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Returning Spring - Story 8 - Mo's Journal
February 19th, 2005
07:14 am

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Returning Spring - Story 8
Were Man As Rare As Phoenix (Returning Spring, 8/10)

Ethan Leeds sat at his desk. Jean-Paul Beaubier was seated in the chair across from him. Ethan had suggested they move to the seating area at the other side of the office, but Jean-Paul had shook his head and said they could cover what they needed to right there.

“Thank you for coming by today,” Ethan began. “I had thought that Mr. Langkowski would be with you, though.”

“Walter can come talk to you tomorrow. We can’t both be away from that house at the same time.”

“Why is that?”

“We can’t leave Cassandra alone with her. It’s not safe.”

“Alone? Aren’t there still two FBI men at the house in Peru?”

“They don’t know the first thing about how to protect her, copain. Not from a powerful telepath. I don’t know who this woman is, but she’s got powers those FBI guys aren’t equipped to deal with. Powers Jean Grey never had. Vraiment.”

“I asked you to come here because Charles Xavier told me that you are convinced that this is not Jean, that she’s an imposter. Are you so sure?”

“Mon dieu! You met her, didn’t you? Do you really think that’s Jean Grey?”

Ethan stopped to think before answering. “Truly, I don’t know. If I didn’t have you, and Charles Xavier, and Scott Summers all thinking otherwise, well, yes I would think that is Jean. There aren’t a lot of doppelgangers around, you know.”

“Maybe we travel in different circles.” Ethan’s eyebrows raised. “I was kidding,” Jean-Paul added. “Yes, I realize it seems peculiar – bizarre even – to say that this isn’t Jean. But I have proof.”

“Proof?”

“Oui. But slow down a minute. Let me explain.” Northstar stopped to collect his thoughts. “I worried from as soon as she got there that this wasn’t Jean. How she greeted me, for a start.”

“How did she greet you?”

“Nice. Too friendly. We’d worked together from time to time over the years, Jean and I. We managed. We teamed up when we were told to. But, bien sur, we’d never gotten along. She was always very professional with me, but never warm. She didn’t like me and she made that very clear.”

“Why didn’t she like you?”

“Oh, I think she thought I had my eye on her boyfriend.”

“And did you?” Jean-Paul just shrugged. “So, she was friendly, you say?”

“Oui. Too friendly from the start. And then way too friendly pretty quickly. I’ve been out a long time. Jean Grey – the real Jean Grey – knew I have no interest in women. This one – well, she seemed to think all the men in that house are interested in her. Or could be, if she tried hard enough.”

“You felt she was coming on to you?”

“I didn’t just feel it. She was doing it. Playing with my brain – looking to play with the rest of me. And she was really surprised it didn’t work.”

“And this you feel is proof?”

“No, this is what convinced me I needed to get proof. Like I said, she was playing with my brain. I’ve known enough telepaths – I could tell what she was doing. So, I set a trap for her.”

“What kind of trap?”

“A false memory. She’d already realized she’d screwed up with me – had found out she approached me the wrong way. Tried to cover it up – told me she was just trying to be friendly, trying to start over with me. She said her imprisonment had left her realizing she didn’t want animosity with any teammates, blah blah blah.”

“You don’t think it’s possible she was telling the truth?”

Jean-Paul looked at him skeptically. “No, copain, pas possible. That woman was not just being friendly at first – she was hitting on me. This bullshit about a fresh start was just an attempt to cover up the fact that she didn’t know how things had been with the real Jean Grey and me.”

“So, what is this about a false memory?”

“Ah, that’s what I figured would prove it once and for all. When she came snooping in my brain, I’d have something waiting for her. I concentrated on something that had happened, something I’d expect her to remember well. Only it never happened, hein? If she’s Jean, well she knows it’s just something I made up, n’est-ce pas? If she’s not, she thinks it’s real and she thinks it’s why she didn’t like me. So, I wait and see if she says anything.”

“And she did?”

“Oui. She wanted to talk about it, said she wanted to ‘get past it,’ ‘lay it to rest.’ I knew she was lying. She just wanted to show me she knew what happened to cause trouble between her and me. Only it didn’t. I made the whole thing up. She fell for it – it was a fantasy, but vivid, hein? Real enough to seem like a memory. And that’s what she thought it was. Because she’s not Jean.”

“What was the false memory? What did she think had happened to cause a rift between you and Jean?”

“Ah, that’s the best part.” Jean-Paul smiled. “Cette femme - she thought I was remembering her walking in on me and Scott Summers. Fucking.”

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


Logan was still breathing hard as Scott’s mouth released his softening penis. He watched as Scott leaned down again to lick the head a minute, making contended sounds as he did. Logan lay back on the bed, sighing happily, pulling Scott’s head onto his belly and then stroking the dark hair as he lay there. Eyes closed tight, Scott asked, “Can you reach my glasses?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, can I have them back now?”

“What do you need them for?” He looked around at Scott’s room. “There’s nothing here you haven’t seen a million times.”

“I just feel uncomfortable without them. When I was sucking you, I was pretty distracted, but now I feel... naked. Vulnerable, I guess.”

“Hey. I’d let you know if there was anything dangerous around. I’d give ‘em to you right away if there was anything you needed to see. Trust me, okay?”

“I do, Logan. I trust you with my life in battle – I have plenty of times. I’m pretty sure I can trust you in bed, too.” And then, after a minute, “Why don’t you want me to wear them, anyway?”

Still stroking Scott’s hair, Logan touched his cheek and then stroked his closed eyelids with the other hand, looking intently at the man on the bed with him. “I just want to see your whole face sometimes,” he said. “When we’re doing it, and after, too. I like looking at you. All of you. Does it bother you when I tell you I want you to take them off? Do you mind doing it blind?”

“No. I sure like looking at you during sex, but it’s good like this, too. There’s something kind of hot about doing it without my glasses. I’m not sure what.” He stopped and thought a little. “Maybe it’s connected to trust. When I was sucking you – and now – you let me have my eyes pointing right at you. You’re trusting me, too, knowing what would happen if I opened my eyes.”

“Yeah, well I trust you in combat, too. Lots of times... Why not for sex?”

“Nobody ever had sex with me without the glasses before.”

“Not even Jean?” Scott didn’t answer right away and Logan went on. “Forget I asked that... Hey, Scott?”

“Yeah?”

“Would you teach me something?”

“I’ve tried, you know that. Really, Logan, I’ve given it all I’ve got. I think some guys just can’t do it. Maybe you have a really strong gag reflex. It doesn’t matter.” He sighed. “I love how you suck me.”

“That’s not what I was talking about. One of your other skills.”

“Ah, English grammar? You finally want to learn about agreement of subject and verb?”

Logan laughed. “Maybe some other time. No. I... I wanna learn how to keep somebody out of my brain.”

“Mental shields?”

“Yeah. How do you do that?”

“I can’t teach you.”

“Oh, come on. Just because I can’t learn to take your cock all the way down my throat, doesn’t mean I can’t learn this.”

Scott laughed at that. “No, I’m sure you use different muscle groups for mental shields than you do for deep throat. I didn’t say you can’t learn. I said I can’t teach you. You need a telepath to train you. It’s the only way to learn it, as far as I know. Someone has to kind of go into your brain and show you how to do it. Charles taught me. Ask him – he’ll teach you how.” Scott raised his head as another thought came to him. Facing Logan, he’d be looking at him except that his eyes were closed. “Or don’t you want him to? It’s not him you’re trying to keep out, is it? He really doesn’t read anyone’s mind unasked. Well, not unless he needs to for a mission.”

“Nah, it’s not him I want to keep out. It’s her... Jean. Or whoever she is.”

“Has she been reading your mind?”

Logan didn’t answer at first. “I’m not sure,” he said, finally. “Something weird happened.”

“What? Will you tell me?”

“I don’t know. Are you gonna get pissed off at me if I talk about that time I did it with her?”

“No, Logan. I won’t.”

“Well, when I did her that one time, I kind of felt like she was in my brain. I remember you saying that you used to have a telepathic link with Jean all the time and that it was sort of an extra something during sex.” Scott nodded. “Well, it didn’t feel like that to me. Not a good thing. It felt like... I don’t know. Sort of like she was somewhere she didn’t belong.” He paused a minute, thinking. “And I’ve been thinking maybe that’s why she wanted to do it with me. To find stuff out. To get inside my head.” Logan turned his head away from Scott. “I never told her you and me were doing it. Did you?”

“No. I never told her anything.”

“Well, she knew. That, and lots of other stuff I never said to nobody. Nobody but you.”

“Logan, I’ve never told anybody what you’ve told me in confidence. Please believe that.”

“I believe you. Like I said, I trust you. I’m just mentioning that to tell you why I think she’s been snooping in my head. I mean – if I didn’t tell her and you didn’t, how does she know this stuff?”

“Yes, it does sound like she was reading your mind when you were... And you think she has been since then?”

Logan nodded, then realized Scott couldn’t see him. “Yeah, sometimes I’d sort of feel weird in my head. I don’t know how to describe it. Like you know how sometimes you realize someone’s staring at you and you look around and there’s somebody right there? Only this happened to me a few times and nobody was there. I didn’t like it. I didn’t know what to think.”

“It’s not happening anymore?”

“No, when I went to Vermont it stopped. So, I was thinking maybe it was something about being here. But now I’m back and I still don’t feel it. But, get what I mean? She’s not here, either.” Logan thought about it a little more. “Scott? Can telepaths do that mind-reading stuff from far away?”

Scott sat up on the bed, leaning back next to Logan. “Well,” he said, “it’s possible, but it’s not easy.” Logan handed him his glasses and he put them on. “Jean and I used to do that,” he continued, looking at Logan now. “When one of us was traveling. If I was on a mission, for example, I’d call her when I got where I was going. We’d talk for a minute or two on the phone, and then we’d both concentrate on getting the link going, then we’d hang up and just talk with our brains.”

“So talking on the phone started it?”

“Sort of. The voice contact helped, but it wasn’t enough. We both really did have to work at it. So, no – I don’t think she could read your mind when she’s in Vermont and you’re here, or vice versa. Not if you didn’t want her to, not without you helping her to.”

“But when she comes back?”

“I think you ought to ask Charles to teach you how to use mental shields before she does.”


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