Who: Jeanix, Cyclops When: March 15th, 2008 (late at night) Where: Jean's room What: mutual sleeplessness Status: in progress Rating: PG-13
Emotional baggage and moral dilemmas aside, Scott was obviously lonely. It had been months since his return from ... nothingness and he had had little human contact that wasn't the Professor or Ronan. His sleeping arrangement had been tolerably nostalgic, but now (with Hank dead), the empty bed of his departed roommate was haunting and was making his delicate emotional state all the more fragile. He couldn't sleep - especially not alone in his empty room.
When he reached the hallway, his feet seemed to take over, and they led him to the last room he'd occupied at Xavier's. It belonged to Jean alone, now, and he wasn't sure why he'd stopped at the door. There were several reasons he might have, had the situation between them been different, but he had tried to be friendly with Jean, if not avoidant. He raised his hand to knock, but lowered it again and turned the knob to enter. "Jean?" he called out, then slipped sideways in through the barely-opened door. "Are you here?"
Her days (and most of her nights) were usually spent working diligently in the lab along side of her medically trained colleagues. There was a constant parade of new theories to put to the test and yet, they were no closer to finding the answers they had been so desperately seeking than they had been since the beginning of this whole debacle. It was frustrating, but what other choice did they have? They had to find a cure or the world as they knew it would be over for good, and that wasn't acceptable. Failure was not an option. But tonight, Jean was given the night off to 'recharge her batteries,' as it were; though she knew that the chances of sleep coming to take her would be slim to none.
On occasion, Jean would manage to get a solid three or four (five if she was lucky) hours of sleep a night/day. And when she couldn't sleep, she spent her downtime reading or watching a movie down in the Rec Room whenever it was empty (which was usually later in the evening); or she'd strike up a conversation with the Professor, Lorna, or Ororo - whenever they weren't busy working on other things, of course. But, having one-on-one alone time with Scott was something of a rarity these days, as their relationship wasn't as solid as it had been before; so she had spotted him enter her room as she rounded the corner she looked a bit surprised; and she sounded it too, when she spoke up, "Scott?"
She had come to a stop in front of her now-opened door, looking a touch worried. "Is something wrong?" Jean took a step closer.
Scott nearly jumped when Jean's voice came from OUTSIDE the door, and he peeked his face back through to look at her outside her own room. "No. Well, no. There isn't. I just came to check in on you. Thought you might be awake."
Whatever his motives or intentions, it didn't seem to matter now. After the surprise and then the sight of Jean, he felt like he wouldn't go to sleep for a week, at least. "Are you okay?" His shoulder leaned into the frame of the door and he pulled it open wider. For some reason, he thought he ought to be more proper, but he was falling into more comfortable habits.
"Oh, I'm fine," she said squeezing herself past Scott to get into her room, while simultaneously removing the white coat from off of her shoulders. She wasn't trying to be rude or anything, but she was desperately wanting to get out of her work clothes, since she had been wearing them for the better half of twenty-four hours.
"How are you doing?" she asked in return as she quickly retrieved the hanger she had on the back of the door and proceeded to hang the coat (along with her stethoscope) back onto it again. It was a wonder she could remember to keep things tidy these days, but Jean didn't work well in disorganized settings.
"I'm tired," Scott admitted as he moved clear of Jean's assumed path. The door had been shut sometime in her entering or coat-hanging and he distanced himself from it still, opting to stand in front of the dresser where his clothes had once been kept. "I guess you feel the same." It wasn't a question. He knew her well enough to know when she was wiped.
"Jean," he paused, mustering the courage to say what he was truly feeling. He knew she could just pluck it from his train of thought. That's what she used to do when he was having trouble finding the words he needed. He had appreciated it, then. Now though, he guessed she wasn't so intrusive. She probably didn't suppose she was welcome in his mind anymore. This thought saddened him, suddenly, and it spurred him to spit out what was on his mind. "I can't stop thinking about how much I miss you."
He took a few barefoot steps toward the redhead and paused, trying to force the last time they'd collided and the result from his head. These were Jean's eyes he was watching, not the dark, hollow ones he associated with 'The Phoenix'.
"Yes," she said, "very, very tired." He knew her too well.
Jean loved Scott. She did. She loved him more than anyone, but things had become strange between them. She couldn't blame him for not wanting to go back to how things were before she had become 'The Phoenix'; it would be like pretending like nothing had ever happened, and they just couldn't do that. They couldn't just forget all of they pain and suffering, and death that she had brought to so many innocent people, including a few that she loved deeply (namely Scott and the Professor); but she was hoping that over time, things would go back to normal - or at least some semblance of normalcy.
The air seemed to have caught in Jean's throat when she heard the words that followed and she turned back to look at him; her hand was still clutching the hanger her coat and stethoscope were currently residing on. It wasn't like she didn't suspect that he missed her or anything, but it was always nice to hear the words said out loud. "I miss you too, Scott," she admitted, taking a few steps towards him; but she stopped before she got too close.
When the confirmation of their mutual feelings met his ears, he closed the gap they had both been narrowing and he moved his arms to encircle them around her slim frame. There was a moment of unconscious hesitation - as if two parts of him were at odds over the subject of Jean. But when he made contact with her; when he touched her arms against his, then felt her back with his hands, the inhibitions lifted.
Despite the goodness and warmth that he felt at the touch, he also sensed there was some awkwardness. It almost felt like the first time he had embraced her. Or maybe the first kiss. There was something exciting about it all - like he was exploring uncharted territory. "Jean," he might've gone on, but he didn't really have anything more to say. Her name sounded right, though, and while his lips were still parted, he moved them forward. If they only brushed her cheek, he'd be content.
"Scott, I---" she began, but stopped. Her eyes were staring back into his own and she couldn't look away.
Her mouth was tantalizingly close to his now, and for whatever reason she was trying to hold back from kissing him. She loved him, but she was having a hard time believing that this was actually happening - that Scott was there, in her room, with his arms wrapped around her and was he poised to kiss her. It had been such a long time that they had shared an intimate moment with each other that she was trying to remember how this all went.
Deciding that they had waited long enough, Jean leaned in with lips parted, and she kissed him instead. She kissed him with all of the passion and the longing she had had building up inside of her for months and months, and it had felt so good - so right - so perfect.
Cyclops leaned into the touch, letting his eyes shut slowly behind the ruby-quartz lenses that masked them. He pulled her closer against him and returned the kiss with longing to match Jean's. Something motivated him to make the next move that was almost out of character, but the civil side of his mind kept tabs. He raised his right arm to line her shoulder blades, while the left dropped from her side and moved to scoop the redhead up into his grasp. He cradled her now, having never parted lips.
His legs carried both of them toward the bed, and instead of releasing the woman, he turned and sat so that she was in his lap and embrace. His left hand abandoned its post under her legs (whereas they were across his lap now) and he brought his fingers up so they could caress her cheek. They found themselves pushing back across her hair (that was still done up). His palm came to rest under her ear, and while he continued to kiss her, his thumb stroked her delicate cheekbone. This felt right - and good. Scott suddenly didn't feel like such an aimless wanderer. 'I love you' he thought, openly.