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What Plaited Cunning Hides (What’s Past is Prologue 9/18) - Mo's Journal
July 26th, 2005
06:52 am

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What Plaited Cunning Hides (What’s Past is Prologue 9/18)
“So?”

“So what?”

“Aren’t you going to tell me about him?”

“Ezra, mon petit, pas ici. Sorry, tell you about who, Wendy?”

“The guy you spent the night with.”

“Nothing to tell. Some trick. Here on business.”

“You must have liked him. You stayed the whole night.”

“He was okay. Nice enough. I won’t see him again.”

“You didn’t even exchange numbers? April, honey, would you get Ezra’s ball back for him?”

“No, he asked, but I made some excuse.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want to see him again. I don’t want to see anybody again. I’m not looking for a relationship. Besides, he doesn’t even live here.”

“Where does he live?”

“DC. And he’s a reporter. A friend of Jake Patterson’s, as it turns out. The whole thing was starting to feel... I don’t know, incestuous or something.”

“Does he know Adam?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t tell him Adam’s name. Merde!”

“What’s wrong?”

“Do we have to talk about Adam?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring him up.”

“You didn’t. I’m not mad at you – I’m mad at me. I didn’t tell this guy – Rick – Adam’s name, but I talked about Adam to him. I told him my ex is a reporter. And just about choked on saying ‘ex’ when I did.”

“I’m sorry, sweetie.”

“Thanks. I did stay the night, but I thought about Adam pretty much the whole night – even when I was doing it with Rick. Can’t I go a day without thinking, talking, obsessing about Adam Greenfield? I’m sure he’s not spending his time dwelling on where we went wrong. Why should I?”

“This is so hard, isn’t it?

“Oui. I hate myself when I’m like this.”

“Is there no hope? No chance you’ll get back together?”

“Doesn’t seem likely, does it? I’m here with you and he’s in San Francisco getting fucked by Jake Patterson. Couldn’t wait until next week when Ezra’s supposed to be with me. Just dumps him on me with a quick ‘thanks for covering for me,’ tells Ezra he’ll call him every day, and he’s off.”

“What makes you think he’s with Jake?”

“Oh, come on Wendy. You didn’t believe that secret mission story, did you?”

“Yeah, I do. I don’t know what he’s doing, but whatever it is, Adam’s doing it for Scott. For the X-Men. I totally believe it. He told me he couldn’t talk about it, but he was absolutely serious about its importance. Scott didn’t say anything to you about it? You’re with him enough these days.”

“No, he didn’t say anything. And you’re right - Cyclops has me in his office all the time. He’s been giving me assignments, talking about what’s going on with the X-Men. I’ve been in on all the team meetings and there hasn’t been a single mention of this supposed mission of Adam’s. Don’t you think that’s suspicious?”

“Yeah, but not the way you’re thinking. It makes me wonder what Cyclops is sending Adam to do that he doesn’t want the rest of the team to know. Jean-Paul, I’m not saying Adam hasn’t made mistakes. I could just shake him for not at least trying to work it out with you.”

“He says he hasn’t decided yet. He says he still loves me, but he’s scared we can’t make a go of it. He doesn’t know what to do.”

“I believe that. But the longer he waits the harder it will be. He’s deciding by indecision, and I hate it.”

“Moi aussi.”

“And I just know you two are meant to be together. I’m not too thrilled with Adam these days. But one thing he isn’t is a liar. If he were running off to Jake’s he might tell you that, or not. He might demur when you asked where he’s going, but he wouldn’t make up something like this. If Adam says he’s on an X-Men mission, that’s what he’s doing, even if Scott isn’t telling what it is. I’m sure of it.”

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

“Jake? Adam.”

“Hi! I was just thinking about you. I figured I’d wait until later to call, until Ezra’s in bed. Are you all settled back in DC?”

“No, change of plans. I’m not in DC.”

“Still in Westchester? Is Jean-Paul there, too?”

“He’s there. So is Ezra, but I’m not. I’m in Goodland, Indiana.”

“Where’s that?”

“About 80 miles from Chicago. It’s where Scott Summers grew up.”

“Don’t tell me you’re investigating him, too!”

“Yeah, but it’s not what you think. The Herald didn’t send me here. Scott did.”

“What?”

“He wants me to do my own investigation, so he can be prepared for whatever Rick Kapell finds.”

“You told him about Rick? How did he react?”

“I didn’t get a chance to tell him. He already knew all about Rick investigating him. Sounds like Rick called half the X-Men, as well as a bunch of other people Scott knows.”

“Wow! So did Scott tell you what the skeletons in his closet are?”

“No, he didn’t tell me anything, just that he wants me to see what I can find and report back. He said he wasn’t going to give me any information, so I’d be on even footing with Rick. But of course I’m not, really.”

“Right. You knew to go to Dumbfuck, Iowa.”

“Goodland, Indiana, but close enough. Yeah, I already knew where he’s from. I don’t think Rick will. In fact, I think Rick’s probably in Peru.”

“Peru? Why Peru?”

“Jake, this is all confidential. You understand? You can’t tell anybody any of this, particularly not Rick Kapell.”

“Of course I won’t. You can trust me.”

“I know. I just thought I should say it. Anyway, why Peru? Not the country. Peru, Vermont. Charles Xavier had a ski house there. Scott’s passport lists Vermont as his birth place. I checked vital records in Peru. He’s got a birth certificate that says he was born there, child of Charles Xavier and a Maria Summers. She never existed, as far as I can tell. It’s a complete fake, but a really good one. It looks like Charles went to a lot of trouble to give Scott a new origin.”

“Which makes you wonder what was so bad about the old one.”

“Exactly. Well, one thing about the fake birth certificate – it seems to have used his real birthday. At any rate, one Christopher Scott Summers, Jr. was born on May 14, 1978, here in Indiana. And that’s the same day that Scott Xavier Summers was supposedly born at home in Peru. You want to bet that Junior went by his middle name?”

“I won’t take that bet. So, what are you going to do next?”

“Nothing tonight. Well, except call Marv and make some more excuses for why I’m not back at work. Although I did send him the NIH piece, so maybe he’ll just yell at me about whatever he thinks is wrong with it. That might distract him from yelling at me for being out in the middle of nowhere when I’m supposed to be back in DC.”

“I bet there’ll be nothing to yell at you about.”

“That’s the problem – I think it’s pretty good. I should have written a piece of crap to distract him. Oh well. I’ll call him soon.”

“Where are you staying?”

“Some motel. But I don’t know how long I’ll be here. Just call me on my cell.”

“Adam?”

“Yeah?”

“I miss you. I want to be with you.”

“I’ll see you next week... I miss you, too. Last weekend was great. Particularly that last time, Sunday morning. I can almost feel it again, just thinking about it.”

“I can see your face if I close my eyes. I bet you’re getting that kind of glassy look in your eyes you have when I fuck you. That sort of unfocussed look – it makes me hard just thinking about it.”

“I’m glad you think it’s hot, but I’m afraid it’s just myopia. That’s okay, laugh at my infirmity. I don’t mind... Hey, Jake – I ended up with one of your sweaters. Sorry. It was an accident.”

“That’s fine. Must mean you want to come back. Which one?”

“Navy blue cashmere pullover. It’s just like one of mine, except mine’s charcoal grey. I think I must have packed in low light or something, and mixed them up.”

“I don’t have a sweater like that. I know yours – I was scheming to borrow it. I love cashmere. But I was sure you packed it.”

“Well, I don’t know where it is then. Or where this one came from. Oh well, a mystery. I think I’ll work on my main mystery instead. First thing tomorrow, I’m going to visit Christopher and Katherine Summers and see if I can find out what they think became of their son.”

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

“Jean, I know you wanted to talk to all three of us together, but Adam’s on a mission right now, so it’s just Jean-Paul and me.”

“Yes, Scott told me he’d sent him on one. Well, we can fill him in when he gets back. I’ve tested both boys. You understand how the X-gene testing works?”

“Pas moi. Anjuli read your paper and tried to explain it to me, but it kind of went in one ear and out the other. It doesn’t matter. I don’t need to know how it works. I trust you that it does, Jean, and that’s enough for me.”

“Well, I really do think it works. Or at least I did. The theory’s sound and I’ve gotten consistent results. I’ve tested everyone here at Xavier’s – including non-mutant staff – and all the people at the Outpost, too. I can reliably tell who’s a mutant and who isn’t. I thought it worked even before manifesting. It should – it’s not dependent on the X-gene activating.”

“Yes, that was quite clear in the paper. I’m really glad of this technique, Jean. I’m counting on it to confirm what seems to be happening - that Hank’s a mutant and coming into his powers. And Jean-Paul and Adam want to know about Ezra, too.”

“Yes, well I was hoping I’d be able to give you that information. But now I’m not so sure.”

“Why?”

“I’ve tested repeatedly and I always get the same results. What I’m seeing is indication that Ezra’s a mutant, but Hank isn’t.”

“What?”

“Yeah, I don’t know what to make of that. It’s Hank who appears to be manifesting, and so early. At first I thought I just mixed up my samples. But I’ve repeated the tests; I’ve had my assistants do them for me... I’m getting the same results each time. I don’t know what other explanation there is for Hank’s skin color changing to blue and back all the time, but – if I’m right that this method works – it’s not a mutant power.”

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

“Hi, stranger. Do you feel like flying? We could head over to Bear Mountain. Go for a swim in the lake there.”

“Um. Maybe later. I’m meeting RoseAnn in a few minutes. I’m sorry.”

“Far be it from me to stand in the way of young love. I’ll catch you later.”

“Uh, Warren? Do you have a minute?”

“Sure. What’s up?”

“Well, it’s about RoseAnn and me... You know what I said to you about me being a virgin?”

“You’re not anymore? Way to go.”

“No, I still am. We haven’t... we might... It’s just, well, neither of us ever did it before.”

“Everybody has to have a first time.”

“I’m just worried... I don’t know, worried that I won’t do it right or something. Could you... I don’t know... just tell me what it’s like?”

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

“Hi, Logan.”

“Hey. I’m glad to find you alone.”

“Well, just for a couple of minutes. I’ve got Jean-Paul coming for a meeting at 2:00.”

“What’s going on?”

“Assorted X-Men stuff. And I’m still trying to talk him into teaching.”

“Haven’t you convinced him yet?”

“He’s insecure about his lack of formal education. I’m trying to help him get over that. And talking to him about going back to school himself.”

“And you need this much time alone with him? You’re starting to smell like him, Cyclops.”

“Logan, don’t start this. You know there’s nothing going on between Northstar and me.”

“I don’t know that. I know there’s next to nothing going on between you and me. Nothing at all if I don’t push you to. I figure you’re getting it somewhere else.”

“I’m not doing it with anybody else. Believe me or not – it’s the truth.”

“How come you and Northstar were both out all night the other night?”

“I was on a mission. With Nightcrawler and Storm, for chrissakes! You know that. I have no idea where Jean-Paul was. I don’t monitor his activities when he’s not working.”

“I know you. You’re not like this. You don’t like doing without.”

“I’m not feeling exactly like myself lately.”

“Scott, he’s dead. You don’t have to live your life by what he wanted you to do.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You think just because he didn’t like me and you being together you’ve got to find someone he’d approve of now that he’s dead? That’s so fucked.”

“It would be fucked if I were doing it. I’m not. It’s nothing like that. Charles gave his... blessing, if you want to call it that, to you and me before he died, for what it’s worth. And it’s not worth much. I didn’t let his objections stop me before and I wouldn’t now. You’re my lover. I just don’t feel like sex much lately. Look, I’ll try. I’ll work on it. I know this isn’t fair to you.”

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Comments
 
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 26th, 2005 01:14 pm (UTC)

OKAY

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Overall a somber chapter needed the down time from all the drama. Don't really think Adam should be divulging so much info to Jake about the whole Scott thing. And god Rick's name was just flying all over this chapter can't wait til the shit hit the fan. Even though Jamie had little air time the scene with him asking Warren what its like is too bloody hilarious. I wish I could see his face. So Logan and Scott having little problems well hope they work it out. I'm thinking that maybe Ezra is the one that is changing the colours of things remember his toy J_P thought it was a different colour.

Vision
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From:mofic
Date:July 26th, 2005 01:29 pm (UTC)

Re: OKAY

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Don't really think Adam should be divulging so much info to Jake about the whole Scott thing.

I agree. Adam may yet come to agree with you and me on this one.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 26th, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)

Re: OKAY

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I don't want to be hating on Adam and Jake deliberately but something about how Jake keeps pushing the questions just seems more than the concerned lover and more like a reporter investigating.

Vision
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 26th, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC)

Re: OKAY

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True. I feel more or less the same. And I really hope Jean-Paul wouldn't cause much damage because of his encounter with Rick. In my opinion he had enough problem and trouble for his share recently, he needs some happiness.

Flare
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From:mofic
Date:July 26th, 2005 03:42 pm (UTC)

Re: OKAY

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I am doing this one-story-per-day bit because this series is so long and it seemed only polite not to overwhelm inboxes or friends' lists. But I'm really enjoying all the mid-term discussion!
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From:eveningblue
Date:July 27th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)

Logan & Scott

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Why is Logan being so insensitive? Is his sex drive so strong that he can't imagine ever being without it. It is not uncommon for a person to temporarily lose interest in sex after the death of someone close. Why doesn't Logan get it?

Someone needs to turn him onto Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. :-)

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From:mofic
Date:July 27th, 2005 02:47 am (UTC)

Re: Logan & Scott

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Bwah! I think he's been doing pretty well, generally. But he is Logan. He's not exactly Mr. New Age Sensitive Lover. And I do think it's hard for him to understand Scott's lack of interest in sex, because he's generalizing from his own experiences and tendencies and when he's depressed he finds sex helps.

Also, he's always been possessive of Scott and worried about Scott and other men, particularly Jean-Paul. I do think that when you get together the way they did, with Scott deceiving his lover of the time, it leaves you with some trust issues.

Anyway, I think he's mostly been very supportive and he's bound to have some moments where he's less so. I also think it was probably good for them that they had this conversation, because Logan's theory that Scott was enacting some posthumous act of filial piety was not so far-fetched. I think it was probably good for him to hear that Charles had spoken positively of their relationship before he died.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 27th, 2005 03:15 am (UTC)

Re: Logan & Scott

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Hello! I'm a new visitor to this livejournal, but I've reading reading (and loving) Mo's fic elsewhere for a long time. Anyway, here's my little contribution. I hadn't thought of Scott's disinterest in sex as a reaction to Xavier's death (insensitive of me too, perhaps? :) ). I'd thought of it as being an effect of the anxiety Scott has to be feeling about the Rick guy's investigation. Probably a combination of both things, I suppose. I wonder if Logan is having a hard time understanding it because he has the exact opposite reaction to stress and trauma (it makes him want nonstop sex)? I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't more unpleasantness in Scott's past than we know of that might be brought to the surface, though. His dad sounded like a sociopath from the little we've heard about him.

I'm excited to know we'll be encountering Scott's remaining family soon! I've been hoping we might discover what became of them.

OK that's enough jabbering from me.

Lissa
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From:mofic
Date:July 27th, 2005 10:40 am (UTC)

Re: Logan & Scott

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Hi, Lissa. I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed the stories. Nice "meeting" you here.

I do think there's a lot on Scott's mind. It's not just grief, but also the stress of taking over from Charles and of the whole Rick Kapell thing. I think Scott feels completely overwhelmed. And I think you are quite right that a large part of why Logan mistrusts Scott's lack of interest in sex is that Logan himself tends towards increased libido when under stress.

Also, Logan's never seen this in Scott before, and it's not like he hasn't seen him under stress before. The only analog he has for this behavior from Scott is when Scott stopped having sex with Jean. And Soctt wasn't saying why, but Logan knows it was because he was doing it with Logan. So, it's not so surprising (to me :-), anyway) that he'd jump to that conclusion when Scott's interest in sex with him plummets. Especially when Scott's spending so much time with Jean-Paul, whom Logan's always suspected of having a thing for Scott. Of course, poor Jean-Paul doesn't have a clue and has other things on his mind.


I'm excited to know we'll be encountering Scott's remaining family soon! I've been hoping we might discover what became of them.

Today's chapter tells some more about them. And introduces a comicsverse character I've been wanting to write for a while.
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From:eveningblue
Date:July 27th, 2005 03:10 am (UTC)
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He's not exactly Mr. New Age Sensitive Lover.

Ha! True.

</i> And I do think it's hard for him to understand Scott's lack of interest in sex, because he's generalizing from his own experiences and tendencies and when he's depressed he finds sex helps. </i>

Right.

Also, he's always been possessive of Scott and worried about Scott and other men, particularly Jean-Paul. I do think that when you get together the way they did, with Scott deceiving his lover of the time, it leaves you with some trust issues.

Yeah, somehow I always forget about that, maybe because I as a reader knew he'd end up with Logan and not Jean. But of course that's not the best way to start a relationship. And certainly the sex they had at first (Logan getting off, Scott not) was not the healthiest. So I can see why a return to that would be upsetting to Logan.

He sure is possessive. Do you think he equates possession with love?

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From:mofic
Date:July 27th, 2005 10:46 am (UTC)
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He sure is possessive. Do you think he equates possession with love?

No, I don't think so. I think he gets like that about Scott long before he perceives himself to be in love. He also doesn't look to Scott to be possessive of him as proof of his love, yk?

I don't think he really understands why he's like that, either. He muses on it at one point, in Taking Chances. He concludes that it's partly the animalistic side of him - territoriality - but that there's something else operating there, too. He feels that Scott's ability to keep his demons away through sex is somehow dependent on his believing that the sex is exclusive...

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From:eveningblue
Date:July 27th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm. It makes me think he must have been betrayed really badly at some point. Maybe he doesn't remember it but it must have affected him deeply.

We don't really know the circumstances under which he was taken by the Weapon X people, do we? Maybe he was turned over to them by someone he trusted, a lover or friend.

Just musing here--I know he's yours to play with however you see fit!

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From:mofic
Date:July 27th, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
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I think that's a really interesting idea about betrayal and Weapon X. OTOH, what we do know about his experiences is enough to screw anyone up! Torture and experimentation just doesn't leave people whole, yk? I think he functions remarkably well, given what he's been through. Even Charles :-) acknowledged that, eventually.
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From:eveningblue
Date:July 27th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
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OTOH, what we do know about his experiences is enough to screw anyone up! Torture and experimentation just doesn't leave people whole, yk?

Very true! And you're right, he does function remarkably well given all that. Something I love about Logan, yours and canon's, is that he's always struggling to be human.

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From:mofic
Date:July 28th, 2005 12:22 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that's a lot of the appeal of the character for me, too. He's never cured, never gets over it, but he keeps trying. When Scott tries to talk him out of killing himself in We're Not What You Think, Logan leaves him a note saying "Love and work you say? I'll give it a shot." That's how I see him. He's still giving it a shot, on both the love and the work fronts. Sometimes even succeeding.
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