Categories > Movies > X-Men: The Movie > Rise Firebird


by Plutospawn 0 reviews

Continuation of Days of the Phoenix. Not all battles are physical.

Category: X-Men: The Movie - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine - Published: 2005-09-04 - Updated: 2005-09-04 - 1673 words

It wasn't a request. It was an obligation. Not that he minded. He doubted that anything short of a bullet to the brain would have kept him from the first plane out of New York.
He had never been to Cairo, had never stepped foot on the African continent, actually. But that wasn't what was important. He drank coffee to occupy the time during the flight, to ensure that jetlag would wait. It would have to.
Ororo was waiting at the airport, just like she had promised. She greeted him with a hug, a bottle of water and a piece of fruit. An apple, not that it mattered. It was red, like the rest of his world.
The rental car had air conditioning, but Ororo preferred the windows rolled down. She offered him a comforting smile as she drove, but the storm cloud that seemed to follow them betrayed the weather witch.
Words failed him. Too many questions whipped through his mind and he lacked the cohesion to make any sense of them. It was the coffee, he decided. It was making him jittery.
"Scott?" Concern. That was the sound in her voice.
He rubbed at his temples. "How long until we get there?"
"About thirty minutes," she answered.
Thirty minutes. That was forever. But maybe it was too soon. He was just setting himself up for disaster.
"I was surprised when I heard that only you were coming," Ororo began. "I was certain that at least the professor would accompany you."
"No, this is something I need to do alone," Scott said. "To tell you the truth, I almost wish that you weren't here."
"I appreciate your honesty," Ororo replied. "But I'm not going anywhere."
They continued their drive in silence.
The Michael Milbury Medical Facility came into view and Scott tensed as he felt the car accelerate. He considered the expression on Ororo's face before he decided to say nothing. Instead, he tightly gripped his seat.
The facility seemed small against the backdrop of the vast desert, but Scott could see that the private establishment was wealthy and accommodating. He mentally went over his luggage checklist to distract himself. Toothbrush, deodorant, comb, a liter of Jack Daniels half finished. He snorted.
To lighten the mood a bit before he caught his plane, Kurt and Logan had presented Scott with the bottle of good old J.D. The two men chuckled apologies about the missing half liter; Kurt claimed that he had accidentally teleported it to another dimension. It was all in good fun, just so long as they cleaned the reek of liquor from their breaths before they returned to the mansion and students, Scott didn't care. Not really.
What he did worry about was Kurt and Logan's budding friendship. Scott wasn't exactly sure how he felt about it. When he had entered Xavier's mansion, Kurt was a quiet, kind, God-fearing individual. Scott simply didn't know the Incredible Nightcrawler well enough to see whether Logan was just able to get the blue furred man to open up or if he truly was a bad influence. When Kurt interrupted a students' practice session in the Danger Room, flung Rogue over his shoulder and challenged Jubilee to a "duel for the damsel," Scott had bit his tongue. Professor Xavier assured him that as long as that nonsense remained in the Danger Room, it was acceptable.
"Scott, we're here," Ororo said.
"Of course." Scott was out of the car before it had completely lurched to a halt.
Up the wheelchair accessible walkway and through the front door. His legs carried him quickly; his mind was in a daze. To the receptionist behind the counter.
"Can I help you sir?" she asked.
"I need to see the doctor here," Scott tried to keep his voice in check.
"Which doctor?" The receptionist tried to casually shift away from his leering form.
"We're looking for Dr. Nathaniel Essex." Ororo was at his side. She turned to him. "You should have waited for me."
Scott ignored her.
"Yes, Dr. Essex," Scott told the receptionist. "Is he here?"
"Why don't you sit tight for a moment," the receptionist suggested. "I'll give the doctor a call."
Scott continued to stand over the woman until Ororo took him by the arm and led him to a seat in the waiting room.
The receptionist did indeed pick up the phone. Scott couldn't make out the words; she was calling the doctor, wasn't she? He adjusted his ruby quartz glasses and continued his luggage checklist. A pair of sneakers, a pair of sandals, a pair of dress shoes, black, not brown. Three polo shirts, red, blue and yellow, two pairs of khaki shorts. How many pairs of underwear?
"Good afternoon. Melody said that you requested to see me?"
"Dr. Essex, I presume?" Scott bolted out of his chair and held his hand out to the other man.
The pale doctor nodded and shook Scott's hand.
"Is there anything that I can help you with?" Dr. Essex asked. "This facility is primarily used for research, so if you needed a doctor to treat you I'll gladly refer you to another establishment."
"No, it's nothing like that," Scott murmured.
"I called you earlier in regards to a patient of yours," Ororo cut in. "I'm Ororo Munroe."
"Ah, Ms. Munroe." Essex nodded. "You made no mention of your companion, however."
"Scott Summers," Scott offered.
"Well, Mr. Summers, I'm sure that Ms. Munroe informed you as to why you two are here," Essex said. "I won't bore you with chit chat, then. Follow me."
Ororo was a shadow on Scott's heels as they silently followed Dr. Essex. The doctor's hard soled shoes made dull clicks with every step, the only sound in the white, sterile hallways.
Down the hall, take a left, past a closet. Scott concentrated on the simple details. No sign of guards, he could blast his way out of the facility if need be. He glanced at Ororo, she offered a smile. He could blow a hole in the ceiling and Ororo could carry them out with a gust of wind. Then what? Run to the car while Ororo creates a sandstorm for cover. Scott shook his head. Any thought was better than the consistent clicks of the doctor's shoes, the smell of hypoallergenic cleansers.
"Here we are," Dr. Essex announced.
Scott frowned as the doctor punched in a six digit code to open the door. The light on the small console flashed from red to green and the door opened with a small sigh of released air.
He let nerves get the best of him as he pushed the doctor aside and stumbled into the room. It was grotesquely white, but behind Scott's glasses everything was tinted rose. He shuddered. It was the hair that stood out like a beacon to him. Time was supposed to stop, but instead it was rapidly spiraling away.
It was the jetlag, the lack of sleep. It was the coffee, it was the Jack Daniels. It was all those nights he had spent awake and alone. It was Jean. Oh God, it was Jean.
He barely felt Ororo's hand on his arm as she led him to the chair by the hospital bed. Hell, he hadn't known he had been crying until he saw the fat drops land on the sleeping face of the woman he loved.
Scott pitched forward in his seat and buried his face in Jean's hair. She smelled of the bland hospital soap. He'd remedy that soon. He'd send Ororo out for her best friend's favorite shampoo.
"It really is her," Ororo murmured.
Scott looked up and directed his gaze towards Dr. Essex.
"Several years of research," was the doctor's reply.
"Doctor, she's..."
"Pregnant?" Essex finished. "Yes, she's very pregnant. I'd say she's approximately eight months along. I'm amazed the fetus survived the treatment."
"Dr. Essex, why don't you give me a tour of the facility?" Ororo said. "We should leave them be."
"Of course." Dr. Essex allowed himself to be drawn from the room by the Kenyan woman.
Alone, Scott firmly grasped her cheek with his hand. Her soft flesh didn't crumble to ashes, didn't vanish. Tangible; he wasn't going insane.
"Oh God, Jean..."
He couldn't finish. He told himself he didn't have to. Telepaths always knew. He gingerly reached for her swelling belly. Scott was rewarded with a swift, insistent kick from the other side of the wall of flesh. How was that even possible?
Not important. Not now.
Scott pulled a small box out of his pants' pocket. In the past he had taken things for granted, he saw the shimmering hope of tomorrow so clearly that he was blinded to the potential of today.
As Jean and Storm flew out to rescue Nightcrawler, he had been a gibbering wreck as he drove Professor Xavier to visit his old friend. His mentor understood.
"I don't know what to do," Scott had said. "I've been practicing in front of a mirror for three weeks."
"I know," Xavier had replied. "Your thoughts are so loud they give me a headache."
"I just want everything to be perfect."
"Perfection is impossible, Scott. We're all flawed."
"What I mean is-"
"Scott." Xavier shook his head as a smile crept across his lips. "She will never be able to say 'yes,' no matter how much she wants to, if you don't ask."

He wouldn't be able to make up for the lost time, but he could make a fresh start. They could make a new beginning.
It was just a simple princess cut solitaire on a plain gold band, but it suited her. Jean didn't need a three pound jewel-encrusted weight on her finger as she worked in her lab.
It was meant for her finger, Scott decided. He had hoped that she would wake up as he slid the cold metal onto her ring finger, but her sleep wasn't disturbed. No fairytale ending in sight, Scott began his agonizing bedside vigilance.
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