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Summary: An exhausted Scott Summers and Jean Grey consider their options and come to a troubling conclusion

Location: Xavier Mansion - Sub-Levels

Participants: Cyclops, Jean Grey

Rating: PG



After a night spent tossing and turning -- not an unusual occurrence for Jean Grey -- the redhead telepath arose this morning with her mind settled. She would use the Cerebro device today. Why shouldn't she? Has she not mastered her telepathic abilities? Is she not as powerful, if not more so, than the Professor himself?



Three hours were spent in the massive, empty chamber. Jean pushed herself to her limits searching the global for others who have been affected by the psychic temporal phenomenon or whatever fancy name it has been assigned. The search itself was fruitless, but she's content. She did it. There is a smile on her lips as she palms the plate that activates the thick, (X) embossed metal doors and they part to allow her to exit the chamber.



Jean has one thing over Scott: she at least attempted to sleep. Meanwhile, Scott has been overseeing Kitty and Rachel's development of turning the Danger Room into being linked with the mainframe computer, giving the additional processing power to run all the diagnostics they need to figure out how to best kill the five remaining targets on Bishop's list, and then to develop ways to counter those attacks. The effort has been most successful, but all involved are running on fumes. Currently refilling his coffee cup for about the bajillionth time, Scott looks up to see Jean leaving Cerebro, squinting slightly to make sure his eyes aren't decieving him. "Jean...?" he asks, dreamily.



"Oh! Scott!" Busted. Jean presses a hand against her chest. "You scared me. I... I should have checked..." For any approaching minds, and /then/ snuck out of the Cerebro chamber, but she was too mentally wiped to think of it.



"You look like hell, darling." Quick, change the subject. "Did you sleep at all last night?"



As Jean goes through all the excuses in the book, Scott sips on his coffe as he walks across the room towards her, wrappig one arm around her waist. He squints in thought for a bit. "Not sure...no wait, yes, I nodded off there for a bit between 3 and 4. Kitty kicked me away though, we were losing vital minutes." He nods his head, leaning in to give a quick peck against her lips. Mmm, coffee breathe. "Also, you're stalling." Mental wink.



"Mmm." Jean returns the kiss. "You taste like coffee." Snuggling against Scott's body, Jean slips an arm around him. "Stalling? I don't know what you mean. What were you doing up all night with Kitty and Rachel, darling? No offense, but you aren't exactly the re-program the Danger Room guy. Also... I had no idea Rachel could do that, either. But, back to my point. Were you just acting in a support capacity?"



Scott nods his head a bit, grinning at something as he starts to head towards the elevator with Jean, squeezing her hips slightly. "I was mostly operating as a cheerleader and observing their progress. Kitty can cut through Red Bull pretty quickly, so keeping her supplied was our number one concern. Rachel, for the most part, was observing. Apparently the two of them were fairly close...and Kitty met a rather nasty end. So the two have a lot to catch up on." He yawns big, smacking his lips slightly. Clearly he's exhausted, and the slight stubble of overworking spots his neck and chin.



Jean is quiet while Scott shares. While she is mentally exhausted, physically, she feels just fine. She's had many years to learn to cope with her insomnia, and so a sleepless night or two doesn't really bother her so much. While they walk, she provides bodily support for her sleepy Summers. "I didn't find anything," she finally 'fesses, with a sigh. "Not a swiss-cheesed memory out there, in all the world."



"I wouldn't feel too bad about it," Scott says as he wobbles slightly, definitely needing Jean for the extra support she provides. "I suspect that Bishop's posse was trained to not be seen. I've been thinking about how, between the first time we saw him, and the second time, he seemed to add a lot of muscle. Possible that his first trip was deemed unsuccessful, they replanned, beefed up, and a few years down the line tried again." He shrugs a bit, frowning. "All this time travel stuff makes me my head hurt, but I'm not wanting to ask Hank to explain it to me...again. And of course, I still haven't gotten Nathan on the phone."



"He's probably off fighting killer squid in space or whatever it is he does." Jean shrugs a shoulder -- or at least makes the attempt to, but it is an awkward gesture when her shoulders are occupied with holding Scott's weight. "Time travel stuff makes my head hurt, too. I'm not even going to try to get Hank to explain it."



"Most likely," Scott concurs as he actually sits down and leans back, staring up at the ceiling a bit; Jean would be one of the few people to know he's also 'resting his eyes' as he does, catching something closely resembling sleep. "Is it awful, that I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, we should turn our heads the other way on this one? That it isn't like we're pulling the trigger?" Of course, Scott doesn't really think that. But with how exhausted he is right now, the idea is tempting.



Leaning against the wall, Jean sinks down to sit beside Scott. "No, it isn't awful to /think/ that, Scott," she assures him. "Because it is a tempting idea. But you know we can't, no matter how hard stopping it might be." Reaching over, she strokes his brow and runs her fingers through his hair. "I just... I hope that in the long run, it is the right thing to do. That by sparing these few lives, we don't doom hundreds more." She winces a little at the thought. "That's an awful thought, too."



Scott reaches out blindly, though the telepathic link helps, to stroke Jean's hair softly, pursing his lips in thought. "We can't let them just die, but that doesn't mean we can't somehow use this list." He pauses for a second. "You seen that website? Heil Humanity? Someone is digging real deep to uncover the Friends secrets, and if that site is to be believed, they aren't too far off of what Betsy says Bishop's mind looked like. They seem the kind to welcome Dystopia with open arms." Pause, as he opens his eyes. His mind is catching a second wind. "...but none of them were on that list other than the two senators. Gyrich, Hodge, Trask...even Creed was left alone." He sits up, glancing towards Jean, frowning deeply. "That's weird. Isn't it? Tell me that's weird."



Jean frowns faintly. "Yes, it /could/ be weird. Maybe... maybe things have changed, and the list has changed. Because we've gotten involved?" Sighing, she rubs her forehead with her free hand. "Ugh, time travel nonsense. It is weird, but... I don't know /why/, exactly."



"I don't know either," Scott says, brow furrowing, thinking furiously but also on his last leg, mentally and physically. "But...I think I know what we need to do to find out." He turns his head, and actually smiles. Sheepishly. "You...think that you could get us in Bishop's mind? Not just to dig around, but real astrally-project some of us in there? I think if we could...walk in his memories...we could get a better idea of what they're up to...who we're looking for..."



"I... I don't know, Scott." Jean frowns at the suggestion, but doesn't outright refuse -- nor accept. "I think I /can/ do it, depending on how many people you want to go in. But he has to be willing. I'm not... I won't violate his mind and memories if he doesn't want us in his head."



"Jean, I wouldn't ask you to do anything you aren't comfortable with," Scott says slowly, taking her hands in his own, squeezing slightly. "Not if we didn't have to. But we're already behind on this one. If we don't do something drastic...and fast...then we're never going to be able to catch up, and this thing will be over before we're done." He shakes his head. "Five people are being punished for their future sins, Jean. Surely you can understand that the situation calls for stepping outside of your comfort zone."



Frowning, Jean looks away from Scott. She has to think this one through for a moment, before she can give him an answer. It isn't about her comfort, really; it's about ethics. Something that Xavier drilled into her before even allowed her to use her telepathy. But then again... she's already defied him once today. And wouldn't it be for the greater good? Further, if /she/ doesn't do it, she might be forcing Scott to go to Betsy -- or worse, Emma -- for help. /That/ clinches it. "You're right. I would prefer to do this with Bishop's consent; it makes it more difficult if I have to struggle with him. But I can do it without his cooperation."



"Not if he's fully awake, no," Scott agrees with a slight shake of his head. "But...well...if he was asleep, and we simply sinked into his memory while his concious mind was distracted by REM sleep...if we were fast, we might, just might, find something useful." He pauses, squeezing her hands again. "I know this goes against everything you've been taught, all the barriers you've built up...but I don't want to let someone else die. Not if we still can do something."



"I can keep him asleep," Jean remarks, absently. She's already thinking of what's to come. "It would be easier, I wouldn't have to fight him, but in sleep, we might get more of what he fears, or hopes for, than actual memory."



"Better to deal with taht, and not have the mental blocks in the way," Scott says. "His subconcious fears themseles may tell us something." He pauses. "I...understand that this will be dangerous. Let me get the group together, we'll go in, see if we can find out anything. Some way to stop them, who the assassins are, anything. Right now...its our last, best source for information."



"The fewer, the better. I don't want to overload him." Jean leans forward to steal a quick kiss from Scott. "Now, I want you to go to bed and get some sleep. In fact, I'm ordering you to do it on every level of authority that I possess. You can't participate in this if you are half-dead with exhaustion."



Scott slowly stands, wobbly on his feet still as he starts to stagger towards the elevator. "Yes Doctor, off to bed immediately," he promises. "And if you wanna join me in 3, 4 hours, I wouldn't object," he says with a mental wink, cueing up the elevator and waiting for it to arrive.



Jean tsks at Scott and wags a finger at him. "Five hours, minimum. Then I'll come cuddle up to you, and then you get three more hours. Of sleep."



A short whiing sound comes from Scott as he shakes his head. "You're cruel, Doc. Cruel but fair." The elevator dings open and Scott stumbles inside, holding up his hand in a still goodbye wave.

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