The X-men and their world belong to Marvel, no profit or copy right infringement intended.
Scott paced in the cold silver hallway outside the medbay and waited for the official news. He didn't need the words, he could feel Jean's depression in his mind. Failure. His too.
He looked down at his uniform, specially designed to shed the blood and dirt that was ground into the seams, he could feel the tacky pull of drying blood in his sleeve where he'd done some field triage. Too late and too little - all of them.
They were all here. Ororo standing calm and tall, only a faint line between her brows marking worry as she stared fixedly at the closed door to the med bay as if pure concentration would make everything work out. Rogue to one side with Bobby, clinging to each other, white faced and frightened. No one had any comfort to spare for their youngest members. Scott's gaze moved, unwillingly, to Logan - and Remy. The two were sitting in the uncomfortable chairs set out for those who sat and waited; Remy was slumped wearily against Logan's shoulder, face slack, eyes closed. Like Scott, his uniform was bloody and filthy - he'd been the only one flexible enough to climb through the wreckage to the swift fading mental signature they'd been fighting so desperately to save. His face was a picture of exhausted misery and Scott wondered suddenly if Remy were a physical as well as an emotional empath. Was he sharing in the death happening on the other side of the blank silver door?
The only way to determine Logan's concern was by the fact that he was still here - outside the med bay he despised so thoroughly, his filthy face was expressionless. He had an unlit cigar clamped in his teeth and was canted slightly sideways to give Remy a place to rest his head. That was the only indication that he was even aware of Remy's misery but to Scott's eye it spoke volumes. Remy didn't want to leave until there was news and Logan was staying for him. The stab of envy made Remy stir and open his eyes, turning to look at him with a blurred weary gaze.
"Take him upstairs." Scott said abruptly. Logan looked up with a scowl as Scott gestured at Remy. "Go on. There's no need to - wait. I'll call up with any news."
Take him out of here, Scott begged Logan silently. After a long moment, Logan nudged the thief who'd fallen back into his exhausted stupor.
"Up, Cajun. Yer hittin the sack."
Logan stood and hauled Remy up by an arm, ignoring his scowl.
"No chile, me."
"Na - and yer still hittin' the sack. Come on. I need a smoke."
Scott watched as Logan chivvied, tugged and insisted until they were in the elevator and gone. He sent Rogue and Bobby off too, watching them go wearily. He wished, sometimes, that he didn't have to be the last man standing every single time.
"Not good then?" Ororo asked. Scott shook his head.
She only nodded. They waited.
"Not a chile." Remy muttered, too tired to care that he sounded exactly like one.
"Yup and if y'keep whinin' yer gonna get a spankin'"
That brought a wan smile to his face, though Remy knew that Logan wasnt up for games any more than he was. "Scotty send us away 'cause the girl died, you t'ink?"
Logan nodded as he kept on working on the bent buckles on Remy's boots. Remy stared down at his hair for a moment, then ran his fingers through it - dust and concrete grit pattered to the floor. They were filthy, blood and dirt covered, plaster dust had turned Logan's face into a white mask. "Need a bath, cher."
Logan only grunted as he finally freed Remy from his boots. He groaned in relief and let his head fall back on the chair. They were in Logan's room, closest to the elevator. There wasn't much in it, something that Remy felt was an offence to his acquisitive nature most of the time but right now he was only glad he didn't have to trip over anything as Logan finished stripping him and they made their way into the bathroom. Sitting on the john, Remy waited while Logan started the bath and stripped. All of his hair was matted down with sweat - Logan smelled pungent, like he always did after a fight, a smell Remy was still getting used to, like his cigars. Eyes half open, Remy watched Logan move with abstract appreciation. He was too tired for anything else.
Remy stepped into the tub, hissing at the near scalding heat. Steam twined around his legs and lay like a warm mist in the tiny room. "You too."
"Tub ain't big enough."
"All right, all right." Logan turned away. "Lemme take a leak first."
Logan wasn't the most private man in the world and Remy busied himself with wetting down a washcloth while Logan pissed and shook his cock off then clambered into the tub. Water sloshed, some spilling over the side to soak the bathmat.
"Wash your back, cher?"
Remy scrubbed more than Logan's back, making generous use of the soap and washcloth until they were both sudsy, clean and had managed to find a way to lie - not entirely uncomfortably - in the tub together. Lying with his head pillowed on Logan's wet shoulder and his feet sticking out of the water, Remy shut his eyes, content to go to sleep right there.
"Liked messing w'Scott did ya?" Logan said out of the silence.
Logan didn't say anything more.
"Talk American, Cajun."
"What about Scotty?"
"Man is screwed up."
"Knew that, Remy
Logan sighed, hand moving along his back restlessly. "Worried 'bout him."
Remy shifted, trying to get away from the dig of Logan's knee into his thigh, the tub gurgled and Logan grunted uncomfortably. "Can't make de homme do right by himself. Gotta get der on is own. Or not."
"Cyke is gonna explode one day."
"Eh - pr'bly." Remy muttered. "But we de clean up crew eh?"
Logan sighed. "Yeah, guess so. Just wish - didn't have to go so hard for him."
"Ouai. But sometimes hard is de only way, cher."
"This ain't the fun kinda hard."
"Ouai." Remy paused. "Not like watching it neither, cher."
Why couldn't it be like this all the time?
Jean was curled soft and warm in his arms, the smell of antiseptic and medicines fading into the smell of sleep and their bed. Scott rubbed his face against her hair, shutting his eyes and trying to sleep himself.
He'd finally been allowed to take Jean to bed, undress her, brush her hair down - both of them hypnotized by the motions - and they'd crept exhausted, under the covers. Jean had fallen asleep almost instantly, with a kiss against his forehead and gratitude in her mind. She was warm against him, familiar and comfortable but Scott couldn't sleep.
The girl they'd fought to save had died and her baby was under Hank's watchful eye - he might survive, an orphan. Scott shivered and drew Jean closer. They weren't equipped to raise an infant, they'd have to find another place for the boy - Scott struggled to push the thought aside. They weren't going to abandon him, they'd find a home for the baby. A home where he'd be loved. Protected. Safe.
Why was it like this only when they were unhappy?
Tomorrow would be more gentleness. This always happened; after fights, after combat, after tears. They'd forgive each other, cry together and promise to love each other. They'd share warm afternoons, gentle mornings, intimate dinners. Scott wouldn't press Jean for more. He wouldn't want more. Times like these - it seemed like what they had was enough. More than enough, all that he wanted.
Except he couldn't sleep.
He tried to push aside the memory of Logan in the dark, Remy in the dark and the memory of heat - succeeded mostly. It was just that he couldn't sleep. Finally, admitting defeat, Scott slipped from bed before he woke Jean. He dressed in the dark and eased out of the room.
This time he stole Logan's bike.
Scott had been to this part of the city before, only at night, only alone. With the growl of the Harley's engine still humming in his bones and the familiar hunger gnawing at him, Scott didn't even bother with the bars this time. All he wanted was to get this over with and go home. This wasn't his life. This was just -
"lookin fer dirty men"
Scott stiffened and cut off the memory of Logan's voice.
Around here, no one cared that he wore sunglasses at night. No one asked his name, or gave him theirs. Here among the warehouses and dark corner bar, everyone was nameless, faceless. Just postures, men leaning against brick walls and watching him with hard eyes, tight T-shirts and jeans as anonymous as his own T-shirt and jeans. Scott paced the meat market with a swagger unlike his usual walk, feeling the eyes rake up and down his body and breathing hard at the excitement it caused.
"Love it when a guy looks at y'like y'the main dish."
Scott turned abruptly to a man lingering near a narrow, dark alley, wrestling Logan - any thoughts of the man, the mansion, of anything away again. The man he'd chosen was tall, dark, powerful and a complete stranger. Prison tattoo's decorated his arms, his fly was half unzipped to show the dark nest of pubic hair and the root of his cock. Scott swallowed.
"Come on." He said roughly, passing the man and going into the dark. The dark was familiar and Scott could already feel that odd distance creeping up on him, even as he let himself be shoved into the concrete wall, even as he unbuckled his belt and the stranger rubbed his hand over Scott's shoulder blades.
"Gonna fuck you hard, boy."
"Yeah." Scott said blankly. Only his cock seemed alive, throbbing hot at the words and the feel of cold air as Scott dropped his pants. He positioned himself; hands on the wall, pants at his knees, head bowed and listened to the crinkle of plastic and latex as the man pulled out a condom and rolled it on. The sound was familiar and a turn-on, like the grit under his boots, the feel of concrete under his hands.
Why didn't he ever feel this way with Jean?
Scott squeezed his eyes shut, shuddering. He forced the thought away - the memory of Jean away. She didn't belong here. Of course he never felt this way for her - this wasn't what he wanted with Jean. This was filthy. This wasn't really him. This was just -
"You ain't paying attention, boy!" A hard smack on his bare ass made Scott jerk and hiss. "Spread 'em."
Shuddering, Scott shifted, spreading his legs in the confinement of his jeans, angling his hips out in invitation. "Just fuck me!"
He was so hard now, it hurt and another smack made him groan, toss his head as the sweet burn spread. Another smack, harder and he gasped. Bucked, cock bobbing. Wanting more. He kept his eyes closed, focused on the pain, the tight ache of his balls. Didn't think. Only felt.
"Want it don't ya boy."
"Just do it!"
"Ow! God - " Scott bit off the rest - the plea for more. He was hot now, sweating, and he remembered Logan suddenly and being pinned down under the man's weight. The next blow pulled him back to the alley and the dark.
"You ain't the one calling the shots now, boy."
"Tell me what you want."
Love the way a cock feels, and looks and tastes -"
The next blow made him shout. Scott jerked back then was shoved into the wall with a grunt. The man behind him shoved his knee between his legs and the rub of denim against his sore ass made his cock throb even as he struggled to escape. A hard cock nudged between his thighs, poking at his balls. Shuddering, whisky laden breath warmed the nape of Scott's neck.
"No? Who the hell are you telling no?" A hard hand gripped his ass, forcing his clenched muscles apart. The slick, hot tip of a cock pushed at him. "You're hot, boy, need it don't you? Tell me you want it."
Scott twisted, panting, knees scraped against the wall. He twisted his head aside, catching a glimpse of the entrance to the alley - the streetlight light there seemed so bright now. It was so dark here. So dark.
"Y'already living half your life in dirty alleys, Scott."
He couldn't see much past the tattooed arm braced by his head and the first rough thrust made Scott cry out in pain and pleasure. Trapped, he couldn't move, just feel the tearing, rough shove of a cock inside him. Deeper. More. It hurt. Scott sagged into it - onto it, held up by the ramming cock inside him.
"That's what you want isn't it? A good - hard - fuck!"
A gold ring glinted in the light from the streelamp on the man's fist. A wedding ring. Pure. Beautiful.
"Maybe had a wife t'go home to and was just - getting his ich scratched in an back alley with a desperate boy he didn't know?"
There was no air. He couldn't breathe. Frantic, Scott fought suddenly to get free even as the man pounded his cock into him. He couldn't breathe. Had to get away. Couldn't be here. Rammed an elbow back into hard ribs, heard the choked curse and cried out at the pain as the man tore his cock free.
"What are y'gonna be like ten years from now, Cyke?"
"What the fuck?!" The man slammed a fist into Scott's back, his kidneys. Scott buckled, managing a clumsy punch and feeling trapped, nightmarishly slow. All his training deserted him, leaving him helpless.
More blows, harder, rougher. Scott's lip split. "Want it rough, boy? I got rough. No one tells me no!"
"No!" This wasn't him. This wasn't him. He wasn't here. This wasn't happening. "NO! NO!"
Shouting, even on the ground, on his belly in the filth. Sick. More blows, not fighting back, not able to fight back. Couldn't breathe. Couldn't escape. The pain of a cock rammed deep. Scott couldn't pretend this wasn't happening. Couldn't find the place where none of this was real. Fought. He fought and fought and couldn't get free. Couldn't breathe. Only -
This was him. Here. This was what he was. What he'd become. Scott was hard, bucking back into the fuck, into the beating. Wanting it. Hating it. Hating himself.
"Get out of the fuckin' alley, Scott. Y'don't have to live there."
The man finished, coming into him with a grunt and giving Scott a brutal kick as he left. He tried to make it up, stand, leave the alley but fell back with a cry at the pain in his back. Scott could feel blood trickling down his thighs - he wondered, vaguely, how badly he'd been hurt.
He rolled over, staring at the light. He wanted out of here, out of the alley.
Scott struggled in the dirt, realizing that he must have hit his head in the fight. He wasn't a hero now. Not Cyclops. Just - Scott. There was no escaping that.
Lying there, wondering if he was going to die - managing to feel ashamed at the thought of being discovered like this - but even that shame wasn't enough to get him up, Scott realized he needed help. He couldn't get out of the alley on his own. He'd been trying for years and he was still here.
"Help - " he muttered dazedly. "Someone - I don't want to be here anymore."