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Chapter 1


Written by Dandelion
Last updated: 07/09/2009 06:45:51 PM

Chapter 1

The quiet of night was interrupted by a psionic shockwave and Emmaís keening wail. I sat up bolt upright and reached for her as she thrashed under the covers of our bed. My ears were ringing and my vision was fuzzy but I had to try to reach her to see if she could tell me what had attacked us.

"Emma... EMMA!" I grabbed her wrists and shook her.

Her form turned to diamond, then back to flesh and to diamond again.

"Emma, what happened? What happened?!"

"Attacked me... he attacked me... He blew me apart..."


She shook herself and scrambled out of bed, stumbling against the wall as she pressed a hand to her head.

"Emma, who did this to you?!"

Her eyes finally lifted to meet mine. "Gambit."

Grabbing her hand, I dragged her behind me towards the wing where our íguestsí were staying. Various other members of the team and school were stumbling out of their rooms or milling about looking confused and uncertain. Emmaís telepathic shockwave clearly did more than just hit me.

I flung the door of the room where Remy and Jean were staying open to confront what had happened. They were awake, standing together and both turned towards me when I came in. Remyís face immediately hardened when he caught sight of Emma. The expression on his face was pure loathing... one I hadnít actually seen on him before and it took me aback.

Jeanís expression was neutral. She folded her arms across her chest as Remy rested his hands on her shoulders as he stood behind her. "Yes?"

"What in the hell is going on?" I demanded, focusing on Remy. "You attack Emma in the middle of the night? Care you explain yourself, Gambit?"

"Is that what she told you?" Remyís voice was low.

"Do you deny it?"

"I wouldnít call it an attack," Remy replied. "More like self-defense."

"The question, Scott," Jean said quietly. "Is just what was Emma doing in Remyís head in the first place?"

I looked back at Emma who still swayed on her feet wearing a stunned expression. My eyes went further back to see the various senior members of the team standing and observing the confrontation with interest. "Where are the kids?" I wondered idly.

"I sent them back to bed," Jean replied. "They donít need to be a part of this. The X-Men..." she mulled that one over a bit, "should be."

"Emma says that you attacked her," I repeated, targeting Remy again.

"Remy canít initiate a psionic attack, Scott," Jean pointed out. "Heís never been able to do that. Isnít that right, Hank?"

Hank, suddenly finding himself to be the center of attention, cleared his throat and nodded. "This is true. And he tested all of his capabilities after his undercover operations with Apocalypse and Sinister to see if anything new had been opened. His kinetic abilities are stronger than ever but he hasnít added offensive psionics to his repertoire. "

"Remy can react to a psionic attack," Jean clarified. "But he canít make one himself."

The anger that was roiling around in the pit of my stomach seemed to harden. As Remy and Jeanís visit to the mansion had progressed I had felt the powder keg within myself getting increasingly more volatile. I was letting my simmering resentment and my own unresolved issues get the better of me.

The problem was that I didnít care.

"Anyway, Emmaís fine," Jean continued. "She just got thrown for a loop."

"She is not fine and donít dismiss this!" I took a step towards Jean. Her sudden blasé attitude enraged me for some reason. "You donít even know what he did to her!"

"I know exactly what happened, Scott," Jean replied. "Remy already filled me in on the whole encounter. What did Emma tell you?"

"That Gambit attacked her!"

"I can tell you what happened, Scott," Remy hissed. I focused on him again. He was practically quivering with rage and it was all directed at Emma. "But maybe you better ask your lady exactly what she was doing in my head in the first place."

"Whatís the problem anyway?" Jean followed up with a malicious purr. "Whatever happened... itís just thoughts."

And the powder keg blew. "God dammit, Jean!! Itís not just thoughts when thereís a telepath involved!! You should know that."

A long silence stretched out between all of us. My words seemed to echo throughout the entire mansion. A cold sweat broke out on my forehead and my mouth felt suddenly and inexplicably dry. My great lie had just been exposed. I walked into it... I know that. But, again, I didnít care.

"I do know that, Scott," Jean replied serenely. "Itís good to know that you do, too."

"What the hell sort of game are you two playing?" I asked. "Is all of this some sort of set up to make me admit to something? What do you want to hear, Jean? That I cheated on you with Emma? Fine! I cheated on you with Emma! Happy now?"

Jean rolled her eyes in disgust. "Oh yes. Iím happy. Iím so happy, Scott. Youíre right. This has all been one big scam to get you to cop to something. I came back from the dead and went running to Remy so we could hatch this brilliant scheme of coming here and calling you out on your evasive bullshit. Oh happy day! It worked like a charm! At 2:47 in the morning! Just like we planned it!!"

I scowled. This vicious sarcasm was not particularly in keeping with the Jean I knew.

"The sad thing is we probably should have predicted some sort of telepathic meddling from that bitch," Jean continued, incensed, nodding at Emma behind me. "And thatís where this whole thing really starts, you know. Itís the part you insist on glossing over with your demands to know what Remy did. And Emma is still uncharacteristically silent about what she was doing in the first place!"

"What did happen?" Kitty finally spoke up. Her suspicious glare at Emma suggested she had a pretty good notion. For that matter, Logan and Rachel were eyeing Emma as well. The others looked distinctly more uncomfortable by the minute. "Before Gambit attacked."


"Itís a fair question," she said firmly. "Remy says it was ímore like self-defense.í That suggests that it wasnít exactly self-defense and Iíd like to get clarification on that as well. But the bigger question is what led to the íattack.í" She used air-quotes on that one. "Emma hasnít said much at all to give us her side of the story but Jean is correct in that Remy isnít capable of initiating a psionic attack. The shockwave that woke us all up was psionic. I would wager that weíd be able to monitor exactly who it came from if it comes down to that as well. But first things first..." Kitty tilted her head and appraised Emma. "Did you go into Remyís mind?"

"He blew my psionic being apart," Emma said shakily, pointing an accusing finger at Remy. "I can barely put my thoughts together right now and Iím being asked, no, demanded, to account for everything?"

"Want some help?" Jean offered blandly.

"You stay out of my head!!" Emma cried fiercely.

"Oh, is that rule for everyone or just me?" Jean shot back. "You seem to think itís your right to go mucking about in everyone elseís head. As thatís exactly what you did to Remy. Why arenít you just coming out and admitting? Upset that you got caught? Embarrassed, perhaps? Angry, are you?"

"All right, all right," I held up my hands to try to settle things down. "Perhaps I may have over-reacted and for that Iím sorry but..."

"Is that supposed to be an apology?!" Remy spat out. "Are you kidding me? Your immediate accusations donít hold up but you sure as fuck donít call your girlfriend out for her part in this do you?" He shook his head. "I donít give a damn about your apologies, Scott. I want an apology from her." He pointed at Emmy so ferociously it almost seemed like an attack.

"Donít hold your breath," Emma hissed.

"Everyone calm down!" I shouted. "Just calm down! Clearly thereís more to this and we will get to the bottom of it. We just need to take a step back and in the morning..."

"We ainít staying," Remy growled.

Jean turned slightly to look at Remyís face when he said that. She studied him for a moment and then nodded. Instantly, their items began flying about the room and packing themselves into their suitcases. "Rachel," she said softly. "Would you call us a cab please?"

Rachel looked inordinately sad but nodded and excused herself.

"Thereís no reason for this," I told Remy.

"There sure as hell is," he glared at me, his red eyes hard. "I ainít sleeping under this roof while your girlfriend feels it is her right to come into my head and start playing her mind games. She ainít going to tell you, Scott, but I will. She did it to mess with me and Jean. Bank on that. All these years Iíve been here and it comes to this? Weíve had scores of telepaths and none of them took the liberties that your girlfriend does. This is how you treat guests? Go fuck yourself. Weíre leaving. Now get the hell out of our room so we can change."

The others moved swiftly away, distancing themselves from me and Emma as much as from Remy and Jeanís room. Kurt, Kitty and Logan huddled together in hushed discourse. Hank and Bobby stood together silently. Hank was watching me. Bobby had his eyes trained on Emma.

I put my arm around Emmaís shoulders and escorted her back into our room. She sat down on the bed wearily, raising a hand to pinch the bridge of her nose delicately. I sat down in an armchair and watched her for a moment. "Did you go into Remyís mind?"

She snapped her head up and glared at me. "Et tu?"

"Itís just you and me, Em," I sighed. "Letís not go through the long drawn out process of pretending again, okay?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Itís just thoughts," I said. "Thatís what you told me when we started our affair. I clung to that. I pretended that as long as it was just thoughts it wasnít real. I was lying to myself and I knew it. I lied to everyone else. You gave me the lie and I ran with it. I got outted tonight and I really donít feel like going through another mess like that. I donít want to have a scene in the hallway two years from now where I have to admit that you instigated something ugly because you could. So just answer the question, will you?"

She stared at me in grim silence for a while. Then lifted her chin. "Yes."

"Yes what?"

"Yes, I went into his head. Yes, I toyed with him about Jean," she ticked the items off on her fingers. "Yes, I did it because I could."

I shook my head. This was bad. "I defended you, Em."

"And I appreciate that, darling."

"Do you?" I leaned my head on my hand. "What was the point of it? To show Jean you could get to her man again?"

Her cool façade faltered a bit.

"I know you have your issues with Jean. Believe me, I know. I suppose it was easier to deal with when she was dead," I really didnít know what I was supposed to do about all of this. Everyone has their issues but Emmaís issues just weakened our team in a big way. How were any of them supposed to trust her? The faith within the team was shaky enough as it was. "I love you, Emma. I really do but youíre going to have to ask yourself a hard question."

"And that is?"

"Do you love me more than you hate Jean?"

She looked away and I knew I wasnít going to get an answer from her tonight. I stood up. "Get some rest."

"Are you going to her?"

"Sheís leaving. I should at least say goodbye."

The rest of the team was milling about in the foyer saying their goodbyes already. Remy was leaning against the wall in the foyer by the suitcases while Jean hugged Rachel tightly. "You are welcome any time," she was saying. "Please come visit soon."

"I will," Rachel promised. "What are you guys going to do? You werenít supposed to leave for a few more days."

"Weíll just extend our stay in New York," Jean replied with a shrug, spotting me as I came down the stairs. "We were meeting up with some design groups to talk about some extended work in New Orleans. Weíll just have an extra day or so to enjoy the city. Itíll be fun."

Rachel hugged her again. "Iím glad youíre back, Mom." She turned to Remy and gave him a wave. "Take care of her."

"She does fine on her own, Rach," he smiled though his smile was still strained. "But Iíll keep an eye out."

I approached Jean slowly as Remy pushed himself off the wall to stand next to her. "I really wish you guys were staying."

"Why?" Jean asked.

"I just donít like you leaving like this."

"How would you like us to leave," Remy asked curtly.

"Thereís no reason to be..." I trailed off. Actually there every reason to be any thing they wanted to be. I shrugged. "I would have preferred to straighten it all out."

"I donít think there is anything to straighten out," Jean said. "We donít belong here and thatís fine. All we really wanted to do was let you all know I was back and I was fine, tie up a few loose ends, the rest was just... whatever. Remy and I have our lives to get back to and now you can get back to yours."

A honk out front signaled the arrival of the taxi. Remy gathered up some suitcases and opened the door.

"Donít forget those papers, Scott," Jean reminded me. "Iíll be expecting them." She turned, grabbed the rest of the bags and left. Remy met my gaze coldly for several moments and then he was gone, slamming the door behind him.

"What papers is she talking about, Scott?" Hank asked as he came up next to me.

"Divorce papers," I said quietly. "She gave them to me shortly after she arrived. Well," I turned, attempting to shake it all off, "kind of an early start to the day, huh?"

"And I thought oblivious was my specialty," Bobby spoke up. He shook his head with a snort. "Iím going back to bed. I wonít be getting up for any training exercises or the like, Fearless Leader. Donít bother trying." He took the steps two at a time and disappeared down the hall.

I looked at Hank questioningly. He just sighed. "The proverbial elephant in the room has been exposed to all, Scott. Think on that." He, too, retired for the rest of the night. What little there was of it.

I went to my study instead of the bedroom. I took out the divorce papers that Jean had given me and slid the papers around on my desk. I always knew that if Jean came back things would change.

I just hadnít expected it to be like this.


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