May 2nd, 2005


Promises to Keep (A Time to Every Purpose 1/10)

The girls on 42d Street all noticed the car. It’s not that limousines were unheard of on their block, right near the Port Authority. They were pretty common, in fact. Going to and from the theater district, or the big hotels. Long black stretch limos with tinted windows and glossy paint jobs. Sometimes white ones, too. But this car was different. Not as big as the limos they usually saw, and not so flashy-looking. Grey rather than black. Matte rather than shiny. None of the girls but Tawny really knew cars, and Tawny was working the first time it came by, so they hadn’t had her around to tell them more about it. But even without knowing what kind of car it was, they could all tell it looked expensive. And expensive in a different kind of way from what they usually saw. “It smells like money,” Crystal said, the second time they saw the grey car move slowly along their block.

It could have been that the man in back – they were sure it was a man, although they couldn’t see in, of course – was looking for an address, but the girls all hoped he was checking them out. They waved and posed. The grey car slowed to a crawl, but it didn’t stop. When it came by again, they all started speculating, but nobody had any ideas why the mysterious occupant would be on their block three times in one hour.

The fourth time the car came by, Tawny was back, straightening her thigh high skirt and smoothing the reddish brown hair that had caused Nick to give her her name. “Wow!” she said when she saw the grey limo. “That’s his car. He owns it,” she said, voice full of awe.

“Who owns it?”

“Whoever’s in there. See, it’s not a T license. It’s not a limo you rent out by the hour. Now, that’s high class.”

“You saying I’m not high class just ‘cause I get rented out by the hour? Them’s fighting words, Sugar.” The girls all laughed at Crystal’s mock indignation. But they stopped laughing and looked curiously at the grey car, as it came to a stop by the curb. They all watched, silently, as the door opened and a tall man wearing dark glasses got out. Tawny squeezed Crystal’s hand, hopefully, as he approached. “I think he’s looking at us,” she whispered.
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Sitting with Children Telling Stories (A Time to Every Purpose 2/10)

“Who is it this time?” Jean-Paul asked, helping himself to more ravioli. He cut up some of the cheese-filled pasta, putting some of the pieces on the tray of Ezra’s high chair and some on Hank’s. Both babies were a happy mess, with tomato sauce and cheese in every facial orifice and throughout their hair. Stray sauce and cheese decorated the wall nearby, too. Between the food stains, the baby paraphernalia, and the toys, Anjuli Radavan’s Georgetown apartment looked very different from the neat and organized home it had been when she’d lived there alone.

“Logan and Charles Xavier,” she said, answering Jean-Paul’s question.

“What’s up?” Adam weighed in.

“I don’t know, exactly. They’re visiting Magneto, trying to get some information from him, I think. Then later in the week Charles is meeting with the President again. Trading telepathically acquired intelligence for concessions on mutant rights? I don’t know precisely what’s going on. I’ll draw some blood from Logan while they’re here, anyway.”

Jean-Paul rolled his eyes. “He’ll love that.”

Anjuli shrugged. “He puts up with it, which is all I ask.”Collapse )

The Perfect Ceremony (A Time to Every Purpose 3/10)

“What does he want?” Jean-Paul hissed, lying next to Adam but not touching him. He wanted to yell, really. But with Ezra having just fallen asleep after a difficult time settling, and with Anjuli in the next room, he settled for an angry whisper and complete lack of physical contact.

“I don’t know!” Adam answered. “I haven’t talked to him.” He sighed and sat up. He picked up a pillow and put it behind his back so the metal bars that made up the headboard of their bed wouldn’t bother him. “I told you I wouldn’t, didn’t I? I said I’d have nothing to do with him and I’ve kept my word. I haven’t spoken to him since that one time I called him to find out his HIV status and anything else he could tell me. That was a long time ago. I haven’t heard from him since, not until he started leaving voicemails for me at work. I didn’t call him back. Don’t believe me? Fine. Listen to Anjuli. She told you he called here because he couldn’t get me at work.”Collapse )

The Body of a Man (A Time to Every Purpose 5/10)

I thought I could just let it go. It had been a great night, after a lousy start. The sex had been so hot. The kind where you close your eyes and you can feel it all over again the next day. And it hadn’t just been sex. We’d talked, we’d held each other. He’d told me he wouldn’t call Jake Patterson and I’d believed him. He’d told me he’d had nothing to do with him all this time. I’d believed that, too. I’d felt loved and secure. I’d felt like we were getting over this.
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If Thou Survive (A Time to Every Purpose 6/10)

Sitting cross-legged on the bed, papers in front of him, Scott looked up as the door opened. “I’m glad it’s you,” he said, motioning to Logan to sit next to him on the bed. He collected the papers and put them back in a manila file folder.

“Why? ‘Cause you want to suck my dick?” Logan sat down, hand sliding along Scott’s thigh briefly.

“That, too.” Collapse )

How Bright Their Frail Deeds (A Time to Every Purpose 8/10)

“Dr. Grey?” RoseAnn was still breathless, after running to catch up with Jean. “Do you have a few minutes?”

“Sure.” Jean opened the door to her office. The two of them went in and sat down on the couch. “What’s up?”

Now that she actually had the chance to speak, RoseAnn wasn’t so sure she wanted to. She hesitated a minute and then said, “I don’t want to bother you.”

“It’s no bother.”

“Mr. Summers said I could talk to you about anything that was on my mind. While he’s gone. Since he isn’t here for me to talk to, you know. Because he’s my advisor.” She took a deep breath. “But I don’t know if I would talk to him about this, anyway. Probably not. It might be too embarrassing and maybe it’s easier to talk to a woman or maybe it’s harder and maybe it’s not worth talking about at all and I just shouldn’t say anything and should just go back to my dorm...” She twirled a lock of hair nervously around her finger.

“Why don’t you just tell me what’s on your mind, RoseAnn?”Collapse )

Thy Straying Youth (A Time to Every Purpose 9/10)

“I don’t want to talk to you.” Jake Patterson stood in the doorway, looking like he was trying to decide whether to shut the door in Adam’s face.

“I know. I figured that out from how you hung up on me every time I called. They taught me to deduce motivation from people’s actions in journalism school.”

Jake looked like he might laugh in spite of himself, but got the twitch at the corners of his mouth under control and resumed scowling. They stood there for a moment looking at each other, and then Jake opened the door wider and gestured Adam in. The door opened into the living room of Jake’s apartment. “Sit down,” Jake said, managing to make the offer sound hostile rather than hospitable. Adam looked around at the options, and settled for one end of the couch. Jake sat down at the other end of it, turning to face Adam, his bare feet crossed under him. “What do you want?” he said.Collapse )
Jean Grey

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.Collapse )

Literature Guide for A Time to Every Purpose

In my stories, as in the X-Men movie, Scott Summers is a mutant superhero who also teaches high school. The movie doesn't specify what he teaches, but I've made him an English teacher. Xavier's Academy is a small school with a large variety of classes to choose from. Consequently each of the teachers takes on several different classes. Scott is seen in my stories teaching courses ranging from Shakespeare to Creative Writing to a poetry survey course, when he's not off on a mission. As Scott tells Logan in We’re Not What You Think, it's kind of a strange job. "Sometimes I teach English, sometimes I save the human race," he explains.

With Scott a major figure in most of my fiction, the stories tend to contain a lot of literary quotes, most of them guided by Scott's tastes in literature (which, strangely, mirror my own). It has been my practice to publish a literature guide providing references for the quotes in each series, along with URLs, where available, for those wishing to read the works quoted. Collapse )