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Miles to Go Before I Sleep (A Time to Every Purpose 10/10) - Mo's Journal
May 2nd, 2005
02:32 pm

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Miles to Go Before I Sleep (A Time to Every Purpose 10/10)
Jean and Sasha had worried in the morning, since the sky was overcast and a storm seemed to threaten. But the weather held and by mid-day the sun was out. Blue sky with wisps of clouds. Warm enough to be out without a coat, yet not so warm that the guests would wish they were in shorts and t-shirts, rather than formal clothing. A perfect day for a wedding. “Thanks,” Jean had said to her maid of honor, watching the clouds disperse that morning, as Ororo helped her put flowers in her hair. Storm denied having anything to do with this turn of events, but her smile while she said so suggested otherwise.

The ceremony itself had been held on the south lawn and had gone off without a hitch. Charles appeared to be well enough to enjoy himself, beaming as the couple kissed after their vows. Scott handled his best man duties flawlessly. Ororo had managed to take a break from arranging and managing the event (and perhaps the perfect weather as well) to look gorgeous standing by Jean’s side in a mauve maid of honor gown. The kids were all well behaved. The bride and groom both looked radiantly happy.

The cocktail hour was right now in full swing in the enclosed garden. Jean, telekinetically lifting two glasses of champagne from a nearby tray, handed one to her new husband and kissed him. “Find someone to introduce Dr. Levitan to, sweetheart,” she whispered in his ear. “He’s walking around looking totally at sea.”

Sasha agreed to his bride’s directive and immediately seized upon Adam, who appeared to be scanning the crowd, looking for someone. “You busy?” he asked.

“No, just seeing who’s here that I know.”

"Come on,” Sasha replied, “I want to introduce you to somebody. Charles’s doctor. He doesn’t know anyone here but Charles and Charles went inside to lie down.” Taking Adam by the arm, he steered him towards a man in a blue suit standing all by himself on the outskirts of the revelers. “Dr. Levitan,” Sasha said and the man looked up, with the smile of someone who has just been rescued.

“Aleksandr Ivanovich,” he replied. “Congratulations to you! It was a beautiful ceremony.”

“Thank you. I’d like you to meet a friend of mine, Adam Greenfield. Adam, this is Dr. William Levitan.” He turned to the doctor. “Adam is mostly responsible for this wedding, so if you liked it, you should tell him so,” he said, and then excused himself.

“What did he mean by that?” the doctor asked, perplexed.

“He was kidding. I helped Sasha come to this country and arranged – through a friend – for him to come to Xavier’s originally. So, I guess that’s what he was referring to.”

“Greenfield?” Levitan was thinking, making connections now. “The reporter?” Adam nodded. “Ah, of course. Wonderfully moving stories! I knew, of course, of your role in helping Aleksandr Ivanovich escape from the camp – I just hadn’t placed your name.” They exchanged pleasantries about the wedding for a couple of minutes.

“Do you speak Russian?” Adam asked after a while.

“Does it show?”

Adam laughed. “You referred to Sasha by his first name and patronymic. An American would likely say ‘Mr. Cherevko’ if he wasn’t going to say ‘Sasha’. Still, you have no accent in English,” he added.

“Yes, very observant of you. My mother was Russian. I was raised bilingually. Ponimaytye parusski?”

“Very little, and less all the time. I learned some when I was covering Belarus, but that’s a long time ago now.”

“Too bad. It’s a shame to lose a language.”

“I’ve lost a bunch, I’m afraid. I never quite acquired them, though, so maybe it’s not such a shame. I always learned just enough to get around. That’s a journalist’s life.” Adam looked at a group of people by a flowering tree. “You should meet my friend Anjuli,” he added, gesturing toward her. “You could speak Russian together.”

“That beautiful woman in the blue dress?” Adam nodded. “She speaks Russian? She looks Indian.”

“She is. Well, born here. She did a post-doc year in St. Petersburg. Anjuli’s very good with languages. She’s quite fluent – she and Sasha always speak Russian together. I catch every third word or so when they’re talking.”

“Post-doc in St. Petersburg? Multi-lingual? Beauty and brains.”

“That would be Anjuli,” Adam said, with a smile.

“Is that baby hers?” the doctor asked. Adam nodded, causing him to add, “Pity.”

“Why?”

“Where there are babies, there are often husbands as well.”

“Not in this case. Anjuli’s a widow.”

“Umm. I suppose it would sound insincere if I said I’m sorry to hear that.” Levitan smiled impishly and Adam laughed. His expression turning serious, the doctor asked, “Did you know him well?”

“Yes, Hank was a good friend of mine. He died in the 4/16 attacks.”

“A mutant?” Adam nodded. “Affiliated with the school here?”

“Yes, he taught here for years, and ran the medical department before Jean. He’d left well before his death, though. Hank was living in Washington, researching mutant physiology on a grant from the National Institutes of Health.”

“Dr. Henry McCoy? Yes, I knew his work – brilliant. It was the basis of the experimental protocol we’re using now. What a loss his death was! Actually, there’s someone else I want to meet. Maybe you know him. McCoy’s associate, who continued his research after McCoy’s death. A Dr. Radavan. I was told he’d be here. Do you know who he is?” he asked, looking around.

“That would also be my friend Anjuli,” Adam said with a smile. “Come on, I’ll introduce you to her. Dr. Levitan, right?”

“Please, call me Bill.”

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

Scott knocked tentatively on Charles’s door in case he was sleeping, but he answered with a wide-awake “Come in” and was seated by the fireplace.

“How are you feeling?” Scott asked.

Charles gestured to him to sit down. “I’m fine, really. I just find I get tired so quickly these days. Particularly with so many people around. It gets very noisy in my head after a while. I hear them all thinking. I can’t suppress the telepathy very well any more, not for long periods of time, anyway. It’s a weird side effect. Whether of the disease or the treatment, I don’t know. So, I just needed to be alone a bit,” he concluded.

“Shall I go?”

“Stay. You don’t count.” They smiled at each other. “They seem so happy together. I’m glad I got to see it.”

“It was important to Jean that you give her away. I’m glad you felt well enough.”

“I’m having a pretty good day.” He thought a minute. “It’s a strange illness. I’ve felt sick from the treatment, but not the disease itself. Sometimes I feel like I must have dreamt the whole thing. It’s so hard to believe it’s really killing me.” He looked at Scott. “Was that an impolitic thing to say?”

Scott shook his head. “I want you to be able to talk plainly to me. I just want to feel that you’re doing all you can to fight this.”

“I am.”

“I know. Thank you, Charles.”

“Thank you for convincing me to try.” He smiled. “I’m ready, if it comes to that. I know I leave my work – and my children – in good hands.”

“I’ll take care of them for you.”

“I don’t doubt it for a minute. Still, I would very much like to be able to see the young ones grow up. Particularly little Hank.”

“Do you think it’s working, the MGC?”

“I don’t think so. Dr. Levitan is quite encouraged by it in general, for others if not for me. It seems to shrink the tumors. There’s a kind of intelligence – for lack of a better word - to the healing factor. It knows which cells to kill and which to grow. It looks like it may be too late for me, though.”

Neither said anything for an awkward moment. “What does it stand for?” Scott asked, trying to break the silence with something light. “MGC?”

“I don’t know. I thought you would.”

“Why me?”

“I asked Anjuli what the letters are for and she blushed scarlet and said that Logan had made it up. So, I thought he would have told you.”

“No, but now I’m really curious. I’ll have to ask him.”

“Scott – about Logan. I’ve been meaning to talk to you.” Scott waited, expectantly. “I was wrong about him. I regret much of what I said to you – and to him – early on. You saw his potential when all I saw were his limitations. I realize that now. And I realize he does truly love you.”

“In his own weird way,” Scott added and they both chuckled. “Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,” he quoted. “Logan’s a little of both.”

“Does that bother you? Do you ever want a more...conventional relationship?”

Scott shrugged. “Sometimes. Maybe a little. Mostly I’m pretty content with what I’ve got. Logan and I – well, we have a mutual understanding that would be hard to achieve with someone else.”

“You’re a good match.”

“I never thought I’d hear you say that.”

There was a knock on the door and in came Jean and Sasha with a tray of food. “Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth,” Charles said. “To go with the Midsummer Night’s Dream theme,” he added in an aside to Scott.

“You wouldn’t come to the dinner, so the dinner came to you,” she said, telekinetically arranging a place setting on the end table nearest to Charles. “Do you feel up to eating?” she asked, solicitously.

“I’m fine. Not so very hungry, but I’ll have a little, anyway. It looks like a wonderful feast.”

“The students thought so,” Sasha said. “I’ve never seen them so ravenous.”

“Thank you for a lovely wedding,” Jean said, coming over to kiss Charles on the top of his bald head.

“I had little to do with it.” Jean and Sasha sat down. “You don’t have to stay with me,” he added.

“We want to, for a while, anyway.”

“Surely you don’t want to spend your wedding night entertaining a sick, old man.”

Sasha looked down. “Charles, I’m not sure how to say this, but...” He looked up and continued, “Jean and I did not wait until the wedding night to consummate our marriage.”

The others all laughed. “In fact,” Jean added, “we didn’t wait for something else, either. And we want you two to be the first to know.” She looked back and forth between Charles and Scott. They both leaned in expectantly as Jean took Sasha’s hand and beamed at them. “We’re going to have a baby.”

“That’s wonderful!” Scott kissed Jean and shook Sasha’s hand.

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

Anjuli looked at herself in the full length mirror in the bathroom attached to her usual bedroom at Xavier’s. The long blue gown suited her, she thought. Silly to spend so much on a dress when she had so little use for such a formal one. When would she wear it again? Yet, when had she last bought herself new clothes? It had been a rare indulgence and worth it, she decided, turning around and looking at the back.

She wondered what to do with herself now. The party was still undoubtedly going strong, but it had gotten late for Hank and she’d decided to bring him up here before he fell apart. Now he was asleep in the small bed alongside hers, clutching a superhero action figure. She sighed, thinking she should probably change, wondering what was happening at the reception. She reached to the back of her neck to unzip the dress, but was stopped by a knock on the door. Two teenagers still in wedding finery were there – a girl she didn’t know, and Jamie, wings protruding from carefully constructed slits in his dinner jacket. She wondered idly if it was a hand-me-down from Warren.

“Dr. Radavan,” Jamie said. “This is RoseAnn.” He blushed a little as he introduced her. Anjuli wondered why. “We’re the babysitters.”

“There’s dancing now,” RoseAnn added.

“Oh, then you two should be down there, enjoying the party, not sitting for Hank.”

“It’s fine. We can keep each other company.” He was blushing again.

“Dr. Levitan has been asking for you,” the girl beside him added.

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

Adam was sitting on his bed in a guest room at Xavier’s, reading. Still in the remnants of formal wear, although the jacket was draped over a chair with the bow tie on top of it, and the highly polished dress shoes had been kicked off as soon as he’d returned to the room with his son. Adam looked over at Ezra sleeping in a beautiful antique crib in the corner of the spacious room, wondering whether the crib had been Charles Xavier’s when he was a baby. Charles seemed so ageless, he thought. Funny to think of him as a baby and child, growing up here.

A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. Jean-Paul came in when he answered. “Hi,” he said to Adam, glancing at their sleeping son. “Do you want to go back to the party? I can stay with him.”

“No, it’s fine. A couple of earnest-looking kids came by to sit a little while ago, actually. But I declined. I think I’ve had enough of the festivities.”

“Moi, aussi.” He hesitated a minute. “I guess I’ll go back to my room now.”

“Sit down. Hang out with me for a while.” He patted the bed next to him and Jean-Paul sat down.

Jean-Paul looked at the crib. “Do you think it was Charles Xavier’s?”

“I was just wondering that myself.”

“How is he, do you know?”

Adam shook his head. “No idea. He looked good, don’t you think? I met his oncologist, but I figured I shouldn’t grill him.”

“How restrained of you – an opportunity to get information and you didn’t take it. Maybe you’ll have to turn in your investigative journalist card.”

Adam laughed. “He liked Anjuli.”

“Who?”

“The oncologist. Very pleased to hear she’s single. Oh, and guess what? His name’s Bill.”

Jean-Paul chuckled. “So, you came to the wedding alone?” he asked, after a while.

“What do you mean? I came with Anjuli and the babies.”

“I thought you might have come with Jake.”

“He wasn’t invited. He barely knows them – he met Sasha once, to interview him.”

“I thought you might have brought him. As your guest.”

“You don’t bring guests to weddings, uninvited. Not unless you’re engaged and it’s your fiancé.”

“Thank you for that point of etiquette. I had no idea.”

“Well, I met Judith Martin at that reception at the Post last week, so I know these things.” Jean-Paul laughed again. “Was that a roundabout way of asking what’s going on with me and Jake?”

“Peut-être.”

“I don’t have an answer for you.” He shrugged. “I don’t what’s going on with Jake and me. I don’t know what’s going on with you and me, either.”

“I want to come home.”

“I know.” Neither said anything for a minute. Adam smiled at Jean-Paul. “You look good all dressed up,” he said, “but you might want to take off the tie, at least.” He reached to undo it, taking the top two studs out of Jean-Paul’s shirt as well, fingers brushing along his chest underneath the silk.

And then they were kissing. It wasn’t clear who initiated it, but it was oh so clear that they both wanted it. Tongues meeting, hands in each other’s hair. Long and slow and full of longing and need.

They undressed each other. Jean-Paul’s fingers were trembling with an urgency that frightened him a little. He made himself go slowly, unfastening the studs on Adam’s dress shirt one by one, placing them on the night stand, undoing Adam’s belt and fly with only the briefest of caresses underneath. Soon they were naked there, sitting on the bed, looking at each other. Jean-Paul reached for Adam’s hard cock, stroking slowly. “I want to suck you,” he said, lowering his head.

“Me, too” Adam replied. “Lie down, this way. Can we do it together?” He moved them both into position, lying on their sides, diagonally across the bed, face to groin and groin to face.

Jean-Paul shook his head. “You know that doesn’t work for me. I can’t while you’re... I get too...”

“Just try. Okay? I love to feel your mouth on me while I’m sucking you. If you can’t concentrate on sucking, if you can’t manage to keep it in your mouth while I do you, just lick it a little.”

Jean-Paul didn’t object anymore. He had one clear thought: Jake does this with him. And then his thoughts were confused and jumbled and all mixed up with his feelings. Adam’s mouth was on him and sucking and licking with both passion and skill. And he was doing his best to keep up, difficult as he found it to think about what he was doing with that tongue eagerly stroking the underside of his cock. He held onto the base of Adam’s erection with thumb and forefinger, his other fingers stroking Adam’s balls in time to the wet movements of his lover’s tongue. The head of Adam’s cock was in his mouth now. Involuntary moans escaped him, but he managed to keep his mouth focused, anyway. The taste, the feel of Adam’s cock pulsing and moving inside his mouth while his own cock was sliding in and out of wet suction – it was exquisite and overwhelming and he wanted it to go on forever.

Adam came first. The spurt of cum in the roof of Jean-Paul’s mouth, the taste of it as he swallowed – he’d missed this more than he’d known.

Jean-Paul let go of Adam’s softening penis and pushed harder into Adam’s mouth. His hips moving back and forth, he looked down, watching himself fuck his lover’s face. Adam’s hands were on his ass, guiding him in with each hard stroke. Adam was sucking eagerly, making wet humming sounds as he did. Jean-Paul pushed in hard one last time, up to the root, pumping cum and love and longing and regret down the throat of the man he loved.

They sat up afterwards, saying nothing, catching their breath. Adam reached over to hug him and they held each other for a minute.

“Are we getting back together?” Jean-Paul asked, after a while. “Or was that goodbye sex?”

“Are those the only two choices?” Adam’s smile vanished as he saw Jean-Paul’s hurt expression. “I don’t know what to say to you anymore.”

“I still love you.”

“I still love you, too. But I’m confused... Things have changed.”

“Maybe we could change them back.”

“Maybe there’s no going back.”

”We won’t know unless we try.”

“Can you give me some time? I know it’s hard, Jean-Paul. I just... I need to think. I need some time. I can’t decide just like that.”

Jean-Paul nodded. “I’ll try not to rush you. But, Adam? I want to be clear about one thing. If we are to get back together – it’s just you and me. Un seul homme. No sex with anyone else. I can’t – not at this point in my life. I’m not able to renegotiate this.”

“I understand. I won’t ask you to.”

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

Scott answered the knock on his door. Logan came in.

“Since when do you knock?”

“I thought you might not be alone.” He closed the door and pushed Scott up against it. “Glad you are.” He kissed him hard. Taking Scott’s hand, he placed it on his crotch. “Feel that? I’m dying for it. I’ve wanted to rip that monkey suit off of you all day.”

“Mmmm. Me, too.” Stroking Logan through the fabric, feeling his lover’s tongue on his neck, his body pressed against him. “Something about hetero-normative rituals, I guess,” Scott added. “Makes me want a big cock shoved up inside me.”

“Shut up and you’ll get one,” Logan responded, extending the claws on his right hand. “Take ‘em off or I’ll cut ‘em off.” Scott took off his clothes quickly. “On your hands and knees. On the floor.”

And then Logan was kneeling behind him, naked. Scott felt slicked fingers entering him as the other hand pumped his hard on. “Ready for me?” he asked. “Ready to be fucked?”

“Yes!”

“Then ask me for it.”

“Please, Logan, fuck me now. Push it into me.”

Logan was in him before he finished saying it, deftly sliding his hard, lubed shaft into Scott’s waiting hole. Holding onto Scott’s strong thighs, rocking back and forth as he kneeled behind him, the cock inside making Scott sigh and moan. And then pressed down on Scott’s back, rubbing him with those able fingers while he fucked him harder and faster. Scott strained to support the weight of Logan’s adamantium-filled body. “Who do you belong to?” he growled, pushing hard into him as he said it. “Who gets to do this to you?”

“You. Just you.” It came out long and low and breathless. Scott was coming hard as he said it, his seed spilling on the hardwood floor. “Always,” he added, as Logan’s movements – fast and furious – moved towards climax. Hands gripping Scott’s shoulders now, he fucked him with amazing force, then pressed hard inside him as he came, panting and moaning.

They sat down, side by side, backs to the wall afterwards. “There is a bed in here,” Scott said after a while, gesturing towards it with his head.

“I know. Just wanted to have you on the floor.”

“For old time’s sake, no doubt.” Logan smiled. “Hey, Logan? What does MGC stand for? Charles didn’t know, but he said you made it up.”

“Marvin Gaye Compound,” Logan replied, smiling and then humming a few bars of “Sexual Healing.”

Scott laughed. “No wonder Anjuli was embarrassed to tell Charles.”

“Is it working for him?”

Scott shook his head. “Doesn’t seem likely. It works, apparently, but it sounds like it’s too late for him. I wish I’d figured this out earlier.”

“You didn’t even know he was sick earlier. You beat yourself up over shit that’s totally out of your control, Cyclops.”

“Thanks, Logan. That never occurred to me before. Now that you’ve pointed it out, I won’t do it anymore.” He smiled to show he meant it ironically, not angrily. “I feel guilty for something else,” he added after a while.

“What?”

“He was pretty resigned to dying. I talked him into this, maybe got his hopes up in vain, you know?”

“Nothing to be guilty about. You were right – he’s got to try. He’s got a lot to live for.”

“Even more now. Jean’s pregnant – she just told us. God, Logan, I thought he was going to cry. He wants to see this baby. More than I’ve seen him want anything, for a long time.”

“Maybe he will. It’s strong stuff.” He sang a little more of the Marvin Gaye song and Scott smiled. “You’ve been a good son to him, whatever happens.”

“He’s been a good father to me.”

“What does Anjuli think it’s doing to you? The healing semen?” Logan asked after a while.

“A lot. She said my immunity’s stronger than anyone she’s ever tested except you. She thinks it’s slowing down my aging, too.”

“So you think you’re gonna live a long time?”

“If I don’t get killed on some X-Men mission. Always a possibility, you know.”

“I know.” After a while, he added, “Don’t do it.”

“Don’t do what?”

“Get killed. I like having you around.”

“I‘ll do my best.” And then, after a long pause, “I love you, too, Logan.”

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Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:fenris_wolf0
Date:June 5th, 2005 04:52 am (UTC)
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Oh wow: so many surprises in this one! I really liked all of it because all of these developments were logical or were brought about in a way that made them so. In complete disorder: the escalation of the conflict on a worldwide scale, the rescue operation(s), Jean's marriage, the discovery of Charles' medical problem (there was such a natural flow in the progression of the story, it made a lot of sense), Anjuli's matchmaking (and his name is Bill!) and the way you explored Jean-Paul and Adam's continuing problem.

Well, OK, small bemoll which is really only a personal one, not a defect in the story itself: regardless of how conflicted Adam was over discovering that Jean-Paul has gone to see Jake, I did not really understand why Adam apologizes so abjectly to Jake, regardless of how sorry Jake said he was over what he did in San Francisco.

Personally I do not believe that apologies can make up in any significant way for what Jake did to Adam. I am sure a lot of rapists are very sorry afterwards too and what Jake did was rape as far as I can tell, and a particularly sordid one at that.

The fact that he was not aware of Adam's circumstances at the time is in my opinion irrelevant: Adam, even drunk, did say no and the fact that one is available or in a committed relationship is no excuse to rape. Especially if one takes care to drug one's victim to minimize the chance of their objecting or fighting back.

Even assuming that Adam's denials were incomprehensible, and certainly taking for granted the fact that Adam would have been able to avoid the whole mess if he had been more clear about the fact that he was not looking for a one-night stand, Jake was a one-night stand and knew it, thus his behaviour seems inexcusable, in particular him not using protection.

Not that this excuses what Jean-Paul does, but all of the above is not a valid reason for Adam to act so contrite and apologetic towards Jake and to nearly try to excuse retroactively what Jake did to him. There is no point going from resentment to falling over backwards in the other direction to emphasize Jake's better side in order to find himself -or more precisely Jean-Paul- more guilty in retrospect over dragging Jake in their own private problems (created by Jake in the first place).

That is the risk of sleeping with someone one hardly know, after all: if their significant other -whose existence one may or may not have been aware of- remains bitter and hostile towards you -or towards their lover- it is understandable and one doesn't have a leg to stand on to complain, because these errors (or one-night stands) can and do ruin people's lives. By contrast, Jake's life was nowhere near ruined by Jean-Paul's visit and his proposal was not preceded by slipping him drugs when Jake was too drunk to protest, I note.

So unless one was only looking for an excuse to get out of one's relationship or was very casual about said relationship, resentment and lashing back on their part is understandable. Well, that's only my point of view, anyway! :)

Argh, never mind my rantings, it was just a personal problem with a minor aspect of this storyline...
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:June 5th, 2005 11:07 am (UTC)
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Argh, never mind my rantings, it was just a personal problem with a minor aspect of this storyline...


I don't mind at all. I found it interesting. I think you make good points. Still, it's different from how I see the situation.

I don't think Adam was raped. I do believe that Jake was absolutely wrong to refuse to use a condom, but I don't think that rises to the level of rape. Adam was there willingly, having sex with him willingly. True, Adam's judgment was impaired - by alcohol, by being mad at J-P, even by his career-related feelings of inadequacy - but that's just an argument for not mixing drugs (including alcohol) and sex, particularly sex with people you don't know. I think that's a lesson Adam learned pretty well after that. I also think Jake's judgment was impaired and he seems to have learned from that, too.

I really see Jake as a pretty nice guy who made a mistake and did his best to make amends for it. Actually, I see all three of them that way. I think they did the kinds of things that nice people can do, and regret. Adam wouldn't even know what happened that night if not for Jake being honest with him, making an effort to make things right as much as he could.

I do think Adam treated Jake very badly afterwards. I think everything he says to Jake is true - he didn't treat Jake with the respect or kindness that Jake treated him. He wouldn't even talk to him. I really cringed when Adam and J-P are speculating on why Jake's calling and J-P suggests that he might be infected. Adam's response is so completely cold - "that's nothing to do with us." Not even a kind thought for this guy he did spend the night with, as they discuss whether or not he has a life-threatening illness. Okay, a lot of people would say that's the way it is with one-night stands, but I like Adam's view better - that even with a one-night stand you owe honesty and kindness and respect. So, I do think Adam has something to apologize for, and I think it was a worthwhile thing to do. I think it speaks well for him, for his integrity.

Still, I don't think that was all that was going on for Adam. That's the surface motivation - to make things right with Jake - and I think he means it sincerely. OTOH, I think he also really does want to know what happened between J-P and Jake and he's not believing J-P. So part of his motivation is to get the other side of the story. And that's in part what J-P did by contacting Jake, and that one didn't work out very well. Nice guys doing not-so-nice things.

They all three hurt each other, but as Jean-Paul says to Adam, people are more than the worst thing they do. I think that's important to keep in mind. And I understand why Adam when he's apologizing to Jake is not going to focus on what Jake did wrong, but what Adam did.

The third motivation for going to see Jake - the one I think Adam isn't even aware of himself - is that he likes Jake. And I think it's really clear when Jake calls him up that, mad as he is, Jake really liked Adam. Well, Adam's single, at least for now. He doesn't know if he and J-P will get back together. Here's this attractive, appealing guy who admires him... I think he's hoping on some level for just what happens - Jake asks him to stay the night.

Yk, I brought Jake back for two reasons. One was petty. Unbeknownst to me I "cast" him with an up-and-coming actor and have tons of pictures of him, so I want to use some.

The other, more substantial one, is I started wondering just who he is. I didn't think of him as a real person, yk? He was just The Guy Who Fucked Adam. But I started thinking about him and realizing that he's not some homewrecker. He's a guy who had no idea what was going on with Adam. So, I thought he could be a real person and maybe a pretty nice one. I figured I'd find out :-).


(more in next comment - ran out of room)
[User Picture]
From:fenris_wolf0
Date:June 7th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC)
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Well, OK. But I have to admit that even assuming that this was not date rape I would not characterize Jake's behavious as kind and respectful. When you have sex which results in blood on the bedsheets and no condom, one can call it a hot, lustful, passionate encounter, possibly even a satisfying one: different strokes for different people, right? But not one in which Jake showed kindness or respect towards Adam.

The fact that Adma is going slightly overboard because is doesn't care about Jake as much as he wants to know what Jean-Paul did or said to him, I did get, but unless Jake is stupid, that was obvious and the exaggeration on Adam's part can only have made him feel less respect for him (lying is lying and lying to get your way is understandable but not very nice).

The third motivation I had not seen coming because I had taken Adam at his word, that the one-night stand was just an accident: but the extent to which this third part is true actually justifies Jean-Paul's resentment a posteriori, doesn't it?

Finally, I am not sure that it is possible to equate what Jean-Paul did with what Jake and Adam did: a one-night stand is an order of magnitude worse than an uncomfortable or/and potentially embarrassing conversation it seems to me.

Still, it is of course interesting to think about these things because we are talking about two original characters which parameters and characters are not really established in the readers' minds. Which is why so many readers are rather negative on the whole OC concept in fanfiction.

Thank you for looking at my comments in the spirit in which I was making them: never as criticism, just as a personal opinion! :)
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:June 7th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
When you have sex which results in blood on the bedsheets and no condom, one can call it a hot, lustful, passionate encounter, possibly even a satisfying one: different strokes for different people, right? But not one in which Jake showed kindness or respect towards Adam.

[shrug] depends what you like - about the blood, that is. Or the fact that Adam was tied up for part of it. It's respectful and kind if that's what you both want, not if you don't. The lack of condom was definitely wrong and not respectful and Jake says so and apologizes. I do see them as both having gotten carried away, in part due to the alcohol and crystal and whatever else Jake was taking. As Jake says, he was being a chemically enhanced asshole And both lucky that nothing more than hurt feelings was the result.

The fact that Adma is going slightly overboard because is doesn't care about Jake as much as he wants to know what Jean-Paul did or said to him, I did get, but unless Jake is stupid, that was obvious and the exaggeration on Adam's part can only have made him feel less respect for him (lying is lying and lying to get your way is understandable but not very nice).

I'm not clear on what you mean by the above. I don't think Adam was lying about anything. I think he was just focussing on what he wanted to apologize for, and rightly so, particularly since Jake had already apologized to him. As I said, I think his apology is sincere. I think he also hopes to hear what happened, but he doesn't even ask. So, it's not like he's manipulating Jake into telling him. As it turns out he does hear Jake's side of the story, but if he hadn't asked him to stay the night it wouldn't have happened.

The third motivation I had not seen coming because I had taken Adam at his word, that the one-night stand was just an accident: but the extent to which this third part is true actually justifies Jean-Paul's resentment a posteriori, doesn't it?

I don't think so. First of all, I don't think it's accurate to call it an accident. I'd call it a mistake. Really, it was the situation where if ever Adam was going to cheat, this was it. He's mad at J-P, he's feeling insecure about himself, he's somewhere that nobody knows he's coupled, there's this hot guy who's flattering him and interested and then sexually aggressive (and what cruel person put him in that situation? :-) ). And he's been drinking, so his judgment is impaired and his inhibitions are diminished. It really is a mistake but it's his choice and he knows that and takes responsibility for that and he's very sorry afterwards. He also is very honorable, I think, to tell Jean-Paul. He doesn't have to. There is no way Jean-Paul would know and even from a health POV he doesn't need to since J-P gets exposed when Walter dies, so they have to play safe, anyway. I think he sincerely means it that he'll never see Jake again.

Things are different, though, after the whole J-P and Jake thing, and after Adam and J-P are separated. I think at that point he doesn't feel bound to monogamy and I think that's reasonable. I do think what J-P did was worse, in a sense. At least I can see that from Adam's POV it's worse. Worse because it's after all they've been through (as Adam says, after putting him through hell for a year for one lapse) and because he *lies* to Adam and tells him he's going on an X-Men mission when he's really seeing Jake. Now, I do think that J-P might have 'fessed up if he'd had time to, but he didn't get the chance. I really did feel terrible for Adam when Jake called him (and what cruel person made that happen?).

I do think they are all pretty nice guys who did some things they shouldn't have. But it's much, much worse now - due to all their actions. I don't think this can end so all three of them are happy, I'll tell you that.

Anyway, I enjoy talking to you about this stuff and enjoy your perspective. Thanks for posting.



[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:June 5th, 2005 11:08 am (UTC)

Continued

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I don't know what happens to Jean-Paul and Adam in the long run, but Jake Redux has made things much more complex. And I really do feel for both of them. In some sense Adam's got the upper hand now, and I mean in that last story for the reader's sympathies to be more with J-P, particularly when he asks Adam "Are we getting back together or was that goodbye sex?"

OTOH, at other points I think it's really Adam who you have to feel for - when he is just *stuck* when Jake's calling him at work and he feels like anything he does is wrong, so he doesn't call him back but doesn't tell J-P he's getting messages from Jake; when he's trying to convince J-P that he hasn't had anything to do with Jake; when he gets the call from
Jake and is still trying, loyally, not to talk to him and then finds out that something happened between him and J-P. Adam set this in motion, but they both added to it...

Okay, I'm talking about them like they're real people again :-) so it's probably time to shut up. I'll use my Jake icon for this one.
[User Picture]
From:fenris_wolf0
Date:June 7th, 2005 12:42 am (UTC)

Re: Continued

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Hey, the more complex the situation, the more interesting it becomes to the reader, don't you worry! :)

Having said all that, I cannot say that I myself am too invested in the Jean-Paul/Adam pairing because I am the kind of fan who likes their slash pairings to be as equal as possible and preferably to occur within the show/movie/comic context. eg: I tend to prefer super-heroes paired with other super-heroes and non-powered people paired with non-powered people...

So if it turns out that this breaks their couple, I will probably go with the philosophical view that bad as it will be, it'll be better if it happens now after only 2-3 years than if it happens 10 years later.

Speaking as someone whose parents never divorced -the 'we can't, we have children' cliche- but God I wish they had, instead of making the whole family miserable and ruining not just their lives but their children's as well. Feh.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:June 7th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC)

Re: Continued

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Having said all that, I cannot say that I myself am too invested in the Jean-Paul/Adam pairing because I am the kind of fan who likes their slash pairings to be as equal as possible and preferably to occur within the show/movie/comic context. eg: I tend to prefer super-heroes paired with other super-heroes and non-powered people paired with non-powered people...

Oh, and that's exactly why I do want them to get back together! Although I don't know if they will. I'll write whatever the story seems to require, but I love their differences. The mutant/non-mutant thing, their different ethnic backgrounds, all of it. As J-P says to Adam when they're first courting - they have enough in common to form a strong bond and enough difference to keep things interesting.

I would never have them stay together and be miserable telling themselves they're doing it for Ezra, though. It doesn't fit their characters, I don't think. And I'm with you on the Feh! to that approach.

I do think, though, that Ezra is an important consideration in whatever relationship they have going forward. I think if they break up for good they will be very motivated to get along well, because of him. A little like Scott and Jean really wanted to be friends, in part because they still were going to be living and working in the same place. If you've got a strong tie to your ex - like a child together or being on the same mutant superhero team :-) - then you're kind of stuck with each other and you might as well make the best of it. Not that everybody does, but again I think they're pretty reasonable and honorable people and they will try.

I also think that Jean-Paul and Adam really still do love each other and that makes the whole thing easier in some ways and harder in others...
[User Picture]
From:eveningblue
Date:July 15th, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
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Loved this!

I loved how you made it so that Scott might be able to live as long as Logan--so romantic! Although the other way has possibilities too; it would be interesting to read a story that takes place way in the future, with a still-young Logan taking care of an older Scott.

I really love the whole Jean-Paul/Adam/Jake thing. Really messy, just like life. And Miriam! What a hoot. I have to go back and read the Passover story, which I skipped in my eagerness to read all about Scott and Logan.

(Who is the up-and-coming actor pictured in your Jake icon? I have no idea.)

And RoseAnn and Jamie are very sweet--I look forward to seeing more of them.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:July 15th, 2005 10:57 am (UTC)
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I loved how you made it so that Scott might be able to live as long as Logan--so romantic!

Romantic?!! You've cut me to the quick! (I see myself as very non-romantic). talktooloose called the healing semen subplot "subversive." Now that made me smile.

I really love the whole Jean-Paul/Adam/Jake thing. Really messy, just like life. And Miriam! What a hoot. I have to go back and read the Passover story, which I skipped in my eagerness to read all about Scott and Logan.

Yeah, they're not in that one, except for a brief mention. Adam and J-P are also the focus of "Safe House," although Scott and Logan do show up briefly at the end (mostly for comic value). Anyway, in that one Miriam (or at least Adam's difficulties dealing with her) is introduced, but she shows up directly in the the Pesach one. She's in the sequel to this one a lot, since she's now a Xavier Foundation trustee, so she shows up not only in relation to Adam.

Who is the up-and-coming actor pictured in your Jake icon? I have no idea.)

Gael Garcia Bernal. The guy from Motorcycle Diaries. There are a few pictures of him on my website, from when Adam first meets him in Unexpected Occurrences.

So, the sequel to this one is finished in draft. I'm thinking another week to ten days for editing, titles, lit guide, etc. and then I'll be posting.
[User Picture]
From:eveningblue
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
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Romantic?!! You've cut me to the quick! (I see myself as very non-romantic).

Oh, you ARE very non-romantic--it's one of the things I love about your stories. Men aren't falling over themselves, declaring their love for one another with hearts and flowers. And certainly Scott and Logan don't get all goopy when they realize this about the semen.

So this plot development is romantic in a non-romantic way. How's that?

(Come on, lovers until the end of time--that is the ultimate in romance!)

So, the sequel to this one is finished in draft. I'm thinking another week to ten days for editing, titles, lit guide, etc. and then I'll be posting.

Yippee! Can't wait!
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:July 15th, 2005 03:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
And certainly Scott and Logan don't get all goopy when they realize this about the semen.

Yeah, Logan's main reaction is that it would make a good pickup line. I think the funniest thing about that subplot is that Logan never figured this out before Scott. I assume from this that he never had sex with the same person long enough to see the effect :-).

Jean-Paul and Adam are really my most romantic couple, I think. Or were...

[User Picture]
From:eveningblue
Date:July 15th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)

romance

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Jean-Paul and Adam are really my most romantic couple, I think. Or were...

Yes, they are, and they are evidence of how destructive romance can be! All those romantic "I love you"s and look what they do to each other. Logan and Scott don't lie to each other. They have their problems but they're as honest as they can be with each other.

God, I am such a cynic.

[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:July 15th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)

Re: romance

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Yes, they are, and they are evidence of how destructive romance can be! All those romantic "I love you"s and look what they do to each other.

Would they have been less likely to hurt each other, do you think, if they said "I love you" less? Or waited longer to make commitments to each other? Definitely there would be less pain in this particular circumstance if they (or at least J-P) didn't feel like being sexually exclusive was so important. But without monogamy, they might have had other problems.

I actually don't see their problems as coming from a surfeit of romance. I think that Adam's lapse with Jake sets things in motion, but their problems don't stem from that, either. I think what happens with Jake just kind of illuminates their individual insecurities. Jean-Paul's always got a bit of a I'm-a-mutant-high-school-drop-out chip on his shoulder, but the specter of Adam getting involved with someone who is - as he says - from Adam's world, brings it into sharp relief. And Adam has a bit of an inferiority and insecurity thing going on because of not being a mutant and because he perceives Jean-Paul as being so much better looking than he is. And then there are all their other differences that stress the relationship - ethnic, nationality, religious, career. As I've said elsewhere, when things are going well between them, their differences are sources of strength, because they are often things they admire about each other. But when things are going badly, the same differences lead to resentment and jealousy. I think regardless of whether they get back together or not, they will both be happier and more fulfilled people if each confronts his feelings of insecurity head on and kind of makes peace with that.

OTOH, I do think they are both very invested in being kind of good and decent and honorable. Neither of them takes cheap shots at the other out of spite; Jean-Paul ends up not having his revenge fuck after all; Adam doesn't bring Jake to the wedding. He also makes clear that he truly accepts that an open relationship is out of the question. They seem to be pretty careful not to put their friends in a position of taking sides; they're working hard on being coparents. So I tend to come back to it being not about romance or not-romance. Good people sometimes do hurtful things. And, as J-P says to Adam, people are more than one bad thing they do.

Of Scott and Logan - They have their problems but they're as honest as they can be with each other.

"As they can be" is the key part, I think. They each have things it takes a long time to tell the other, things they just aren't ready to disclose until there's a whole lot of trust, things each has told no one else. I think that slow and careful disclosure is a lot of what binds them to each other. Of course, there's also sex...
[User Picture]
From:eveningblue
Date:July 15th, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC)

Re: romance

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Would they have been less likely to hurt each other, do you think, if they said "I love you" less?

No, no, I just meant that all those "I love you"s are not necessarily a sign that everything is going to go splendidly. In fact, maybe, maybe they are a sign of the insecurities you mention, on both their parts.

Jean-Paul is all "I love you" and romantic and shit but then Adam makes a mistake and he won't forgive him. Adam apologizes and apologizes but still, no dice. I thought A. was absolutely right to be mad, in the end, at Jean-Paul for not accepting his apology, and for making him treat Jake so badly.

Or waited longer to make commitments to each other?

No, I don't think that would have mattered.

But after all, what is a commitment if you don't back it up? It's just empty words and, even though I know they are good decent people who are trying to do the right thing, they both do fuck up, don't they?

I prefer Logan's way, which is not to make a promise unless you really, really mean it. Really. He only makes a couple but Scott KNOWS he can trust him. Part of what is hurting Adam and J-P is that they can no longer trust each other.

I love how much you've thought about your characters! :-)

By the way, I read my first comic book with Northstar in it, and he is very different from your Northstar. Are there conflicting canons, or did you just make yours different?
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:July 15th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)

Re: romance

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But after all, what is a commitment if you don't back it up? It's just empty words and, even though I know they are good decent people who are trying to do the right thing, they both do fuck up, don't they?

I don't think a mistake makes the commitment empty words. I think the fuckup is no more and no less than just that. When Adam tells J-P about Jake he says something like "It didn't mean anything. I was drunk and mad and horny and I did something stupid." That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt or he should get off the hook, but I think he's right. He's no less committed after the original Jake episode than he was before. He tells Jean-Paul what happened when he doesn't have to because he feels that's part of their commitment - honesty.

I also think that - if a couple really is to stay together long term - there are going to be fuckups. Not necessarily sex outside the relationship, but that is a common one. If you don't have a way of getting past mistakes and resentment and mistrust, you can't stay together for the long haul. I totally agree that a big part of their problem is a diminution of trust. I think if they want to work things out, they have to find a way to rebuild trust.

I prefer Logan's way, which is not to make a promise unless you really, really mean it. Really. He only makes a couple but Scott KNOWS he can trust him.

True. But for some people "I'll never kill you" just isn't enough of a promise from a lover :-).

I love how much you've thought about your characters! :-)

Thanks. I sometimes shake my head a bit when I find myself talking about them like real people, but they do feel real to me. It's a little like what we were saying elsewhere about research - you have to know a lot more about your characters than actually shows up in the fiction.

By the way, I read my first comic book with Northstar in it, and he is very different from your Northstar. Are there conflicting canons, or did you just make yours different?

Was it a recent comic? I hate how they've written him lately - just all arrogance and impatience. I think he's been an extended ethnic slur in the comics for a while now. The way they portray him is a pretty common Anglophone view of Quebecois men, but it doesn't match my experience at all. And they don't even get the French right! He's been written kind of inconsistently for a long time, I think, but he's been sort of a comic book character :-) in the past few years.

In general, I don't feel bound by comics canon to the extent I do by movie canon. I see myself as writing movieverse with some comics characters. I use the comic characters names, code names, powers and something from their basic story, but beyond that feel I can pick and choose what I use and what I invent (and feel not only not bound by Marvel's language errors, but bound to correct them).

With Northstar I've used a whole lot of the comics back story - the Olympics, the circus past, the high school drop out stuff, orphaned, twin sister, adopted baby who dies, coming out in the wake of that - those are all directly from the comics, during Alpha Flight's run as a separate title. I've taken much less from comics with some of the others (like Mac and Heather Hudson). But, with Northstar, I've tried to give him more authentic ethnic traits, and also given him a personality that fits better with his story. Arrogant, impatient, self-centered people don't generally adopt babies with life-threatening diseases, particularly when they are single twenty-something men. I've known people who've done what he did (adopted HIV+ babies, who then died) and a lot of the dialogue around that comes from rl.

Some of my dialogue in general comes from rl (not dialogue during sex, I hasten to say). This is called either pillaging the lives of one's friends and relatives for cheap fiction or "having an ear for dialogue." I prefer the latter. When people I know well started reading the stories I thought they might be offended if they saw their words in the mouth of a half-insane clawed mutant, for example :-). What I've found is that when people do recognize things they say in the dialogue, they're just flattered I was paying such close attention. Life can be funny.
[User Picture]
From:eveningblue
Date:July 15th, 2005 10:05 pm (UTC)

Re: romance

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I don't think a mistake makes the commitment empty words. I think the fuckup is no more and no less than just that.

That's true--on Adam's part. But what J-P does is worse, imho. He says he loves Adam but he doesn't show him that he trusts him. This may be a manifestation of insecurity, but it comes across as lack of trust.

And then when he goes behind Adam's back to see Jake? And comes on to him? Unforgivable.

True. But for some people "I'll never kill you" just isn't enough of a promise from a lover :-).

Ha! True, but they don't know the wonders of adamantium-clawed sex.

(will continue with Northstar discussion in email)
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:July 15th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)

Re: romance

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And then when he goes behind Adam's back to see Jake? And comes on to him? Unforgivable.

It's so interesting to me how varied the reactions to that whole episode. Of the readers who've weighed in, there seem to be equal numbers of "what Jean-Paul did is unforgivable - this is the end" and "how can he not forgive Jean-Paul when he's so contrite and loves him so much." I'm somewhere in between. I don't think it's unforgiveable but I do think it's a big thing, a lot bigger than Adam having a one-night stand. I think Adam is rightly shocked that Jean-Paul would do this after all they went through in the past year.

I wouldn't, in Adam's place, forgive him based on his (admittedly very sincere, and I bet he looked adorable delivering it, too) apology. But I wouldn't rule out getting over this, either. They really do have a lot going for them. They have a strong bond of affection and understanding, for all that they've hurt each other. They've got a strong sexual connection, which is nothing to sneeze about after years together and a kid. They're still able to try new things, or retry old things that didn't work for them and this time they do (even if J-P's motivation for trying 69 again even though he doesn't like it is that he thinks Jake does that with Adam). They have a compatibility of values and outlook in a lot of ways. They have shared purpose - which I think is really important in a couple - not only with Ezra, but with a shared commitment to mutant rights, AIDS activism, various political issues. They've got a network of family and friends who not only love them, but love them as a couple. Being the non-romantic I am, I look at those things and say they add up to the basis for a strong relationship and it would be hard to find all of that with somebody else.

OTOH the longer Adam's seeing Jake and the longer they're de facto separated, the less likely they will be able to get back together. Eventually it just becomes the way things are, I think.

Ha! True, but they don't know the wonders of adamantium-clawed sex.

Once you've had adamantium, it's hard to settle for anything else. Or so Scott tells me :-).
[User Picture]
From:eveningblue
Date:July 16th, 2005 02:41 am (UTC)

Re: romance

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I don't think it's unforgiveable but I do think it's a big thing, a lot bigger than Adam having a one-night stand. I think Adam is rightly shocked that Jean-Paul would do this after all they went through in the past year.

Yeah, it's a big thing. It would be unforgivable *to me*, but I don't know Adam as well as you, so I'll take your word. J-P is a mess of insecurity and jealousy and I don't know if I could put up with that.

It's true, they do have all those things in common, and a child. I'm rooting for them! But I don't blame Adam for feeling fed up.

Once you've had adamantium, it's hard to settle for anything else. Or so Scott tells me :-).

That scene early on in the series, in which Logan sticks out his claw and has Scott suck it? Unaccountably HOT.


[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:July 15th, 2005 10:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, and glad you liked it! I got so distracted by the "romantic" thing, I forgot to acknowledge that.
[User Picture]
From:eveningblue
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)

Heh.

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