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No Choice At All by dee
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Author's Notes:
I did a half-hour improv exercise with a friend, and this was the result. The guidelines were the emotion "happy" and the words beam, colour and dead.
It was gone, and he was happy.

Scott couldn't stop staring at his hand. Pink hand. But sort of browny, too, paler around the knuckles and he could see the purpling of veins under the skin. Myriad colours. Couldn't look beyond his hand. There was green blanket on the edge of his vision, and that was almost too much. Too soon. Already the jubilation was bubbling in the back of his throat, and all he'd done was stare at his hand.

They'd given him a choice.

"An inhibitor," Hank had explained, pushing his glasses up his nose. "Surgically implanted. And then some therapy, medication for the rest of your life." A sudden, direct glance from owlish eyes. "It will be gone. Do you understand that, Scott? Really understand that?"

He'd blinked, behind that infernal visor where no one could see. "Of course I do."

Eye-beams, or colours.

In the end, it was no choice at all.

He was lying in the sun, and he was happy.

Hank let him out into the garden on nice days. Days when it was too nice to be cooped up inside.

And now, he could lie in the sun. For as long as he wanted. The only part of him that glowed afterwards was his skin, rosy pink with sunburn he'd never got before. Never got when his body converted sunlight straight into pure force.

The first time he'd got sunburnt, he'd got it so badly he hadn't been able to sleep that night for the pain. He lay awake until 4am, grinning in the darkness.

That first day, there'd been the faintest creak of the approaching wheelchair. He'd been expecting visitors.

"Hank tells me you'll be back on your feet soon. We need you, Scott."

The sun beat down on his closed eyelids, and he was full of joy, because the energy went only one way. "What for? No eye-beams, no mutancy, no X-Men."

"That wasn't your only gift, Scott. There's always a place for you."

"Don't flatter me, Professor. I don't need it."

"What are you going to do, then?"

He shifted, skin warm. "Go somewhere. Back to Alaska, maybe."

The creak of the wheelchair moved away as Scott began to crisp.

Hanging around the past, or a new life.

In the end, it was no choice at all.

He was leaving, and he was happy.

He checked over the bike one more time, moving with care because he still wasn't entirely used to the way the world moved differently now. But he liked it better this way. Liked the blurring jaggedness at the edge of his vision sometimes.

The bike was good to go. He was good to go. Bag was packed, strapped to the back of the bike.

He was pulling on thin leather gloves when he heard the front door open behind him. He didn't turn too fast; that made the world tilt. Didn't turn at all until he heard her voice: "So you're really leaving."

Then he looked carefully back at her. "That's right."

She sighed, pushed white hair back over her shoulder. "This is shit, you know that. She wouldn't have wanted this."

He turned away. "Ororo, don't."

She kept talking. She was like that. "It wasn't your fault."

He swung a leg over the bike. "I know."

She took another step closer. "She was dead when we got there."

His teeth clenched. The bike started with a liquid snarl.

But he could still hear her. "There was nothing we could have done."

Then he turned his head, looked straight at her with eyes that could see now. "I know. That's why."

The bike revved once, and pulled away in a faint squeal of tires.

Staying in that world, or running away.

In the end, it was no choice at all.