X Men Evolution the Next Generation (almost)
Chapter 1: Fallen Angel
When does a child become an adult? What defines adulthood- what makes people 'grown up'? Is it simply the passage of time? If so, how long? Fifteen years? Twenty? Thirty? Or is it a biological process? If this were the case, then, why do so many people in their twenties, definitely having completed puberty, still act selfishly, like children?
After much contemplation of this question Jean Grey had come to the conclusion that growing up was a result of having to face certain traumas that forced you to become an adult. Some people could go their whole lives without having to do so- living in the lap of luxury with no more than childish cares. But most would be forced to grow up by the pressure of peers and the shock of living alone, or a parent's death.
However, somethings made you grow up fast. Being exiled from society because you're a 'freak', being ridiculed and subject to constant attacks, and don't forget saving the world, all contributed to one extra-fast maturation. Being a mutant, being an X-Man, meant growing up fast, and that's just what she had done.
Or so she rationalised now that she was almost three months late. 'Forced by the pressures and traumas of life as X Men we grew up fast...' she repeated her thoughts, '... and that's why we had sex' Her argument wasn't looking too strong so far.
'But why shouldn't we?' she moaned mentally, 'I'm 18, so's Scott. Kids at school had been having sex since they were 16, sometimes younger!' she thought with fury, 'So why couldn't we?'
She sighed. No matter how much fervor her arguments had she couldn't convince her guilty conscience that she had done nothing wrong. The only true satisfaction she could find was to blame Scott. She didn't hold hims responsible normally, but times like this when she struggled to justify her position she would often pass the buck to him.
Their first time had been so abrupt that he didn't even use a condom- and she now marveled at how narrowly she must have avoided her current situation then. That night, half a year ago, after defeating Apocalypse and saving the world they had celebrated by consummating their relationship, and from then on they made a point of celebrating it rather regularly.
The problem (as she saw it) was Scott's powers. Wearing his glasses was a fine prevention, in theory, but as he pointed out they weren't liable to stay on if her were moving around rather rapidly, as they expected to be. His visor would have been another idea, but he protested that- first of all Professor Xavier or one of the instructors may discover it to be missing, and question what he had been using it for- or worse, lying one way or another he could accidentally press the button to activate it, and then it would be bye bye Jean. And of course he couldn't be trusted to merely keep his eyes shut- the temptation would be far too strong. They had settled, eventually, on a bandanna covering his eyes. After much testing they had realised that for his powers to manifest he needed to have a few centimetres clear in front of his eyes. Even a sheet of paper taped over his eyes would stop it from working. So the bandanna worked perfectly- sure he couldn't see anything- but Jean preferred for him to find his way about by feel.
So it seemed their problem was solved, or at least to Jean it did. Little did she know, Scott had been grappling with another problem that he was rather embarrassed to tell her about, and it had cost her dearly. It turned out that Scott, while he would stalwartly walk to the front of the store and ask for a packet of condoms, as many other boys were terrified to do, struggled terribly to put them on. He described the problem to her in great detail, after she much goading. To put it on he had to look down. Looking down his glasses would slip- at which point he would either shut his eyes or lose the part of him they both loved the most. So he couldn't see exactly what he was doing, and didn't quite get it on right. Jean had commented occasionally that it didn't look right- and now she had the morning sickness to prove it.
She sighed again and stopped walking. She had been heading for Professor Xavier's office, but was now in front of the door to the living room. She could hear Kitty humming to something on her personal stereo inside. She bit her lip and glanced from the doorway to the corridor. Eventually procrastination won out and she headed into the living room and slumped down on the couch opposite Kitty.
Kitty had her eyes closed mindlessly shaking her head to the beat. It took several minutes before she realised Jean was sitting in front of her.
“Umm, hey.” she said, switching her stereo off, “Is something wrong?” she asked, judging by Jean's bleak expression.
“... Yeah...” Jean sighed, unsure how how to explain. She paused for a while, and an awkward silence developed. “I'm...” she started again, but then stopped, “Can I...” she started again, before finally asking “Are you a virgin?”
“What?” Kitty asked with a laugh, “Of course...” she blushed slightly, “Are you saying you're not?”
Jean winced. She had been hoping, slightly, that her answer would have been no. “No, I'm not.” she said, without blushing.
“Wow... Hey, you're with Scott, right?” Kitty asked, with a note of concern.
“Who else?” Jean replied.
“Well, there was... Duncan...” she shrugged.
“Eyuch, no, never Duncan.” Jean grimaced.
“Wow...” Kitty said again, still in shock from Jean's revelation.
There was another pause. Jean opened her mouth, about to reveal the truth to Kitty, but thought better of it at the last second, “So you and Lance haven't...?”
“No-oh way.” she laughed again, “Although it's not that he doesn't want to. I was just a little, worried y'know? But I guess if you think it's okay...” she continued to laugh.
“I didn't say it was okay...” Jean gestured, “...but... it's hard to restrain yourself sometimes.”
“Yeah, I mean, to tell you the truth I'm just scared.” Kitty said, honestly, “Did it hurt when you and Scott...?”
“At first... but it gets better after that.” Jean explained.
“Yeah, well, I could still get pregnant and that'd be like- zip- social life over.” she laughed.
Jean did not.
“Hey, what's wrong? You're white as a sheet all of a sudden...” Kittie asked, unsure what had gone wrong, “Did I say something that...? OhmyGod- are you-?”
“I'm pregnant.” Jean finally admitted.
“Whoooaa...” Kitty wailed. “You?!” she asked again.
“Yeah... me.” Jean said in a monotone voice.
Kitty spluttered and stuttered for a few minutes trying to find the words she wanted. Finally she asked “How far along are you?”
“Nearly three months, as best I can count.” Jean answered.
“How long have you known?” Kitty continued her barrage of questions.
“About one and a half months.” Jean went on, glumly.
She still had the pregnancy test in her purse. She couldn't throw it away- someone might find it, and if she ever had to consult it (on the off chance she had somehow misread it) she would need to have it. While walking around she would frequently dive back in and retrieve it, assuring herself that it was still pink. It never changed, to her dismay.
“Was it... intentional?” Kitty asked, more cautiously.
“No.” Jean yelped. She calmed herself before answering fully, “No. It was an accident.”
“Does Scott know?” Kitty asked, leaning closer to to the other girl.
“Not yet. You're the only one I've told. I was just on my way to see the Professor...” Jean glanced at the doorway, leading to the hall, and somewhere beyond that loomed Professor Xavier, laying in wait for her confession.
“And you told me? Wow, I feel kind of special now...” Kitty blushed.
“I imagine by this time tomorrow everyone will know...” Jean sighed, getting up.
“Hey- Jean...” Kitty reached out to her.
“Yeah?” Jean glanced back.
“Let me come with you- you told me, it's time for me to repay the favour.” Kitty got up and followed.
Jean smiled. There were tears now holding bay at the back of her eyes, “Thanks Kitty. That would mean a lot to me.”
They walked silently down the empty hall towards the Professor's office. It was a Saturday afternoon and most of the students had left for the mall, or gone out to have fun. Jean obviously had other things on her mind, and Kitty had been rather depressed- she was flat-broke and couldn't afford to go to the mall, one of her favourite activities. Nothing could be further from her mind now as she walked with the young mother-to-be down the hall.
Professor Xavier was mostly house-bound due to his disability, and usually kept to his office where he would file paper work and use his computer. He liked to be around in case any of the students needed him, as they often did, like now.
“Come in Jean.” his voice heralded from behind the door as she went to knock it. She shrugged and entered, Kitty in toe.
“Professor...” Jean started as she entered the room, nodding to him out of respect.
“What have you come to see me about, Jean... Kitty?” he asked, looking from one girl to the other.
While the Professor was psychic and could easily have extracted such information from their brains, he refrained from reading anything more than the surface thoughts usually, out of common courtesy.
“I'm just hear for morale support...” Kitty explained and took a seat.
“Professor, I'm...” Jean started, but as with Kitty found it difficult to explain. She sat down in one of the deep leather seats beside Kitty. “I, er... over the past few months I've discovered that I'm...” she bit her lip.
“Do you want me to tell him?” Kitty whispered.
“No, no, I'll be okay...” Jean took a deep breath, “I mean, if I couldn't do this on my own how would I raise a baby?” she laughed.
“Baby?” Xavier raised an eyebrow.
Jean swallowed, “That's right Professor. I'm pregnant. By Scott.” she said and sat stock still, bracing herself for impact.
“Congratulations.” was Xavier's first response. It prompted a look of shock out of Jean, “While you're a little young I can't think of any two people who would make better parents... Does he know, though?”
“No... I've only told Kitty and you so far...” Jean glanced back at Kitty.
“She's three moths along.” Kitty added, anticipating the Professor's next question.
“I think your next move should be to tell Scott, and think about what you're going to tell your parents.” Xavier went on.
“Oh...” Jean said in surprise, “I almost forgot about them...” She rubbed her chin. If she had expected it to be hard to tell Professor Xavier, just about the kindest man she knew, it would be nearly impossible to tell her parents. They thought she was an angel (as she may well have been, before she got knocked up) who could do no wrong. They may well see this fall-from-grace to be the corruption of the institute and have her removed. That would be just about her worst fear- taken away from Scott, and made to live in ridicule- probably even give up her baby.
“It's up to you how you tell them, but I suggest that we do so as a group- provide a united front. They may not take this very well...” he sighed.
“Where is Scott right now anyway?” Kitty asked.
Somewhere else in the house they heard a door creak open and closed. The Professor put a hand to his temple. “That's him now, actually.”
“I, uh, better go...” Jean said, standing up. “Thank you so much for understanding Professor.” she bowed to him.
“No need for thanks Jean, you deserve all the understanding you can get.” he said as she left, with Kitty following.
As prophesied Scott was walking in through the main hall, heading for the stairs. Upon seeing Jean he stopped and smiled. He was carrying a small red bag in one arm. Kitty hopped into the living room, leaving the two young lovers to talk alone.
“Jean.” Scott said, walking up to her.
“Scott...” she responded. “There's something I need to tell you...”
“Can it wait?” he tilted his head, “I thought we could watch this...” he presented her with the bag.
Jean was well aware that she should have stoutly refused him and told him that it couldn't wait, but once more she was inclined to procrastinate, let him live in blissful ignorance for a little longer, and let her put off the trouble.
“Well... alright...” she took the bag.
Inside she found a small wrapped cuboid- a DVD case. She smiled and ravenously un-wrapped it, revealing a copy of “Beauty and the Beast”. It may have been a Disney movie, but it was one of Jean's favourites, especially since it seemed to apply more and more to her life. The main character was an outcast due to a physical abnormality, and over the past few years she had learned a lot about being an outcast. Plus there is the romance story, which she loved. She had had an old VHS version at home, but her father had- in a fit of passion- taped over it with a foot ball game and she hadn't been able to find a copy since. A wide grin spread across her face.
“Oh, Scott!” she yelled, throwing her arms around him. “Where did you find this?!”
“Hey-hey, they just re-released it.” he said, honestly, although returned her embrace, “I didn't go to that much trouble to get it.”
“Lets go watch it!” she dashed off to her room- forgetting that she had to tell him she was pregnant- almost forgetting she was pregnant.
Scott groaned. He had forgotten that by buying her the movie he was also going to be forced to watch it with her.
Several hours later Jean and Scott sat upon her bed watching the credits roll by on her small screen television. It had taken far longer than they first intended to watch it, as half way through Jean ran out of the room and threw up repeatedly before returning. She was becoming increasingly anxious as the animation drew to a close, knowing that she would have to tell Scott.
Before it had never occurred to her quite how he might react. She had been so pre-occupied thinking of how the institute might react, and the impact it would have on her own personal future that she hadn't stopped to consider his feelings. Would he abandon her? She doubted it, but dreaded the merest possibility. She loved Scott, and she wanted to have his baby- she was sure of that- if she hadn't she would have considered an abortion a month ago when she found out.
“Scott.” she said, turning from the television to him.
“Nyeh...?” Scott said sleepily, before shaking himself, “Yeah?! I'm awake!” he proclaimed, as if she had just accused him of being asleep.
Jean sighed. She stood up and turned off the TV, then sat back down on the bed, facing him. Her anxiety was obvious.
Scott looked at her and blushed. He glanced around, unsure of her intentions. He raised an eyebrow above his shades and asked- before she could martial the courage to start talking;
“Jean? You don't want to...” he gave her a curious gesture, glancing at the bed.
“What? No!” she shook her head violently.
“I didn't think so, it's just that, well... What is it?” he asked.
“I have something to tell you...” she took in a deep breath and then blurted out; “I'm pregnant.”
Scott sat in dazed shock for a few moments, his expression remaining completely un-changed. Then, as if emerging from a coma he started to move. He ran one trembling hand through his brown hair.
“Oh man...” he said, standing up and turning to face away from her. Jean couldn't read the tone of his voice, but didn't much like to speculate. Her eyes welled up with tears.
“I'm gonna be a father?!” he asked, twirling round. His expression was still one of disbelief, but not disapproval. He hopped back onto the bed and held a hand out to Jean's tummy. He glanced at her face for approval. Tears were streaming down, but she smiled and nodded, lifting up her sweater. Scott put his hand on her abdomen. There was really nothing there to feel, but they both felt the warmth of each other's flesh, and it felt good.
“Yeah...” Jean said, choking on tears, “You're gonna be a daddy.” she smiled, pulling him in close with one arm, putting her other on top of his over her womb. They kissed passionately, and Jean contemplated taking things to the next level, but knew that there was more to discuss, so they broke the exchange and remained sitting, their hands still on Jean's flat belly.
“You're not going to leave me then?” she asked hesitantly.
Scott looked hurt, “Of course not, Jean.” he said, calmly, “I'll stand by my friends through anything- don't you of all people know that?”
“I don't read the minds of friends...” she looked down.
“I wasn't talking about mind reading.” Scott said. He grasped her hand and put it on his chest, “I love you. I know you...”
“Oh, Scott...” She flung himself on him again, “I'm sorry...” she sobbed, “I just... I was worried...”
“It's okay Jean, it's okay ...” he patted her back, “At least now I know what your mystery illness has been.” he said, referring to the morning sickness she had been complaining about recently, “and why your breasts swelled up a bit.”
Jean blushed, “Wha-at?” she asked, with a laugh.
“Your...” he shook his head, “Never mind...”
Scott was right- her breasts had indeed swollen slightly over the past three months, and they now itched inside her old bra. She had heard this was connected to pregnancy, but how did Scott know this? She shrugged, mentally, guessing that he knew more than she thought, even about subjects like this.
“How long?” Scott asked, finally getting to the details.
“Almost three months- remember that time in February- it was the twenty ninth now that I think about it...” she explained.
“Oh yeah...” Scott scratched his head and blushed, “I thought something felt a little off...”
“Yeah- the condom.” Jean smirked.
Scott's blush intensified. “Who had you told other than me?” he asked, trying to change the subject.
“The Professor and Kitty.” Jean said.
“Kitty?” Scott frowned.
“What's wrong with her?” Jean asked, pushing herself to the back of the bed so that she could lean against the wall.
“Well, nothing, but she's a bit of a gossip, and you told her before you told me...” Scott said, with a note of sadness.
“I was worried... I know, I know it was stupid, but I was still worried. So what if Kitty thought I was a slut, or told everyone, I wouldn't care about that, but if you left me I don't know what I'd do...” Jean cooed.
“Well, don't worry, I told you that won't happen.” Scott lay beside Jean.
“I know.” she smiled. “It was just today, though, that I told them. I've known for about a month... but I was too afraid...” she sighed, enjoying the fact that she had survived telling three people now.
“What are you going to do now? I mean... your parents...” Scott made vague gestures with his hands.
“I don't know... I have to tell them, and probably before I get big...” she said, deliberately avoiding the word fat.
“Better do it soon...” Scott rubbed her belly through her sweater. “You said you're about three months? Then you're starting the second trimester, that's when you get your bump.”
“Hey, how do you know so much about this?” Jean frowned, humorously.
“Social Ed. Classes aren't just for girls.” he retorted.
“Well, I've got a little while...” Jean rubbed her abdomen again, “Now that I think about it it's only been about ten weeks...” her stomach growled. “Mmm, I could really go some pickled gherkins right now...” she licked her lips and got up. “You want one?” she asked Scott as she made for the door.
“Nooo thanks.” he shook his head, but got up and followed anyway.
“More for me...” Jean smiled.
“Maybe we should tell your parents tomorrow...” Scott said as they left, “Doesn't look like you'll be thin for long.”
Jean ignored him.
“Mm, Pickles and Ice Cream...” she hummed to herself.