Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Heart of the Phoenix

Where The Heart Is

by slickboy444 0 Reviews

While still struggling with the Phoenix, a mysterious force is plaguing Scott Summers and it's a force that's frighteningly similar. In addition, a powerful warrior becomes involved and the Xmen fa...

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine, X23 - Published: 2006/08/04 - Updated: 2006/08/04 - 5946 words

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Heart of the Phoenix
Chapter 12: Where The Heart Is


**************************************************

Jean was out cold for the trip back to the mansion. Thanks a little remote control, the Professor summoned the X-jet back from Connecticut and got his students to the safety of the institute. Everybody was so tired. This ordeal had been hard on all of them. But nowhere was this more apparent than with Jean and her family.

On the jet, Hank let Logan fly while he gave Jean a quick checkup. And aside from serious exhaustion, she seemed fine. But he recommended she stay in the infirmary for a while just in case as a precaution. Trusting Hank's word, Scott didn't argue and kept his wife securely in his arms while little Rachel rested in the warmth of her parents, soon succumbing to her own exhaustion.

Once they returned to the mansion, Laura was there to meet the team. And the second Logan saw her, he ran threw his arms around her. He had come so close to losing her and the mere sight of his daughter sent him into an emotional frenzy. And while Laura didn't know what had happened, she returned her father's embrace while listening to him say how much she meant to him.

Such an act earned him some strange looks, but nobody dared to interrupt their moment. The only one who stayed to watch was Ororo, who was tearing up at the sight. But a smile never left her face.

With Rachel sound asleep, Ororo took the little girl in her arms and carried her to her room while Scott followed Hank to the infirmary with Jean in hand. Xavier and Emma followed, but kept their distance so he could work. And while they all tried to persuade Scott to get some rest, he refused to leave his wife's side.

As for the others, the emotional and physical fatigue was practically omnipresent. By now, night had fallen and a good night sleep was definitely in order, for it had been a long, traumatic day.

**************************************************

Rogue was practically carrying Remy to their room since he had taken some heavy blows. But he didn't seem to mind. Being carried by a beautiful woman was nothing to complain about. And by the time they made it to their room, they curled up together on their bed, embracing one another as husband and wife.

"Still think we can have dat baby, cherè?" said Remy softly as he held his wife in his arms.

Lying comfortably on his chest, Rogue looked back at those enchanting red on black eyes and smiled.

"Sugah...After what we just went through, Ah think we can handle anything."

And with those words in mind, she gave her husband a deep kiss, now more hopeful than ever that she and Remy could have a real family together.

**************************************************

In Kurt and Amanda's room, Kurt was on the bed with his future wife giving her some peroxide for some wounds she had suffered in the fight. He had a few as well, but they weren't too bad. They were just so tired from all this fighting. In addition, they still had a wedding on the horizon and after what they had endured, it was now more than ever that they shouldn't waste time.

"Feel any better?" asked Kurt tenderly as he put the peroxide away and snaked his arms around his beautiful fiancé's waist.

"I'll be fine," she assured him with warm smile as she snuggled against his warm, fuzzy form.

For a minute or so they just sat there, contemplating everything that had just happened. It had been a real test of their strength and faith. Yet in the end they had pulled through.

"This was a close one, Kurt...Really close," said Amanda distantly, "We almost...We could have..."

"But ve didn't," said Kurt, tenderly caressing her face, "Ve made it, liebe. Ve von."

"I know. It's just that...Coming so close to complete oblivion...It really makes you think about how precious life is."

"Ja, I know. But hey, all zhe more reason to look forward to our vedding."

"Definitely," said Amanda as she embraced the man she would soon call her husband, "And I think that after this, I want to make sure that every last moment we spend together is as meaningful as possible."

"Don't vorry, liebe. Ve have our whole lives ahead of us. I believe zhat God has truly blessed us and from zhis day forward, ve should cherish zhat blessing."

"Spoken like a true man of faith."

And with that, the soon to me married couple met in a deep kiss before collapsing on the bed, sharing dreams of the future and the precious moments they had yet to share.

**************************************************

Kitty Pryde was out cold with exhaustion. She didn't even make it off the plane before falling asleep. Thankfully her boyfriend, Piotr Rasputin, was nice enough to carry her up to her room.

Looking at her sleeping form, he couldn't help but smile. He was very lucky to have someone like her in his life. And after seeing how important love was in the fight against the Phoenix, he planned on treasuring the things that mattered most to him.

"Sweet dreams, Katya," he said softly, placing a gentle kiss on her forehead.

He was just about to leave when suddenly, a soft voice called him back.

"Peter..." said Kitty, having awoken from her sleep after feeling his gentle kiss.

"Katya?"

"Please...Stay with me."

Piotr felt a bit anxious upon hearing those words since they hadn't exactly gotten that far with their relationship yet. But looking at those beautiful innocent eyes, it was impossible for him to say no.

"Don't worry, Katya," he said as he slipped into the bed beside her, "I promise you I'm not going anywhere."

**************************************************

Even though everybody was tired and beat, there were still a few who were too restless too sleep. Among those few was young Bobby Drake, someone who had always strived to fight in the ranks of the X-men. But now that he had fought with them against this most dangerous foe, he felt as though he could truly call himself a part of the team.

It was a surreal feeling, but it was a one he was proud of as he laid back on the couch, letting the events of the past few days sink in.

"Hey, can't sleep either, huh?" came a familiar voice.

"Jubilee?" he said, getting up from his position and letting her sit beside him, "Yeah, guess there is such a thing as being too tired to sleep."

"Always with the jokes," she grinned as she slipped her arms around him and rested her head against his shoulder.

It was an act that Bobby didn't fight. Right now he needed someone like Jubilee. And after everything they had been through, they had plenty of reason to make good on the time they still had.

"Some night, huh?" she sighed.

"Yeah, some night," said Bobby in agreement, "I can't believe we went up against a cosmic being and survived. It just...It feels so..."

"Kind of messes with your head doesn't it?" said Jubilee, sensing that he couldn't finish.

"Tell me about it. I mean we didn't just save the world, Jubes...We may have saved the universe. I it's just...It's hard to process something like that."

Jubilee smiled at her long time friend, working her magic to help cheer him up. They had both grown a lot since coming to the institute. And after having gone head to head with the Phoenix, it showed how much they had come of age.

"Try not to think about it too much, Bobby," she said in a comforting tone, "We fought against the odds and won. Let's just leave it at that. Hell, we should be celebrating! I mean we really saved the world here!"

"I guess that's one way of putting it," said Bobby with a smirk, "But I think I've had enough celebrations for one lifetime, thank you very much."

"Aww, you're a big baby, you know that?" said Jubilee teasingly.

"Isn't that part of what you like about me?"

"Actually, its part of what I love about you."

That got Bobby to blush profusely. Sure, they hadn't had much of a chance to reignite old flames, but after having fought and survived against the Phoenix, neither of them wanted to waste any more time.

"So where do we go from here?" asked Jubilee.

"Well you know..." he said in a sneaky tone as he slipped an arm around her waist, "We never did finish that dance at the Hellfire Club."

A wide grin spread across Jubilee's face as she snuggled closer to her long time crush.

"No, we didn't, did we?"

"So maybe we should try and make up for it...You know, finish what we started."

"Bobby Drake, are you asking me out on a date?"

"Well if that's how you want it," said Bobby, his voice becoming low and husky.

"You have been hanging around Remy WAY too much."

"Doesn't seem to bother you," he quipped as he held her closer, more intimate manner.

"I never said that it did," she said playfully, "And besides, I can think of no better way to celebrate than finishing what we should have finished years ago."

And with renewed spirit, the two youths met in a soft kiss, capping off the end of an amazing journey and the beginning something new for each other and their future.

**************************************************

After laying Rachel down in her bed, Ororo quietly exited into the hall where she let out a tired yawn. It had been a long, trying day and she could honestly say she had never been this tired before.

So much had been at stake. They had come so close to losing everything. Yet despite the odds, they had come out on top. And it just amazed her that the greatest key in this victory hadn't been mutant powers...It had been family.

"How's she doin' Ro?" came a familiar gruff voice that snapped Ororo out of her daze.

Turning to see her boyfriend standing just outside the door, the former weather goddess managed a warm smile.

"Fast asleep," she said in a tired tone, "She's had a very long day."

"No kiddin'," said Logan with a chuckle, "But ya gotta admit, she's one tough little soldier. Remember how she saved us back in the chamber?"

"Oh yes, that was quite a feat. She saved us all."

"Yep, she's gonna make one hell of an X-man," said the burly Canadian as he looked back at the closed door.

A brief silence fell over the couple as they reflected on everything that had happened tonight. It was hard to believe that it was finally over, yet here they were standing on the threshold of a new beginning.

"Is Laura okay?" said Ororo, breaking the silence.

This caused the usually reclusive Logan to rub the back of his neck a little. He knew he had gotten a little emotional when he saw his daughter again. And while normally, he would have just brushed this off, it was very different with Ororo.

"She's fine," he said simply, "I guess I just...I guess I kinda scared her. I told her what happened and I...It was hard. I thought I was gonna lose her. I really did."

"But you didn't."

"I know. But that didn't stop her from yelling at me to never scare her like that again."

"She's your daughter, Logan. She loves you. And hearing how close we had all been to the brink is hard for anybody to accept...Even with her strength."

"I know. I know," said Logan with a deep sigh, "But I'm gonna make up for it. I told Laura that I'm gonna take her up to Toronto for a little family vacation. I came that close to never seeing her again and I'm not gonna lose any more chances with her."

Seeing the conflicted look on his face made Ororo smile at her lover with a great deal of compassion. Moving into his burly warmth, she placed a soft kiss on his cheek, which helped the ever volatile Wolverine feel some much needed peace.

"You really do have a wonderful heart, Logan," she told him with a tender tone.

"Says you, darlin'," he smiled, "But there was somethin' else Laura wanted in addition to a little family time."

"Oh? And what was that?" she asked curiously.

"She wanted you to come with us. She said if we were gonna have a family trip, we might as well bring the whole family."

Hearing that got Ororo to blush. Even though Laura wasn't her child by blood, she never made a secret of her bond with the former living weapon. Ever since her arrival, she help her deal with her rage in a similar way she helped Logan when he first arrived. And ever since they got involved with one another, Laura's desire for a true family to fill that void in her heart became stronger than ever.

And for Ororo, she was more than happy to oblige for both her and the man she loved.

"I'd be honored," said the former weather goddess with tears in her eye.

"I'm glad," said Logan, giving her an affectionate kiss on the forehead, "Now come on, it looks like you need some rest, darlin'."

"I could say the same for you, Logan," she grinned coyly.

"Normally I'd argue that, but tonight I'll skip it and ask if you'd like me to keep you warm instead."

Looking back at the beautiful goddess who had given him so much happiness over the years, the former living weapon smiled. For he could think of no better way to start anew then by falling asleep beside someone he loved so much. And judging from the look on her face, Ororo felt the same way.

"You're too good to me, Logan," she said with a warm smile.

"Hey, anythin' for the woman I love."

And with that, the two lovers retreated to Ororo's room for some much needed rest, looking forward to move forward with their lives and maybe building a new family of their own as well.

**************************************************

Down in the infirmary, Scott was at his wife's bedside watching over her as she rested peacefully after her ordeal. He was exhausted and on the verge of collapse, yet he stayed awake to lend support to his wife.

By now, Hank had finished the tests and the prognosis was good. The scans showed that her brainwaves had stabilized and her powers were no longer evolving at an exponential rate. While it seemed like an impossible medical feat, he was hardly surprised. After all, they did just come face to face with a cosmic entity. What was impossible anymore?

With her powers finally stable, Hank assured Scott that all she needed was a few days of rest. It was relieving for all of them, for it showed once and for all that this ordeal was truly over.

"Is he still in there?" asked the Professor as Hank walked out of the infirmary with an optimistic look.

"Hasn't left her side since we got back," replied Hank with a smile, "You can try pulling him away, but I assure you Charles, it's an uphill battle."

Xavier laughed at that. Scott's devotion never ceased to amaze him. And after having come so close to losing the woman he loved, it was more apparent than ever.

"In that case, I won't try old friend."

"Good choice, Charles," said Hank as he tiredly stretched his long, gorilla-like limbs, "In that case, I suppose I'll turn in. It's been a long night and I think we all need a good night's rest."

"Thank you, Hank. You're uncanny knack for kindness never ceases to amaze me."

"You can thank me by getting some rest yourself, Charles," said Hank with a smile.

"Oh don't worry, Mr. McCoy," assured Emma Frost, "I promise you, I won't leave here until he's safely tucked in bed."

"Good enough for me," said Hank, casting the blushing Professor an amused look, "I know the others may not get a chance to say this, but thank you Miss Frost. Your help has been truly appreciated."

"It's the least I could do," replied the blonde telepath as she extended her hand as a token of good faith, "And if you get a chance to talk to everybody as a whole tomorrow...Tell them I'm sorry."

"It shall be done."

And with that gesture, Hank made his leave, entrusting Xavier's state to the blonde telepath who had helped them so much even after being drawn into this mess against her will.

Once they were alone, Emma turned to face the man that held such a special place in her heart. For all their disagreements, she still respected Professor Xavier and after seeing how strong he and his team were, she had a profound new understanding of why he did what he did.

"So what are your plans now, Emma?" asked Xavier.

"Going back to my academy, I suppose," she sighed as her thoughts drifted back towards her students, "But I'd like to keep in touch this time and not leave on a sour note."

"Yes, I would like that too," said the Professor with a warm smile, "You are a remarkable woman, Emma. Don't ever let anybody tell you otherwise. And regardless of our disagreements, don't ever forget that you will always hold a special place with me."

This got the normally ambivalent Emma Frost to smile as she leaned forth and placed a kiss atop Xavier's forehead.

"Don't ever change, Charles. The world needs more men like you."

Years ago, a great distance had formed between them as a result of petty disagreements. But after having gone up against the Phoenix, they had a new appreciation for the bond they shared as teacher and student. And from this point forward, they hoped to keep the little things from getting in the way.

"You know I can't leave until I see to it that you get some rest," said Emma with a coy grin.

"I understand," said the Professor with a nod, "But before I can do that, there is one last matter that I need to take care of."

Looking back into the infirmary where Scott was still holding the hand of his sleeping wife, Emma smiled. Because if there was one thing she knew about Professor Xavier, it was that he never turned his back on his students.

"Go ahead, Charles. Do what you have to do."

Taking a deep breath, the Professor maneuvered his hover chair towards the entrance while Emma stayed behind. He still felt guilty for having lied to Scott and Jean about the Phoenix for so long. The words Scott had blasted him with earlier still hung strongly in his mind.

But now that the ordeal was over, he wanted to make peace. After everything they had been through, he owed them as such.

"Scott?" he said upon entering through the sliding door, "Scott, are you still awake?"

Still looking as exhausted as ever, Scott Summers turned to face the man who had given him and Jean so much over the years. He was still reeling from everything that had happened, but he remained strong for his family. And like it or not, Professor Xavier was a part of that family.

"Professor?" he said, sounding very tired as he looked back at his weary mentor.

"Are you going to stay here for the night?" he asked him, still taking the time he needed to work up the nerve.

Looking back at his sleeping wife, Scott let out a deep sigh.

"Yeah, I should be here in case she wakes up."

"Yes, I think that would be best for her after everything she's been through."

A brief silence fell over the two men. There was still some unspoken bitterness over what happened earlier. Xavier knew he wasn't perfect, but what he had done to his most loyal students was beyond the bounds of good faith. He had lied to them when they had trusted him in the utmost. And for that, he owed them a great deal.

"Scott," he began, taking a deep breath, "I...I know I have a lot to answer for. And if ever you believed in my words, believe me when I say how sorry I am for what I did to you and your family."

"Professor, you have no reason to be sorry," said Scott, managing a slight smile, "I was the one who was out of line. I see that now."

"No Scott. You were perfectly within your bounds in yelling at me. I lied to you. I lied to Jean. You trusted me and I took advantage of that trust. You and Jean mean a lot to me and I should have remembered that when I found out about the Phoenix. I have no excuses for what I did. And I only hope that with everything that's happened today, you'll give me another chance."

Hearing such heartfelt words got Scott to smile as he looked at his wife and than back at the Professor. While he had never been good at showing his emotions, he knew what he felt was right. It's what led him to Jean and it's what helped them overcome the Phoenix. And now that it was over, he was ready to look beyond the past and focus more on the future.

"Sir..." said Scott, casting his mentor a warm smile, "You've given me and my family so much over the years. And after everything you've done, do you really think I'm going to forget about that?"

That helped the Professor feel a little better, but Scott wasn't done yet.

"You're like a father to me. You've been there for me when nobody else was."

"But I still lied to you," reminded the Professor, "You both had a right to know and I..."

"You were trying to protect us," said Scott, cutting him off, "I see that now. And I know now more than ever that I couldn't have asked for a better man to entrust the safety of my family to. So for what it's worth, I forgive you. But remember this, Professor...I have a long way to go before I can truly thank you for everything you've done."

Looking back at the young man he had taken in as a child, Professor Charles Xavier could honestly say he had never been so proud. From a humble student to such an accomplished and dedicated man, Scott Summers had come a long way. And like any other father, he took a great deal of pride in seeing this young man grow.

"Thank you, Scott. That means a lot to me."

"No...Thank you, Professor Xavier."

Turning back to make his leave, the Professor saw Emma smiling through the glass. At long last, this night could end and they could move on. And for Charles Xavier, the future was looked bright as he left his two faithful students to rest.

**************************************************

As the rest of the mansion fell into a deep sleep, Scott Summers remained in the infirmary with Jean. He kept drifting in and out of sleep, feeling so tired from everything he and his family had been through. But in the end, the bond he shared with his wife and the bond they all shared as a family helped them all persevere. And for a man who had lost a lot in his life, he was eternally grateful.

Then, around midnight, he felt a slight stir from underneath the sheets. And from the tired figure before him, he heard a deep groan from a heavenly voice.

"Hnnnnn...Scott?"

"Jean?" he said, quickly snapping out of his tired state, "Jean! You're awake."

A wave of joy overcame him as he saw the woman he loved open her eyes. She looked so tired and groggy, but she was alive and that's all that mattered.

"Scott...Is...Is it over?" she said in a weak voice.

Scott smiled warmly at her and gently caressed her face with his hands, lending her tired body the warmth and love she fought so desperately to save.

"It's okay, my love. It's over. The Phoenix is gone. You're free."

Upon hearing those words, Jean's eyes filled with tears as she began to sob uncontrollably. After everything she had struggled with, it was over. And the knowledge that she was now safely here by the side of the man she loved made it all the more wonderful.

"Oh God...Free...I'm finally free!" she cried as a new wave of energy overcome her.

Jean threw her arms around her husband's neck and cried her heart out. She just couldn't help it. She was so happy. Under the power of the Phoenix, she had felt many wondrous sensations. Yet none could ever compare to the feeling of her loving family.

Scott could do nothing more than hold her and allow her to cry her heart out. It was hard for him to not get choked up as well, but he didn't care. This was truly a wonderful moment for the both of them. For at long last, this horrible ordeal was over.

"Shh...It's okay, Jean," he said softly, "It's all over now. It's all over."

Jean had never been so happy before in her life. She had never felt so close to the brink. All that power, all that chaos, and all that conflict had consumed her down to her very soul. Yet in the end, she overcame it with the help of her family.

"Scott..." she sobbed, "I'm so sorry."

"Hey, come on Jean. Don't say that," he said softly, "You have nothing to be sorry for. You were up against a powerful force like no other. You were used...It's as simple as that. But you beat it Jean. You beat the Phoenix."

It was an amazing feat no matter how she looked at it. She had actually faced a cosmic entity and survived. Only in some ways, it wasn't the Phoenix she was fighting. All the chaos that filled her life from her tumultuous childhood to her volatile powers had come to ahead for her, yet despite this she managed to over it. And in the arms of her husband, she could think of no greater joy.

However, the joy she felt soon turned to worry as her thoughts drifted towards another little matter.

"Scott I...What about Rachel?" she said, breaking the embrace, "Is...Is she okay?"

"She's fine," assured Scott, "She's probably fast asleep by now and..."

"I want to see her," she said before she could finish, "I...I have to see my little girl."

"Jean, you're in no condition to..."

"Please Scott..." she said in a desperate tone, "Take me to see my baby. You know full well that if you don't, I'll just keep struggling until I get there on my own."

Scott couldn't help but chuckle. Even in such an emotional state, she still had the classic stubbornness that defined Jean Grey-Summers. And looking into those beautiful green eyes that pleaded with him so much, how could he ever say no?

"Okay...I'll take you," said Scott, "But if Hank asks, just tell him you forced me too."

"Oh don't worry, sweetheart. Your fragile ego is safe with me."

Taking a firm hold of her husband, Jean slowly forced her weak body out of the bed. Every part of her felt as though it had a lead weight on it. She could barely keep herself upright, but she was determined to see her little girl and she wasn't about to let something like drop dead exhaustion stand in her way.

Once she was out of bed, she leaned on Scott in order to keep herself from collapsing. Standing up almost caused her to blackout, but she remained strong as Scott led her out of the infirmary and down the winding corridors.

Upon reaching the elevators, they stopped briefly so that she could catch her breath and once the elevator arrived, Scott let her sit down for a moment while they ascended to the dormitories.

"Can you make it?" asked Scott as he looked at her tired form.

"For Rachel...Yes," she said strongly, forcing herself back up so she could make the final trip down the hall.

Smiling at her words, Scott continued to hold his wife as they made the final trek down the hall towards Rachel's room. By now it was past midnight and pretty much everybody was sleeping. And this included Rachel. But even if she was fast asleep, Jean still wanted to see her.

Once they were finally at her room, Scott carefully opened the door so Jean could enter. And the moment she stepped in, she bore witness to a sight that brought tears to her eyes.

There she was...Her beautiful little girl...Fast asleep, safe and sound.

It was enough to make the young mother cry as a renewed sense of strength helped her make her way over towards her bedside. And once she was there, little Rachel began to stir from her peaceful slumber.

"Mommy?" said the little girl in a faint voice.

"Rachel..." said Jean softly, unable to hold back her sobs, "My baby."

Looking back up at her with those beautiful eyes of hers, Jean took her little girl in a warm hug. She couldn't believe she had come so close to losing something so precious. Now here she was with her baby and her husband, forever linked by a bond that even a cosmic entity couldn't destroy.

"Is the monster gone?" asked the little girl as she returned her mommy's hug.

"Yes, sweety. The monster is gone."

That got Jean to cry even more as she kept hugging her little girl. Phoenix or no Phoenix, nothing could keep her from her family. And while Rachel may have been confused as to why mommy was crying, she could feel how happy she was.

"I was so scared. I thought the monster was going to take you away forever," said Rachel, her little eyes stained with the tears of happiness.

"I was scared too, baby. God I can't tell you how scared I was. But we don't have to be scared anymore. And I promise you, I'll never let anything ever tear us apart."

Her words were thick with emotion, but they were more than enough for the little girl as she smiled and hugged her mommy.

"I love you, mommy."

"I love you too, baby," she sobbed, "Mommy loves you so much. Now get some sleep."

In one final embrace, Jean Grey-Summers gave her beautiful baby girl a warm hug, letting her know that she would never have to sleep without the guidance of a mother's love. It was an act that Scott eagerly joined, sharing this tender moment with his family.

They had overcome so much together. And now that they were together again, they would forever treasure the special bond they all shared.

"Sleep tight, Rachel," said Jean as she reluctantly parted and tucked her little girl into her warm sheets.

"Goodnight mommy. Goodnight Daddy."

Then, with one final kiss on the forehead, the two proud parents left their little girl to a world of dreams, comforted in the knowledge that she had the love of her parents to hold onto no matter where the future took her.

Once they were assured of their daughter's safety, Jean's exhaustion came back with a vengeance. She was tired on every conceivable level. But Scott was still there to hold onto her even as she struggled to keep her balance.

"Come on, I'll take you to our room," said Scott as he held his tired wife.

"Our room...Yes, I'd like that," she said tiredly, holding onto him for deal life so that she could make the brief, yet seemingly impossible trip.

Helping her with each step, the exhausted couple made it to their room. But by the time they closed the door behind them, Jean's legs gave out. Thankfully, Scott caught her and even though he was very tired himself, he managed to pick her up in his arms and lay her down on their king sized bed.

As soon as she felt the soft pillows and sheets, Jean sank comfortably into a sleepy state. Scott carefully covered her body in the sheets and upon removing his shirt he snuggled up close to his beautiful wife, allowing her to take in the gentle warmth of his love.

"Scott..." she said weakly as she snuggled up close to her husband, "Thank you."

"Anytime Jean," he said warmly, "Don't ever forget, I made a vow...In sickness and in health...For rich or poor...Till death do us part."

"And even in the face of a cosmic entity, you still kept that vow," she said with a smile.

It was truly remarkable when he thought about it. Even in the face of something that could consume entire worlds, the bond that so deeply linked them as friends and lovers never waned. And in the end, it helped them overcome even the greatest of odds.

"It's still apart of me, you know," said Jean in a distant voice, "Part of what it said was true. We are linked in a very deep way. Even though we're separate now, a piece of the Phoenix will always be inside me."

"I know," said Scott warmly, "But you are, and will always be, Jean Grey at heart. Cosmic entity or no cosmic entity, I love you, Jean. I love you so much. And even if I can't tell you how much I love you, I know that through the link we share and the love we feel...We can overcome anything together."

His heartfelt words made her heart surge as she smiled warmly at the man she loved, gently caressing his face and feeling his endless passion through their link.

"I love you too, Scott. You're my husband...My lover...And my best friend. And for me, it's the thought that counts...And yours, like you, are beautiful."

With those powerful words, the two lovers met in a soft kiss. And even as they drifted off into a world of dreams, the link that Scott and Jean Gery-Summers shared burned brightly in their hearts and minds, now and forever.

And somewhere out there in the endless reaches of the universe, a fiery entity of creation, destruction, and passion was looking back on them with a smile. For through the heart of the Phoenix and that of Jean Grey, they could both finally be at peace.

THE END

**************************************************

AN: That's it! That's the end! From Chris Claremont to Greg Pak, I hope this story can do this tale justice! But what do you all think? How do you feel I handled the Phoenix? Please tell me! Send me your feedback via email or post it on the fanfiction website. Thank you all very much for reading. I deeply appreciate all your support. I hope you all continue to read and enjoy my stories and until next time, this is slickboy444 saying best wishes and peace out!

THE STORY MAY BE OVER, BUT THE PHOENIX IS ETERNAL! SO IN THE NAME OF FIRE AND PASSION, I URGE YOU TO REVIEW!

The universe is a big place...But it's still only tiny compared to the human spirit.
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