Let's be rational. I'm a teenage male, I'm in an intense, life-threatening situation, it's not that sensational that I've got sexual fantasies playing out in my head.
Anyone looking at my position would probably have to agree, since I have a gorgeous redhead, previously seeking comfort in my arms, curled up next to me in beautifully innocent sleep, her hair just brushing my thigh.
But I confess, I'm not thinking about Jean.
There's a lot of things I'm not thinking about. Steadfastly not thinking about. I'm not thinking about the fact that I came within a sneeze of dying painfully today. I'm not thinking about the fact that Jean killed to save me. I'm not thinking about the fact that the Wolverine's in here with us now, and much as I hate to admit it, I was relying on his outside intervention to make my escape plans viable.
And there's a lot of reasons I shouldn't be thinking about Ororo, a lot of reasons why I can't have her. But it's easy to blame the big ones, the ones I hate anyway - Sabretooth, Wraith, Weapon X, the whole frigging system that put us here. Easy to ignore the small reason that is Hank.
Sure, he's blue, but what does that have against the fact that she's his? In a different time and place, he drew her close in the kitchen, arms around her waist and head on her shoulder, and she didn't even break her conversation with Peter. Casual, public, just like that.
The memory's still like a punch in the gut. She was never mine like that. Never mine at all, really. But in my head, it can all be different.
* * * * *
At the end of a long, hard day - in the space between ending the afternoon's work and dinner - I retreated to my shower. One of the perks of living here longer was having a room with an ensuite, and it was my saviour. Wonderful, therapeutic, feeling the tension drummed out with the beat of water against my shoulders, face, eyelids. Washed away in a sudsing gurgle around my feet.
As I shut off the water, I thought I heard a noise from the outside room, something wooden, like a knock at the door. I waited, dripping, to see if it repeated. I certainly wasn't going to call out, or investigate, as I was: naked, blind and in no fit state (or mood) to deal with visitors. There was no further noise anyway. My imagination, obviously.
I dried off by routine, found my glasses in their spot on the counter. Towel wrapped around my waist - yes, even in my own room - I headed out of the bathroom.
And stopped dead. Late afternoon sunlight splayed over my room, splashing everything in warm golden tones. It turned her chocolate skin almost russet, sitting there on my bed. Her glorious hair was laced with fire, and the eyes she turned my way were white.
In afternoon sun, as opposed to the slithering late-night shadows of our usual 'arrangement', she looked almost unbearably real. As if she wasn't a dream that would vanish before morning, slipping through my fingers.
While my brain was gaping, my mouth was running away. "Ororo! What are you doing here?"
Shit, no, wrong, and I saw it in her face in an instant. You've fucked it now, Cyclops; move!
Three steps across the room. She fumbled the doorknob, had the door barely two inches open when my open palm hit it, slamming it shut again. I pressed my other hand against the wall on the other side, hemming her in. Afraid she might run, afraid I might fall if I didn't hold myself up.
I stood there, with her huddled inside the braced space of my arms, wondering what the hell I could say. Her hair - never fully restrained - was tickling my bare chest. I leaned forward just enough to feel the strands against my face, the delicate perfume of her shampoo insinuating itself. And underneath, the faint trace of a scent that was pure her. If I moved forward further, around near to her ear, the shampoo smell faded away.
Down the side of her neck, not touching, not quite. Following the sight of her skin, lingering gold from the heavy colour in the air, as the sun burned ignored in the window behind me. Her collarbone was shadowed, marred only by the tiny strap of the blue sundress she's wearing. Beside that obstruction I touched her, finally, lips grazing the faint rise of the bone.
She was trembling, ever-so-slightly. Or maybe that was me. Or maybe both. Her hands were raised to the door, fingers splayed on the wood.
"Ororo," I exhaled, inhaled against her skin. A shiver passed through her, and she leaned back against me, the faintest, most blindingly excrutiating pressure.
Her breath was losing regularity; my own mimicked it. When my name left her lips it was barely a whisper, but it thundered through my blood. She arched backwards, her head touching my shoulder, and her pulse was jumping in her throat. I pressed my lips to it, felt the beat against my skin. I didn't need both hands on the wall any more; slid one over her hip, gathered the fabric of her dress in my fist, bunched it up.
"You're here," I stated unnecessarily. Vitally.
"I'm here," she confirmed.
Ororo twisted, time twisted, space twisted and she was in my arms, wrapped around me, her lips and tongue, and skin under my hands. Her dress hit the floor shortly after my towel, and I pulled her, naked, down onto the bed, kissed and was kissed as I ran hands over skin I never expected - never dreamed - would be coloured by the sun.
Her hands tangled in my hair, ran over my back, traced the muscles of my chest, smoothed over my face to take my glasses. I closed my eyes as she tugged them off. Fingers so intimate on my face, whispering over my closed eyelids, and I still saw her in my mind.
"Make love to me, Scott," she said simply. "Love me."
And with all my heart, my soul, my mind and body, I did.
When I woke, there was a faint chill, and the soft sounds of dusk out the window. My glasses were gone, my eyes shut, but I didn't need sight. There was weight and warmth in my arms, breath against my cheek.
"We've missed dinner," Ororo murmured in my ear.
"I'm not really hungry anyway." I strove for nonchalance, but my arms betrayed me by drawing her closer. I couldn't let her go, couldn't let her leave.
She merely snuggled against me. "Me neither."
"Stay," I blurted, and prayed, clutched her against me, but she didn't vanish, didn't slip away. Her fingers trailed down my cheek, feather-light and solid as reality.
"Of course I will, Scott."
* * * * *
It takes me a minute to realise it's here and now, Ororo saying my name from across the corridor, one cell down.
I lean forward, twist and peer. But I can't see around corners, can't see her.
There's a faint intake of breath, or maybe I'm imagining things. Maybe it's Jean snoring.
"Oh, I just... ah... nothing."
Seconds of silence, of the faint hum of the energy fields and Kurt muttering almost inaudibly in German.
Seconds that stretch into minutes, and I whisper into them, fainter than thought: "I love you."
My imagination again, or maybe I really did hear the faintest of echoes.
Confessions by dee
All stories are works of fan-fiction by Dee. "Fan-fiction" means that she does not own any of the core creative concepts and characters, but she does heap adulation, appreciation and awe upon those people who do hold the intellectual property rights to those concepts and characters. Further, any instances of real people are fictional, and the author does not wish to suggest any truth should be attached to the actions, emotions and words attributed to them in these fictional stories.