X-men Evolution Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ BurnOut ❯ Chapter 4 ( Chapter 4 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Come in, Scott.
You never needed to knock on Xavier's door, Scott reminded himself.
“Professor,” Summers began, entering Charles' study, “sorry it took me a while. Jean had to get used to the harness.”
“I'm glad you're here, Scott. I wanted to talk some more, about Jean.”
“She's still outside. She said she needed to be alone with the wind.”
“You left her alone?” Xavier sounded slightly concerned.
“She's wearing the harness. She told me you said it would be okay,” Scott answered nervously.
“It's fine. Sit down.”
Scott was always surprised to find the furniture in Xavier's office so comfortable. Maybe it was just the physical relief of not having to support his body while being mentally examined by the Professor.
“Try to relax, Scott. I'm not examining you.”
“Uh-huh. I can't relax, you know that. Should I have left her alone out there?”
“We have to start trusting Jean to make her own decisions again.”
“But you think she might take off like before…”
“We can't keep her locked up in the Danger Room forever. And no matter what we do to restrain her, if at any moment she were to manifest the power she displayed two weeks ago, she would overwhelm all of us, easily.”
“Professor, I don't understand. Why is it happening again? I thought you set up barriers to prevent this,” Cyclops fixed the roiling beams that shot from his crystal-lined eye-sockets squarely on Xavier.
“It is my fault, Scott.” Xavier's vision wandered to the window adjacent to his chair. The clouds outside had receded, revealing a sunny afternoon. “Jean had to call on every possible reserve of strength and will to stop me when I was under Apocalypse's control. She had no choice but to break down all the boundaries we'd constructed over the years. And I fear she went beyond, tapping into something else, some unknown, elemental force.”
“Is that why she won't talk to me?” Scott asked. Xavier detected a faint tremor in his voice.
“She isn't talking to anyone, Scott. I don't think she feels she's really here. Her senses are overloaded, even with the new sedatives Moira's been administering. Her head's so full of noise - I can't see clearly into her mind. In the few coherent thoughts I have been able to make out, she's up there, in the clouds…” Xavier noticed a large shadow swiftly passing over the lawn. “So I thought it was time she had some fresh air.”
“When she flew off that day, after we got back, where the hell was she going? What was she trying to do?”
“I don't know,” Charles responded, raising his hands to touch his temples.
“Do you think she wanted to obliterate herself?”
“Scott, we should go out to the terrace. Jean may need us.”
* * * * * * * *
Warren couldn't turn away from the piercing light. The blinding radiance rushed over him. The impact of the shockwave nearly knocked the wind out of his lungs. Inhaling deeply, he found himself hanging in the air, unbound by Earth's gravity. Caught in Jean's orbit, his flaxen hair rose towards the sun. Next to her fiery form, he seemed translucent, like a thin sheet of paper held up to a flame.
Peering into her blazing irises, his eyes ceased to hurt. Now he could see things - tiny bits of the universe, different forms of energy, the forces binding together the particles in the oxygen molecules that burned up in the shrinking air space between his fingers and the release on her harness. In the flood of images and emotions that inundated his senses, he and Jean flew over fields and mountains and followed the foils of cresting ocean waves. She had wings like his; he felt them. He must set her free. They would be together, airborne, where they belonged.
Jean Grey hadn't expected to meet anyone floating several hundred feet above the mansion. She had risen to the furthest extent of her tether to be alone, away from everyone below, and the nattering buzz of their brains. For a moment she thought he was another psychic projection tossed up from the river of random figures that raced through her mind. Then she sensed his heart beating. He was drifting close enough to touch. His streaming hair was golden and his clear blue eyes stared into her soul. A magnificent pair of wings stretched out behind him. It was Warren Worthington, the Angel, and he wanted her to fly away with him.
A new presence dispelled Jean's reverie. He spoke to her forcefully. He said he had seen the future and she must see it too. He showed her Warren falling from a great distance. From above she watched him plummet to the ground, his burnt face was bleeding while tufts of feathers broke off his singed wings. Jean shuddered and backed away from Warren's advance.
“Warren, stop,” she blocked his hand. “I can't do this.”
I can't allow my actions to destroy you.
“Jean, we'll be okay. We'll burn it off, all this energy, together.”
I almost let you fall. You would have crashed…
The brilliant aura encompassing them collapsed. Warren felt her strain as she forcefully folded the energy around her, compressing it until it comprised two dense points of searing light emitting from her eyes.
I have to go. Scott and the Professor are down there.
Scott's small voice came from below, “Jean? Are you all right?”
“I'm fine, Scott. Bring me down,” she answered without shifting her gaze from Warren.
The mechanism started reeling in the cable attached to her harness. Angel was still on fire. She looked up at him, shining in the sky, his feathers pulsing with light. She had never seen anything more beautiful.
Don't come down, Warren.