Chalk Lines
by Lassiter

This is not the worst moment of his life.

(He ought to write that a hundred times on a blackboard. He imagines the chalk crumbling in his hand and spending the rest of his days staring at a dust-covered blankness the janitor forgot to clean up.)

In truth, this is many things, all of which fit under the category of 'a general fucking up of Scott Summers's life.'

It's been a long time since Jean died. Sometimes he feels it and sometimes he doesn't. He hates it when he doesn't because that's when the aforementioned This comes along.

Jean left a gaping hole inside him, and a variety of things would fill it, depending on his mood. The first few times, it had been Ororo, because it made sense. She's a beautiful woman, after all. She's good-hearted, and warm, and was Jean's best friend (guilty by association, Scott thought wryly), and damn it. Just... damn it.

The nights are lonely and Scott knows he's not himself and he shouldn't do anything he'd later regret. So he doesn't. And he hates that he does nothing. He hates that he wants to do something. He hates that he doesn't know what else to do and is it really that hard to bring somebody back from the dead? Is it really that fucking hard?

A variety of things, a variety of thoughts, but only in his head, in the dark, when he can't see how low he's sunk.

Sometimes it's the students. He feels dirty and broken when it happens but he can't help it, and he jerks off frustratedly to thoughts of a soft-skinned Jubilee, a touchable Rogue. An overeager Bobby Drake, sometimes, if Scott is so inclined. Bobby frowns over a physics problem the same way Jean frowns over a questionable scientific observation.

Damn it.

Scott thinks to himself: you're supposed to be better than this.

Some nights it's Logan that he's touching in his head. These past few nights it's usually Logan. It's only natural, really, Scott thinks. Being the competition and all. There must be some dominance issue that's working itself out here, or some transfer of feelings and projected frustration. Something. There must be some textbook out there that explains what Scott's feeling.

He's just tired of being the strong one. No, he's tired of not being able to be the strong one anymore.

If only someone would say to him, "If only you weren't so goddamn noble all the time..." Then Scott could say, "You know what? You're right. You're right and I'm going to fucking do something about it."

Scott avoids Ororo altogether these days and he's managed to keep the in-class ogling under control, but at half past midnight he finds himself standing in front of Logan's door. He doesn't really plan to do anything. Just stand there until the bursts of temptation subside, staring at a barrier they both could dispose of with no problem at all. How stupid to forget that Logan's heightened sensory perception would pick up his scent.

The opening of the door catches Scott by surprise.

"What do you want?" Logan asks. He looks annoyed. He always looks annoyed.


And when the door closes, Scott realises it's partly true.


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