Scott awoke in a panic. He was a captive in Xavier's 'Friends of Humanity' stronghold... or maybe he was in hell. Memories flooded back to him and he tried to sit up only to find that he was restrained.
"Please, calm yourself Scott." Orroro said in a soothing tone.
"Rorro? You're back?" Scott asked in wonder.
"Not exactly. Scott there are some things we need to discuss... and they may be hard for you to believe." Orroro said seriously.
"Your hair looks great like this, I mean the mohawk looked good but I like this a lot better." Scott said, looking at her with admiration.
"Thank you Scott. What is the last thing you remember before waking up here?" Orroro asked, trying to find the best way to tell him where he was.
"I remember dying... and then I was in hell... Xavier was there, of course. And I fell asleep, and now you're here. Can you let me loose Stormy? I need to get out of here." Scott said, starting to pull on his restraints again.
"Scott, you didn't die. It was a very near thing but Andrew and Hank saved you." Orroro said, trying to find the best way to tell Scott of his current situation.
"Who?" Scott asked in confusion.
"Scott, when you nearly died a mutant named Andrew found you and brought you here to get you medical attention. Hank is the doctor who performed surgery on you to repair the damage to your arms." Orroro said and moved to the bedside.
"Okay, then where is here?" Scott asked, trusting Orroro.
"This is the difficult part. You're in the institute's MedLab but in an alternate dimension. Andrew has the ability to open doorways to distant places and opened one to your dimension so he could save you." Orroro said carefully.
"You've got to be kidding me. You expect me to believe something like that?" Scott said as he renewed his efforts to escape his restraints.
"Please Scott, calm yourself. I assure you that I am telling the truth. It is our intention to restore you to health and return you to your dimension when you are ready." Orroro said and pressed the button that would raise the head of Scott's bed.
"I need proof. If you can get the Professor to tell me that this is the truth, I'll believe her." Scott said as he calmed himself.
"Her?" Orroro asked, confused.
"Professor Emma Frost. She runs this school." Scott said, beginning to believe that Storm might be telling the truth.
"If that is the proof you require, I will contact Emma in the morning and see if she will come to speak with you. She is at the Massachusetts Institute." Orroro said and offered Scott a drink of water.
"Massachusetts Institute? What's that?" Scott asked when he finished his water.
"It is a school, much like this one for young mutants to learn to control their gifts, they call themselves Generation X." Orroro said as she repositioned her chair so she could talk to Scott more comfortably.
"If this is an alternate dimension, does that mean that there is another Scott Summers here?" Scott asked, trying to find something that would help him prove or disprove her story.
"Yes, he is recovering upstairs with Andrew. It appears that when you tried to take your life, it had some kind of effect on him also. He was in a coma for a while but is recovering now." Orroro said soothingly.
"What... what about Gene. Is there a Gene Gray in this dimension?" Scott asked with hope.
"There was, she died a little over a month ago, saving a group of us from certain death." Storm said sadly.
"She?" Scott asked in confusion.
"Yes, Jean Grey... she was our Scott's fiancee. It nearly killed him when she died." Storm said with eyes that were looking into the past.
"How did he deal with it? I mean... I couldn't." Scott said, honestly.
"Andrew. He was lost and alone. Scott was hurting and alone. They found each other and became the best of friends. I hate to think of what would have happened to Scott if Andrew hadn't arrived." Storm said as a tear escaped her eye.
"Good for him. I'm glad he has someone... I wish..." he trailed off and tried to wipe away his own tear before realizing that he was still restrained.
"Do not worry Scott. I assure you that as soon as we are sure that you are no longer a threat to yourself, you will be released from the restraints." Orroro said, trying to calm the man who was so much like her friend.
"What about Xavier? I mean I know I wasn't dreaming... I saw him here." Scott asked Storm challengingly.
"Professor Xavier runs this school for the gifted. He will do everything he can to help you recover and return home." Storm said and was surprised by Scott's reaction.
Scott began to laugh. "That murderous bastard is running the institute? God, this must be an alternate universe because no one from my universe could even dream of something like that." Scott said with a bitter laugh that turned to tears.
Storm rested on the edge of the bed and gave Scott a comforting hug.
"Gene's dead... Xavier sent Cain to hunt him down. Cain found him in the grocery store and... and snapped his neck." Scott sobbed into Orroro's shoulder.
Rather than say meaningless words that couldn't possibly comfort the suffering man, Orroro just held him tighter.
"God Stormy, I'm so tired of fighting. Xavier got Warren and Remy. Logan and I got them back but... they... they cut off Warren's wings and cut out Remy's eyes... they said they were making them safe to be around humans." Scott said as Storm kept holding him close.
"And Remy's eyes weren't even part of his mutant ability, but since they looked non-human, he cut them out. And to top it off, he castrated them both. To keep them from polluting the gene pool with their mutant DNA." Scott finished in a sob.
Storm was horrified by what she was hearing. Mutilation of mutants carried out by Charles Xavier.
"But isn't Xavier a telepath on your world like he is on ours?" Storm asked in confusion.
"Xavier a telepath? Not likely! Anyone who could feel another person's pain could never do half the things he's done. Him and Cain and Stryker, they're the biggest mutant haters in the country." Scott said with certainty.
"Scott, you look tired. Please try and get some rest. I'll be right here when you wake up and we'll talk some more." Storm said as she moved back to her chair.
"You always were the best of us Stormy. God I've missed you." Scott said with a weak smile before giving in to sleep.
"Dream sweet my friend, and I'll keep watch." Storm said quietly and watched as Scott's breathing became steady.
* * * * *
Andrew awoke to the sound of Scott's distress. He was thrashing and whimpering, obviously in a nightmare. Marie was there immediately at Scott's side saying, "Don't worry, it's just a dream." But the words didn't seem to be reaching him.
"Marie, help me over to him." Andrew whispered.
She left Scott's side and helped Andrew up from his bed and over to Scott.
To her surprise, Andrew climbed into bed with Scott and held him close. "Don't worry Scott, you're not alone. Hold on to me. You're not alone." Andrew said in a gentle tone.
Scott responded by putting his arms around Andrew and cradling his head on Andrew's shoulder. Once in place he calmed and a slight smile came over Scott's sleeping face. Within a minute, Andrew's eyes closed and his breathing became relaxed as he returned to sleep.
Marie couldn't put into words what emotions this scene had sparked in her. Everyone in the mansion knew that these two had gotten close over the past two weeks, but this level of... tenderness... was unexpected.
She felt happy that Scott and Andrew each had someone that they could be close to like that and felt an old pain return to her. [Will I ever get the chance to be that close to anyone?] she wondered and thought about her relationship with Bobby as she watched the two men sleep.
* * * * *
Kurt had been fighting for sleep for hours, but couldn't seem to make it happen. Finally he decided to give it up. He thought about reading his Bible, but decided that he would have a snack first. He pulled on some sweat pants and a T Shirt. His tail didn't seem to want to cooperate by threading through the trapdoor sewn into the sweats, but finally it did and he was presentable, then ::BAMF:: he was in the kitchen.
After a thorough search, he decided that there were no cookies left in the entire mansion... unless they were in Andrew's room. Rather than startle them with his teleport, he decided to walk to Andrew's room to visit with whoever was watching them tonight. And maybe get some cookies while he was there.
* * * * *
Kurt gently knocked on the door, barely loud enough to be heard. After a moment, the door opened and Marie stepped out into the hallway.
"What's going on Kurt?" Marie asked with concern.
"I could not sleep. I thought I would come to see how zey are doing." Kurt said sheepishly.
"Scott was having a nightmare but Andrew took care of it. Do you want to come in and sit with me?" Marie asked, trying not to let the hope show in her voice. Watching the two men holding each other so tenderly had sparked a feeling of loneliness in her and companionship sounded like a wonderful idea.
"I would like that." Kurt said with a smile and Marie led the way back into the room.
Kurt noticed the two men holding each other and cast a questioning look at Marie.
"That's how Andrew got rid of Scott's nightmare." Marie said fondly.
"To have such a friend, it is a rare thing." Kurt said as he looked at the contentment on Andrew and Scott's sleeping faces.
Marie nodded in agreement and sat silently, just watching.
Kurt saw the cookies on the table and moved to get some. When he returned to his chair Marie looked at him, considering for a moment and then a conspiratorial look came over her face. "You came for the cookies, didn't you?" She asked with barely contained mirth.
Kurt thought about denying it but one look into Marie's amused eyes told him not to bother.
"Yah. But I vas concerned about them also." Kurt said, casting a glance toward Scott and Andrew.
Marie gave a knowing 'Yeah, right.' look but said nothing and continued to watch the two sleeping men.