Outside Looking In

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: This is based solely on movie canon. This isn't a drive by anymore. This is a full scale stampede! There will probably be more bunnies tonight...today...whatever... *g*

If ever there was someone who takes the phrase "fearless leader" too seriously, it's Scott Summers. Cyclops. Right. Not that I'm much better. Faced with choosing a code name or being given one, I stuck with Wolverine. From bar brawler to super hero.

Right. Back to the dickhead. Excuse me, the fearless dickhead. If he projected any more calm he'd be dead. Would make for a great poker face, though. If he could unbend enough to play cards. Take now, for example. Not that I'm watching him. I'm watching Jean, he just keeps getting in the way.

I can't hear what they're saying, but I've got a pretty good idea what's going on. She's asking him for something, and he's telling her he's got better shit to do. With a woman like that, I'm having as hard a time believing him as Jean obviously is. She's got this wrinkle in her brow and a hurt look in her eyes, but she just nods and turns away.

And one eye just stands there and looks after her. Same half blank expression he turned on me when I wouldn't shake his hand. Has he even got more than one expression? I haven't been around long, but I can already read Jean pretty well. 'Course, Jean is worth watching.

Still, I think the only time Summers ever showed any expression was when we were all strapped to the inside of the head of the Statue of Liberty. He had his eyes screwed up so tight I swear he thought the things were going to fall out of his head. He looked scared, but he was still clinging to the shreds of control.

Aw, shit. I just got a flash of insight into the head of a dick. Hang on. That came out all wrong. Hell with it. It just hit me that the one time I've tacked any emotion onto the golden boy was the one time I've seen him with his glasses, visor or whatever off. Just his face, his closed eyes.

I'm watching him watching Jean now. I pull back my focus off his face, let myself take in the body language. Let my nostrils flare and take in his scent.

I'm a damned idiot. It's obvious now. He's leaning after Jean, his shoulders slumped almost unnoticeably, his eyebrows sunk low enough to disappear behind the red glasses. His scent hints just a little of fear. Yeah, fear. That she'll leave him? That she doesn't see behind the glasses, either? It doesn't matter, it's there.

He turns, slower than normal, and starts down the hallway in the opposite direction. His body straightens out, and I read determination in it. If I look close, I can see that he's set his jaw. But when I don't think about it, when I just glance at him, my eyes go first to impenetrable red lenses.

Does anyone even notice how they dominate his face? They hide his mutation, sure. They also hide his...I don't know. Humanity maybe. Figures his girl would be a telepath.

Do those glasses have to be mirrored? How much of the fearless leader is a mask anchored in ruby quartz? I've been jabbing at him with words, trying to break the shell. Maybe I just wasn't looking hard enough for cracks.

Maybe I shouldn't be making the cracks. Maybe I ought to be making a door. Those guys need a leader, and I could do with one less enemy.