Handbasket III: Deal
by Janete
August 2001

Disclaimers: If they were ours, we'd giggle and squeal a
bit, but not *too* much.

Spoilers: The barest notions of Ultimate #2.

Summary: Scott's take on the whole thing.

Ratings Note: R

Authors' Notes: *sigh* No happy little vacuum for us to
exist in, sadly.

Feedback gives you wings. Good luck fitting them under your
clothes. janestclair15@hotmail.com, leytelj@gmail.com


Scott's not happy about it.  Even if Xavier does say to
leave it alone.

Scott's starting to think Xavier would whore them on the
street if he thought it'd make a political point.  And this is.

This is something else.

Scott wonders how dense he was about it.  Jean probably
knows, but she hasn't said anything, and she and Hank are
still friends, as far as he can tell.  Storm possibly doesn't
give a shit.  Colossus.  He doesn't know.  Or he does his own
thing and deliberately doesn't notice, but still.

Scott knows because he came looking for Hank and found
Bobby instead.  Curled up in the mess of Hank's bed with a
book.  Naked.  Bruised and wet like he'd been licked all
over, and asleep. These huge, disturbing handprints on his

This is *wrong*.  Hank's the oldest of them; Bobby's the
youngest.  Though that's less important than the sheer fact
that it's Bobby.  That he's fifteen and apparently getting
fucked on a fairly regular basis by someone that he's
clearly identified as his protector.

Scott gives up.  Drops down on a window seat in the back
of the mansion and stares at the Westchester universe.
Thinking that mostly he still expects people to arrest him
for being here.


"I'm fine, Professor.  I just need to think."

"No you don't.  You need to trust me.  I promise you
Bobby's not in any danger."

Scott nods.  He's figured out five or six things in the
course of living here, and one is that battles with Xavier
are something he has to pick and choose.

Not really all that different from the world he used to
live in except that he spends a lot less time actually on
his knees.


Touch on his arm.  It's a new tactic from Xavier, and he
wishes it didn't work as much as it does. It doesn't even
feel like the man's messing with his head. Just offering
this reassuring little touch.

"Scott.  It's not the same.  I would never allow Bobby to
be hurt under my roof."

"All that means is that he isn't scared."


"Let it go, Scott.  It doesn't affect the X-Men, so it's
none of your concern."

Wheels quietly away.  Soft purr that Scott turns toward,
evidence that Xavier's left his cat behind.

It's a little disturbing, really, that he doesn't know the
cat's name.

He works on breathing deeply for a while.

He goes looking for Hank.

Finds him with his hands deep in the Blackbird's guts, and
suddenly can't think of anything to say to him.  Older,
bigger man with a sarcasm that makes him flinch
occasionally.  It's only Beast who obeys his orders, and
Beast isn't the shaggy, intent being carefully reassembling
a cooling pipe.

And what could he say, anyway?

Scott tries this again.

Goes looking for Bobby.

Finds him out in the west fields with Storm, which gives
Scott a little touch of leadership pride that he really
doesn't want to acknowledge at the moment. His idea that
they could help each other train, after all.

Abstract ice sculptures churning the lawn to mud in various
places. He's glad they decided to take this outside at

Stays back a few dozen feet and just watches for a while,
Storm gesturing to Bobby's feet and explaining...
something. Can't catch the words. Maybe just asking.

And suddenly Bobby is standing on an uneven pillar of ice
some fifteen feet off the ground and doing an insane little
dance which Scott can only see through flashes of the crazy
kid breaking his neck.

Before he can get there Bobby's slid down the ice pillar
to the ground. Skin to all that ice.

Scott's skin prickles, first from the thought of it, and then
just from being in proximity to Bobby. Finally noticing
that Storm's about as bundled up as she actually gets.

Bobby isn't actually in ice form, but this close Scott can
see frost forming and melting all over his skin, and their
breath steams in the air.

Jesus, the kid has some kind of power, all right.

Brief, malicious hope he freezes Hank's balls off one night.

"What's up, Scott?"

"Nothing, Ororo. Just needed to snag Bobby for a while."
Hell, he hadn't thought this out. Quick lie quick lie.
"Just about some more math homework."

Bobby scowling at the ground and Ororo giving him -- and he
hates his brain for this -- the weather eye. Wonderful.
Plants a hand on Bobby's shoulder and prepares to just bull
his way out of whatever hideously embarrassing thing she's
planning to say. "Take the time to work a little on your
control. Open a link with the professor so he can keep an
eye on you."

"Hello, Scott. I'm fine, really, how are you?"

Grits his teeth and goes to apologize, but Ororo's already
stalking off, peeling out of her jacket and tying it around
her waist. People skills, right.

He'd like to think she'd understand if she knew, but
there's no real guarantee, or even hope, of that. Starts
off back toward the mansion with Bobby in tow.

"You guys are already giving me way more homework than I
got back home, you know."

"It's because we're a better school. I can show you the
ratings if you like." Tries to put something like humor in
his voice and fails pretty miserably if the look on Bobby's
face is any indication whatsoever.

Right. Cut the bullshit.

"Look, Bobby, I pretty much know what's going on with you
and Hank, and it's something we need to talk about."

Tiniest of pauses. "I don't know what you mean, Scott. Hank
and me are friends."

A little too innocent, even if Scott *hadn't* seen. Well.
"I *saw* you, Bobby. The bruises."

Back-and-forth flick of those eyes.  Purple to him, so
probably blue.  Somebody -- Storm, maybe? -- told him that
Bobby's eyes are one of the most intense colours she'd ever
seen.  Another thing Scott isn't ever going to see.

"I fell.  Off the ice."

"Leaving handprints on your hips.  Not likely, Bobby."
Drops himself to the ground and sits, looking up at him.
Not-scary.  "Sit down."

Bobby stands.


"What did he offer you?"

Snap of the blond head.  "He didn't. It's not like that."

"Yeah, I thought not.  Sit, okay?"

He sits.  Pulls his knees up in front of him and glares at

"He's my friend."

It sounds pleading.  Bobby looks very, very young.

"He bruised you.  Badly."

"We were playing."

"Bobby, if you lie to me, you're just going to make this
look worse."

"Fuck you."  Suddenly knee-to-knee with tiny, furious
blondness. "Hard concept, yeah, oh-he-who's-responsible-for-
the-world-turning, but I'm *okay*.  I swear to god."

Still very, very close to him when Bobby peels his shirt
off.  There are fading purplish bruises all over his torso.

"I got this one in the Danger Room."  Mark on his
shoulder.  "I got this one falling off the ice."  Chest.
"I got this one when me and Hank were fighting over the A
controller for the Playstation."  Long, narrow bruise
across his belly.

Fingers on his chest, pointing out two redder marks.  "Hank
kissed these onto me."

Very close to Scott's face.  "He doesn't hurt me."

And he didn't really think this was going to be remotely
close to easy, did he? Christ, Bobby's at least
self-assured, but. But. "Maybe not physically, but --"

"Oh, fuck. Jesus, Scott, even you must've wanted to get
laid when you were my age!"

Feels himself stiffening, and there isn't a damned thing he
can do about it, and, wonderful, Bobby's got this big,
wondering look on his face like he's just figured out the
secrets of the universe.

"Oh, hey. Fuck. Damn. I'm sorry, Scott."

"Jesus, who taught you how to swear?"

"My mom curses a blue streak when she gets caught in
traffic, but, Scott, I didn't mean --"

"This really isn't about you comforting me for a crappy
childhood, Bobby, so can we just cut it?" And Bobby looks like
he's been slapped for just a second before clamming up so
tight Scott can practically hear him squeak. Fuck. "Look, that
was uncalled for, I'm sorry, I really am."




"I'm just worried about you."

"Don't be. Hank's *good*, Scott. He tried... he tries."
Blushing again, scrubbing a hand through his hair. "It was
*my* idea, okay?" And much, much quieter. "It's always my

Bizarre moment to find himself angry at Hank for,
apparently, turning Bobby down and Scott has to shake
himself out of it. "He's. Probably trying to protect you."

"I don't need protection from him. Not for this. I know
what I'm doing, okay? I wasn't a virgin."

"You. Hell. *Hell*." Little smile on Bobby's face and those
big purple eyes. Whole world a bizarre Japanese cartoon
sometimes, with his eyes. "Bobby --"

"Okay, fine, it wasn't all my idea. I mean, it was with
Hank, but not with. The point is I'm not a virgin, and I
know the difference between good and bad sex. Healthy and
unhealthy. Whatever. I'm not just some dumb kid, Scott."

*Like I was.*

Something to think about.  Bobby's angry, but he's not
hysterical.  He's not begging or excusing, and while Scott
knows that isn't proof of anything, there's something oddly
reassuring about his steadiness.  An adult's fuck-off-out-of-
my-sex-life instead of a child's I-love-him-I-need-him.

Not everything's good there.  Some things that he thinks
might be worth talking to Bobby about.  Some other day when
they've made peace over this.

And he's still mad at Hank, but more quietly.  If only
because he's pretty sure that if Bobby wasn't happy, he
wouldn't be doing this.

Bobby's pulled his shirt back on, and he's standing.
Looking down on Scott again with this mix of fury and what
Scott has a nasty suspicion is pity.  Not something he can
even resist, only flinch and wait for it to slide off.

Bobby walks away from him.  Set shoulders and all the
determination of an angry teenager.

Changes course when he spots Hank beside the garage.
Stalks over to him with this stiff, angry unhappiness and
just wraps himself around that big waist.

Still close enough that Scott can see Hank's surprise.  His
hesitancy to touch.  Only dropping his hands into a hug once
it's very, very clear that Bobby's not going to let go.
Against him for a long minute before he crouches just enough
to lift Bobby off his feet. Hard to remember Hank's not that
much taller. Just... bigger.

Scott watches Hank bury his face in Bobby's red-washed
blond hair.

Looks up and there's Storm, watching them and watching
Scott.  Steady, appraising look that makes Hank duck his
head like maybe he's blushing.  And then swing Bobby over
his shoulder in an undignified fireman's carry and haul his
ass inside.

Storm comes after Scott.

Scott stands up out of his crouch and prepares himself for
the worst. Waiting, knowing how he looks in Storm's eyes.
The only one of them maybe never really out of uniform.

Sometimes he wonders if it has to be like that, but there's
always something else to do, something else to deal with.
Another session with the professor to make him have
nightmares of Classical gods, warring and capricious and
uncaring of the mortals below.

And Storm looks him up and down. Sour half-smirk that
manages to look flirtatious.

She probably hates that.

"What can I do for you, Ororo?"

"He's a kid, Cyclops."

Not Scott. Damn, damn, damn. "That was my point. I mean...
forget it, Ororo, it's really none of your business."

"Sure doesn't look like it was any of *yours*."

"Believe it or not, it's my job to make sure things run at
least halfway smoothly between *all* members of the team --"

"So why were you fucking with those two? They're the only
ones who're halfway *together*."

No doubt that she knows, and Scott suddenly feels a little
helpless. Maddening, rageful feeling. He knows the
psychological reasons behind that, it doesn't help. Keep a
lid on it. "Let me ask you something."


"It doesn't bother you?"

And she looks at him, really looks at him for a moment
before sighing. Tossing her hair a little. Unconscious
motion. Pure girl. God, how old are they? Twelve?


"*You* talked to Bobby. What do you think, Scott?"

"I think. I think there's somebody there that needs a
serious beating, but it's not Hank."

She nods at him, measuring. "And."

"I know it'll help... *something* for him to talk about it.
I went at it all wrong, I'll know better next time. He's...
older than he is."

"Pisses you off."

"Fuck yes."

"You have to deal anyway, Scott."

"Don't I always?"

She doesn't smile. He guesses it maybe didn't sound enough
like a joke. "You just have to ease off a bit, Scott.
We're not your little army yet."

"Do you really think we can risk *not* being an army when
Magneto gets just that extra bit nuttier?"

"I think it won't work if you try to butt us into it. Hey,
we're all here. Nowhere else to go. That fucking bites, you
know? Give us a little time to suck it up."

And he wants to argue it. Lots of logical reasons why it
*can't* happen like that. Wants to bitch about Wolverine,
too. A lot. All tied together. Christ. Christ. He'd have to
do... something about that before anything got said that

Realizes that he's ignoring Ororo with a start. "I'm sorry,
I was just." Breathes. "I'm sorry."

"You're human, aren't you. Under all that." Another
measuring look, lighter this time.

"I can get you my gene scans if you want to be sure, Ororo."

Short laugh. Eases something inside.

He remembers every time he made Jean laugh like that. Not
her airy, usual, joy-of-life laugh. A personal one. Maybe a
little weak, but all his.



"Just don't forget you can talk to us."

"I'll work on it."

Bright smile, goodbye smile. "Cool."

And she walks away.

Leaves him there to think about it.  Still not happy, but
wondering how much of it right now's just jealousy.  Like
if somebody came along about now, picked him up and took
him inside, maybe he wouldn't be quite so pissed.

Picks himself up and goes in.  Empty halls, and noise from
the kitchen that he doesn't go toward.  Upstairs instead,
dodging Xavier's office and ignoring the half-demanding
call in his head.

Curls up on his bed.  In his room, with the curtains shut.

When he came here, just the idea of having his own room,
and a door that locked from the inside was enough.  Wasn't
that long ago.  Just him and Xavier, and he really does get
that without Xavier, his head would probably be an even
scarier place than it is.

Cat bounces up on the bed beside him and settles against
his stomach.

He rubs it for a while.  Tries not to be jealous.

Working on not wanting to *be* Bobby.  Younger and less
fucked in the head and maybe that much better at dealing
with grief.

Thinks about getting naked and maybe just sleeping for a
while.  Warm, soft cat against his belly while he dozes.


Cake or *Death*!