleepy voice, accent that much thicker now. Kisses Jean-Paul's mouth
lightly -- doesn't much want to inflict his morning breath on the man.
Tastes stale champagne and whatever it is that makes Jean-Paul
himself. Does it again and again until he opens his eyes, then settles
on one elbow, palm flat on Jean-Paul's chest.

"You could change my mind about mornings, beauty."

First blush of the day, right on time. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake

"Oui, you did, and now you must accept your punishment."

"And what would that be?" And apparently his cock has appropriated his
vocal cords, because he really doesn't sound like that. Ever.

Jean-Paul gives him a narrow-eyed smile. "Come closer and I will show

"Now you sound like the big, bad wolf."

"And you my little red?" Light touch to his glasses, and Scott really
can't believe he slept in them.

"Well, I don't often think of myself as an innocent, young
schoolgirl... but then I don't often find myself with people like

Long fingers around his cock. "Mmm... you are certainement no girl...
but I like it that way."

"You know, I figured that out."

"I do love an intelligent man. Now kiss me properly or your punishment
will be very cruel."

Fuck morning breath. Not even close to important when Jean-Paul's
looking at him like that. When his mouth looks this softly bruised.
Deep kiss and Scott wraps his hand around Jean-Paul's cock and strokes
him just hard enough to let him know he's here. Last night's sweetness
and this morning's raw and soon enough they're hauling each other
closer, cocks touching, and Jean-Paul curls his hand around both of
them and squeezes.

Makes Scott moan into his mouth and thrust. Skin, glorious, wonderful
*skin* and Scott doesn't think he'll ever want to wear clothes again.

Not when he can have *this*.

Pushing into each other and biting and kissing and Scott gets his hand
on Jean-Paul's ass. Squeezes. Remembering.

Jean-Paul breaks the kiss with a teasing lick. "Ah, oui?"

Flashes his teeth.  "Yeah."  Leans in and takes Jean-Paul's lip
between his and tugs on it.  Pulls him a bit closer and just strokes
his ass for a while.  Gets the shape of the muscle, and the hardness
of it, and the texture of the skin.  Warm skin where he lets his
fingers slide. Gets this curling, happy catch in Jean-Paul's breath
every time he pushes his fingers a little closer in.

Slides his fingers low and up and in, touches the soft, warm skin
behind his balls.  Rubs it hard with a fingertip and gets a leg thrown
over his hip as a reward.  Better access and extra closeness and a
heel rubbing the back of his own leg.

"Merci, Scott."

Bites that lip again, gently.  Pulls his mouth away and rests his
forehead against Jean-Paul's.  Moment of complete and utter
recklessness in which he lays them so close that the edge of his
glasses brushes Jean-Paul's skin. So easy to push them loose, and this
is *dangerous*.  He's not even sure he could close his eyes in time --

Hand high up on his back, rubbing between his shoulder blades, pulling
him back. Demanding that he ignore this fear as well as the pile of
other fears. And Jean-Paul eases the pressure on his glasses. Tilts
his head and lays them cheek to cheek and kisses him again.

Nothing outside this. At all.

Body and arm brushing against his face, and a long, barely-graceful
reach back on Jean-Paul's part that ends with the same tube he used on
Scott last night. Jean-Paul takes Scott hand back, kisses the heel of
it, and squeezes lube onto it. Faint, barely-sweet, generic smell of
it. Cool and unreasonably slick, so *much* of it, like permission to
play as long as he wants to. Make this man happy, but make himself
happy, too.

Like he's supposed to play at this.

Roll Jean-Paul around with him, get that leg back up on his hip and
kiss him and kiss him and touch him with that wet-slick hand.  Rub him
and circle that soft little hole and press into it with a fingertip
for the longest possible time before he actually goes in.  Long enough
to drive Jean-Paul nuts and make him beg in words that aren't English
and probably aren't kind. Swearing and laughing at him, and every so
often a chest-deep growl that makes Scott's hair stand up.

Dangerous, he's dangerous. Enough to keep wrestling Scott even with
two fingers in him, working him hard towards openness. He bites Scott
at the first hard rub on his prostate. Just gently, like teeth
shaping, and then harder and harder as Scott doesn't stop, just works
that little, hard place in the most focused way he can.

He has to stop, eventually.  Real ache in the skin Jean-Paul's
mauling, and the man's making some very soft begging sounds around the
flesh in his mouth.  Wordless and tongueless, just throat-twisted and

Eases his fingers back to just a steady, stretching pressure.  Doesn't
so much think about it as try to feel it.  What this body feels like
against his.  Trust that Jean-Paul's teased out of him, that he's
never done anything not to deserve.

Lets his head rest against his shoulder and watches Jean-Paul's face
as he works a third finger in. Wide eyes and that mouth opening a bit.
Panting. Teeth red-washed from his glasses, looking almost bloody, and
somehow it just makes him look that much more desperate. Scott's going
to have to hold him down and lick him all over, spread his legs and
rub against him and fuck him long and slow and make sure he doesn't
ever forget this, because there's no way Scott's going to.

Gorgeous. Just this incredible *rush* and Scott wonders if this is
anything like what Jean-Paul felt last night. Knowing he could make
Scott come just like this. Thrusts in hard and Jean-Paul arches away,
giving Scott access to his throat.

Salty hot and wonderful against his tongue and Scott half-mauls him,
slips his other arm beneath him and hauls him closer.

Strokes the curve of his spine, awkwardly until Jean-Paul floats a
little above the mattress.

Creative use of powers. Heh. He could make the X-Men practice like
this. Sure, they can use their powers in a fight, but what about sex?
Funny-awful image of Ororo and Jean running naked through the halls,
chased by the world's most amorous thunderstorm.

Wants to be that storm. Wants to just wash right over Jean-Paul, but
he needs his hands.

"Gonna pull out now."

"Chrisse, Scott --"

"Yeah, God you're sexy --"

Slips out slow, wet sounds and Jean-Paul's moans in counterpoint.
Pushes Jean-Paul over on his back and just works on him. Kissing,
licking, pinching and clawing. Marking his territory like the world's
least hairy Neanderthal and Scott just can't make himself care.

Not with Jean-Paul moving like that under him.

Not with the promise of what he's going to do just lingering in the
room like some heavy, drugging smoke. Lean, hard body beneath him,
arching and writhing for more of *him*, his touch suddenly this
desperately necessary thing binding them both into a pocket universe
made purely of sex.

Dimensions measured by the scent of them, by Jean-Paul's curses and
vaguer sounds.

All wonderful. All his.

Kneeling between Jean-Paul's thighs and just. Just *looking*. Jean-
Paul's head to the side right when Scott would expect to be stared
down. And really, what right does he have to this?

Wraps his slick hand around the man's cock and works him that way
until he's moving again. Until he's *looking* at him again, and God,
Scott needs this.

Heavy-lidded eyes and so much hunger he can taste it. Wants to just
drive in and. And God.

Searching beyond frantically for the condoms until --


One small, currently blessed packet clutched between his fingers in a
strange and strangely attractive cigarette grip. Jean-Paul perhaps the
one person on the planet who could look anything but stupid with a
cigarette and Scott just has to stare for a minute.

Study their positions on the bed. Hadn't Jean-Paul's thigh been just a
little further spread...?"

"Relax, Scott, it was under the pillow. Even I'm not quite that good.
Or perhaps not that motivated to move? Put it on, I want to watch

Accepts the condom, willing his hands not to shake. He'd read about
some guy doing that in a book once, one of the few novels to catch his
interest and he can *do* this because Jean-Paul wants to watch.

God, lost in this, and it feels so good to be this person, this Scott
who's sexy enough to make a man like this want him.

Want to be *fucked* by him.

Rolls it on slowly, looks up to find Jean-Paul just devouring him with
his eyes. Gets a finger-full of lube and slicks himself, unable to
look at anything but that little hole where he's about to live.
Shining with slick, reddened a little from the stretch.

Has to touch him there, slip inside again. Trace around the rim and
Jean-Paul hisses something dark and maddening. Pulls his knees up to
his chest. Obscene, utterly obscene and perfect for this.

Scott shifts closer, gets a hold on his cock and guides just the head
in. Watching it disappear inside Jean-Paul and struggling to remember
how to breathe.

Tight. Hot. *In*.

Jean-Paul shaking a little, or maybe just vibrating with excess
energy. Yes, over and over and Scott slides his hands up the back of
his thighs. Thumbs the thin skin behind Jean-Paul's knees and moves
his legs up onto his shoulders.

Pushes in a little more and has to stop, viciously squeeze the base of
his cock to keep from coming right there. Too much, too good, oh God,
oh fuck --

"Oui, Scott, do it, I want you --"

Fuck him.  Push all the way in and lay his weight against Jean-Paul's
legs. Long, hard muscles in them that can support Scott and probably
every other X-Man.  All at once.  Push himself a little closer in, so
that those legs have to spread a bit farther to take him.  Kisses one
of them.

Pulls his hips back and thrusts. Not as hard as his body's screaming
at him to, but hard enough that Jean-Paul moans under him. Moans at
the next one and again after that and Scott thinks he'd have to stop
except for the hands on his arms. Rubbing up and down his forearms
where he's braced. Pulling. Something like a rhythm he can follow. Not
working just for depth or speed, but looking for something that'll
make him so sure he's doing this right. That's it's good.

Something like the soft, welcoming panting while he fucks the man
under him. Short strokes, just enough awareness of the cues Jean-
Paul's giving him to occasionally twist his hips around and hit
something new and deep and apparently good.

Wants to kiss him again.  Isn't sure they're flexible enough but he

And yeah, they can.  Has to give up a bit of the stomach-curling depth
when Jean-Paul's legs come down off his shoulders to his waist, but
he's still in, and suddenly he's held all over and he can bend.  Lock
their mouths.

Catch Jean-Paul's lips and play with them and tease the man's tongue
out after him.  Seconds with their lips apart and just their tongues
playing in the tiny space between them.  Jean-Paul under him
*laughing* and pulling him in and gasping.  Scott's weight pushing
them closer together.

He can feel soft skin rubbing against his stomach.  Slick heat of
Jean-Paul's erection.  Hard, moving, and Scott doesn't think he ever
softened, not even in that first minute he pushed in.

Wants him so *much*.

Arms and legs both wrapped around him, Jean-Paul like a soft, bare,
impossibly pale orangutan, prehensile and holding on with primitive
affection.  Same teasing, tooth-baring smile framed by Scott's
forearms. He's got his knees just enough under him to keep up
something like rhythm in this. Grateful maybe that this got put off
long enough that he can make it slow.

Kiss on his chin.

"Will you trust me to change this, Scott?"

He shouldn't have to think about that, but it's so good like this.
Warm and slow and touching all over. Feels his heart slide every time
Jean-Paul rubs a foot against his ass. Every touch on his back turning
him inside out. Which one of them is supposed to be being taken?

And nods. Locks mouths with him and there's this second where he's
*lifted*. Warm air around him and the grip on his body's gone, just
clamped at his sides. And over.

Jean-Paul *riding* him.

Ass pressed in against him like Scott's body's the most comfortable,
ecstatic thing possible. Knees still close against his hips and those
hands are suddenly all over his chest. Brushing his nipples and
teasing him and touching. Sliding back to rest on his thighs when
Jean-Paul arches back.

Deeper than he'd ever have believed. Ripped gasp from the man taking

Eases a bit when he leans forward. Lays himself against Scott's chest,
so close to being off him that Scott has to bring his knees up, push
his hips after. Stay with him. While Jean-Paul lies on him. Kisses his
mouth like it's this shallow layer of water on top of something else.

Fingers that brush the hollows of his eyes.

And then just braces himself above Scott, rocking slowly and evenly
back onto his cock. "How's this?"

"You. You want me to talk?"

"Non. I want you to scream."

Rears up onto his knees and slams down, crying out nowhere near loud
enough to drown out Scott's own yell.

Scott has to grab his hips, hold on, do *something*, but Jean-Paul
apparently has ridiculous power in his legs and no qualms whatsoever
about using it.

*Riding* him. Head thrown back and fist around his cock and all Scott
can do is watch and try to find the rhythm. No question of who's being
taken here, not anymore.

So deep inside Jean-Paul he can't be quiet. Embarrassing grunts and
moans and this need to curl himself upright as far as possible, get
his hands on the man, twine his fingers in Jean-Paul's own and stroke
his cock. So raw, so real, image after image burning themselves on his
brain until everything Scott is can be defined by this space, this
moment, this fuck that's going to make his head explode.

Jean-Paul looking down at him, eyes narrowed and this wicked curl of a
smile, pinning him to the bed as effectively as anything else. Scott
breathing rapidly and pumping up and up and God, *in*. Finally just
hauling himself upright and spreading Jean-Paul over his lap.

Dirty little fantasy he's never even had and he's *getting* this.
Mouthing Jean-Paul's throat and making it harder, making it faster,
better, so good, so good. No idea what he's saying, if it's even in
any recognizable language but he can't shut up, can't stop. Slips one
hand beneath them and has to bite down at the *feel* of it. His cock
going deep and Jean-Paul taking all of it. Like it's nothing, like
it's only exactly what he needed.

Not enough room between them for Jean-Paul to really stroke himself
and hands on his face. Sudden wash of scent and Scott reaches and
bites for the man's hand, slick with his pre-come, salty and hot.
Petting his tongue and making Scott need to beg, need to groan, need
to fuck as hard as he can, mindless and lost.

Jean-Paul just clinging to him, taking it, cock slipping up and down
the ridges of Scott's belly and

"Oui, ah oui, Scott, you feel so *good*, n'arrete, *n'arrete* --"

And Scott has to bite down on that throat and suck hard, harder and
Jean-Paul's hands are buried in his hair and Jean-Paul's body, God,
spitted on him and the best thing, the most incredible thing --

Orgasm like a bullet to the spine, and not nearly as forgiving,
thrusting and thrusting his way through it, crying out against Jean-
Paul's neck and squeezing the breath out of both of them. So good.

And then just holding on as he shakes as his way down, as Jean-Paul
curses and moves in his arms. Half a minute to figure out he's not
trying to get away, just trying for more, trying to get off and Scott
can do this. Wants to.

*Needs* to.

Lays Jean-Paul out flat, head almost hanging off the foot of the bed.
Slips out as painlessly as he can and goes down. He knows this, knows
a few tricks and if Jean-Paul *isn't* too far gone to notice, then
they can just talk about it later.

Whole body loose and ready for this, hot hard cock pushing at his
soft-palate and Scott changes the angle just enough.

Swallows and swallows and swallows until Jean-Paul is nearly screaming
and then. Lets him feel the edge of teeth.

No question of pulling away, nowhere near enough time and it's good,
so fucking *good* to swallow him down as he comes. To feel those long,
strong fingers in his hair and take it. Nothing like a favor. Right
here, right now, Jean-Paul belongs to nobody but Scott.

And that's just exactly what he needs.

Pulls his head up after and kisses both thighs and lays his head on
Jean-Paul's stomach. It's only just greying outside, though that
doesn't mean much. Gets so dark in November. Toronto's is a light that
says a lot about snow and cold and Scott's whole interest is in just
wrapping himself around the very warm, limp body under him.

Unsteady fingers brush the hair at the base of his neck. Jean-Paul
gets one comforter awkwardly wrapped around them and holds him for a
while. Space just the size of their arms' reach.

Touch on the side of his face pulling him up. "Scott? How are you,

"I'm okay. Actually. You smell good, you know that?"

Soft laughter. "Thank you." Brushing his face. "But I'm afraid you
need to get up."

And yeah, he does. Stuff everywhere and they're supposed to fly out,
and he's being responsible.

He manages to pull himself upright. Leans against the shoulder Jean-
Paul offers him for a minute. Wishes very hard he could have even just
this day. Nap for the rest of this morning and get up in the afternoon
and make Jean-Paul show him the parts of Toronto outside this downtown

He thinks he'd like to see Lake Superior. Both of them crouched in the
rocks, looking at it for a long time.

Tries to imagine what it's like to have a lover. Somebody who'd do
this with him tonight and again tomorrow and sleep curled around him.
Play with him and touch him in public.

Wraps both arms around Jean-Paul and clings to him.

And somehow in spite of that makes it into the shower. Scrubs down and
leans against the curtain and lets Jean-Paul touch him through it.
Water on his face, on his eyelids when he slides the glasses off.

Bent over the sink with a towel around his waist, shaving as carefully
as he can with shaking hands, when Jean-Paul comes up behind him and
wraps both arms around his waist. Makes him jump. Drop the razor
because being late's better than slitting his throat. Leans against
the basin while Jean-Paul rubs a still-rough cheek against his back.

Then stills and turns him.

"I should remember not to do that?"


Nods. Kisses him. Sits on the toilet seat and watches Scott until he
finishes shaving, and then kisses him very, very carefully.

Watches him. All morning. Through coffee and during careful, searching
kisses in the snow-light. On the back of Scott's neck the last time
he's naked.

He thinks for a while Jean-Paul's going to kiss him all over before he
ever manages to get dressed. Layers his clothes on and gets at least
his belly kissed pretty insistently for a while. He wants. So much.
And instead he gets dressed, hugs Jean-Paul's cheerful nakedness and
waits for the two breaths it takes him to get dressed.

For this, at least, there are no ministers. Only one or two bored
reporters, neither of them watching him. Maybe pointedly not noticing
Jean-Paul's hand in the small of his back. Lushness of the hotel not
that different from Xavier's, but altogether less focused on him. Like
maybe Jean-Paul could drag him in beyond the palms for an hour.

Trying to keep his face straight when Jean-Paul bends his head
forward, brushes his hair up, and kisses the back of his neck.

And steps back, pushes him towards Ro and Jean and Xavier. Just like

So. Bags. Airport. Weirdly official commercial flight waiting for
them. Home, which is suddenly Westchester instead of any of the places
he's lived before. Houseful of mutants and old books.

It's just about time for Scott to start thinking about anti-mutant
sentiment and the terrifying availability of Soviet-produced surface-
to-air missiles. Next time they do this, they're damned well taking
the Blackbird. Not that he's been hassled at all since he's been up
here, but.

But. Hard to trust humans.

*Other humans, Scott.*

*Yes, Professor.*

*Try not to sound *too* put-upon, Scott. This *is* our party line.*

*I'm toeing it, I'm toeing it.*

Silence again, gentler removal of the mental touch this time. Hell,
maybe the man had been doing it on purpose.

*Or maybe you were resisting quite strongly up until now.*

*Point taken.*


Two taxis waiting for them at the curb, and Jean's making gonna-
corner-you motions, but Ororo whispers something in her ear that makes
her eyebrows go up and she gets in the first cab with the other woman.

And so does Xavier.

Scott sincerely hopes Jean is listening to his internal laughter.
Whatever Ororo said is going to have to wait, and he... gets a cab of
his own. More relief than he would've believed, but then it's been a
busy few days. Just about to close the door when Jean-Paul appears,
nudging him over to the other side.

An entirely different kind of relief.


"Hello, young man. My name is Jean-Paul. Let's get to know each other
in wildly pornographic ways."

Snorted laughter from the driver, quickly stifled. Scott's first blush
of the day is a little late, but comes in full force for the trouble.
"I thought you were heading back to your team."

"So did they. I understand that there are quite a few meetings
scheduled for the day, involving the choice of a headquarters."

Doesn't bother to hide his smile. "Don't you want to make your
opinions heard?"

Dismissive gesture. "*I* told them we should be in Vancouver, or
better Montreal, but they did not listen. Instead we have... Toronto."

"It's a nice enough city."

"This from an American? Are you quite alright, Scott?"

"Hey, it's nice. Homey."

Gets exactly the shudder he'd expected in response and laughs, easily.
Watches Jean-Paul watching him out of the corner of his eye.

Leans a little closer and winds up with Jean-Paul half-folded against
him. Remembers just how flexible the man is. Wraps an arm around his
waist and gets a sleepy sort of 'mmm' sound. It's... comfortable.

Brief, terrifying desire to *have* Jean in the cab with them, just so
she could see this. God, he really is a kid sometimes.

Strokes Jean-Paul's clothed belly with his thumb. He's in street
clothes, and Scott wants to be, too. It hasn't taken him long to get
really, really sick of the uniform-cum-safety-jacket.

No Sentinels in Canada.

Technically, no more Sentinels in America, either, but Scott hasn't
lived this long by being gullible. Well, not that gullible.

And Jean-Paul seems perfectly content to... well, snuggle like this.
Long, quiet ride out to the airport. Vaguely reminiscent of large,
depressing parts of New Jersey.

Smells better, though.

"So, what *is* Alpha Flight going to do be doing?"

"Tch. Weren't you paying any attention? We will help protect Canada
from any external aggressors --"

"Yeah, yeah. Trust me, Jean-Paul, we really don't plan to invade."

"So you *say*, but that man you elected president --"

"I didn't vote for him!"

"Of course not. You're not old enough."

"Oh, so *now* you remember that?"

"Facts are wonderful things, Scott. You can mix and match as you see
fit. Tres stylish this season, oui?"


"Perhaps *smarting* would be a better --"


And Jean-Paul is snickering, and yes, Scott thinks he really could do
this all day. Banter and snark until someone winds up naked and
then... and then all sorts of things, really. Hugs Jean-Paul a little
tighter, gets his palm kissed gently, thoroughly.

"Vraiment, I think we will be doing much the same as your X-Men,
Scott. Though perhaps with less dramatic panache."

Laughs despite himself. "No one's ever called us drama queens before."

"No one knows as much about all of you as *I* do."

"Oh, so you're the expert now?"

"Oui. I will write a book about how prettily you blush and sell
millions of copies."

"Yes, because *everyone* wants to hear about that."

"Do not laugh. I saw the way Lil was looking at you."

"She was looking at me like I'd killed her puppy and flashed her
little sister!"

"See? Flirting."

"It's official. You Canadians are all just weird."

"Oui, but highly attractive."

"Sure of yourself, are you?"

"Should I not be? I am in the arms of a beautiful man eight years my
junior who finds me fascinating."

"I never said that." Speaking through the blush.

"You do not find me fascinating?" Hint of a pout.

"I never said that, either."

"Ah, a mysterious man. Vraiment, I am in danger of losing my

Laughter like feeling light, ephemeral. Something like understanding
flight, and when Jean-Paul maneuvers himself into position for a kiss,
Scott doesn't hesitate.

Toothpaste and coffee and both of them kissing hard enough, sincerely
enough to wipe away all traces of everything that's not themselves.
Holding on, and Scott very badly wants to ask what all of this means,
but doesn't have half the balls for it.

Coward, coward, but he can put it all into his kisses. I'm here. I
want you. Want me back.

And Scott can look for answers in the way Jean-Paul never quite stops
touching him until they're both out of the cab, long after they've
gained the attention of the others. Xavier's little smile as Jean
helps him into the wheelchair. Ororo's pleased little smirk, and Jean-
Paul kissing his palm one more time before disappearing in a breeze of
baggage tickets and dust.

Hand that he pushes underneath his other arm while he walks. Baggage
check, first-class boarding lounge. Better chairs than the regular
one. The carpets are cleaner. Enough that if Scott wants to sit on the
floor, he can. Let his head sag for a minute and press that hand very
tightly between his arm and body.

And he *knows* Xavier's watching him. Physically for sure, and nudging
mentally around his walls like Scott might suddenly decide to tell him

*That's excessive, Scott, really. I only want to know whether you're

*If I tell you I'm okay will you leave me alone?*

**Are* you, Scott?*

Checks himself. Layers of misery and happiness and wanting and
pathetic loneliness, not that different from his usual mix except for
the leftover endorphins.

*I'm good.*

*Very well.* Something that almost feels like a mental caress, not
entirely unpleasant, but startling. And when he looks up, Xavier's
looking out the smoked windows at the sun that's almost a bright spot.

And if he's short of sleep, he can catch some of it on the plane. It
isn't really far enough for them to be going through all this. Just
up-and-down, coffee in between and whatever they're serving, but if he
asks for a blanket, he could get an hour's sleep in.

Smiling because his face hurts when he doesn't. Not as huge as he
wants to do it, but it's there.

In the air, fifteen thousand feet and climbing. Xavier beside him
looks so utterly normal in first class. Somebody born to more money
than god, and used to ignoring it. Across the aisle, Ororo's got her
head in Jean's lap. Looking up at Jean in a way that makes him ache
for her.

Maybe for both of them.

Shifts his weight to his side and sleeps. He can still smell Jean-Paul
all over him. Going to sleep with this shirt for a month, probably.
And then wash it and get on with his life, but the month in between's
going to be something different.

He thinks at some point he feels Xavier push his hair out of his face,
but he isn't sure.

Something to think about some time. Some time after his month.
Pathetic, maybe, but it feels good. Warm.

Scott closes his fist around his palm and dreams of snow.


Feedback makes us fat and glossy.
janestclair15@hotmail.com & leytelj@gmail.com