1964-05-21 - Reunited
Summary: Jean and Gabriel finally have a brief chat about what happened and their connection.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
jean-grey gabriel 


The last of the dinner rush was over. Most of the kids have been fed and were now packing it up to head to their rooms. Jean lingered for a time, chatting up a few of the children to make sure that everything was going well with their studies and their general lives. While she could sense and pry, she doesn't. And if the children did fib, she always offered for them to come to her office to speak privately on the matter. In a gentle way of course.

And slightly imposing.

But with the last of the children sheltered off, Jean finally gets her plate of food and sits down upon one of the chairs, a napkin unfolded and placed within her lap, spread out all carefully as she picks up the fork and knife. Another plate was set before her, filled with roasted vegetables and fruit with cream on the side. Drinks? Just a pitcher of ice water, which she pours for herself. If Gabriel wanted something else to drink, he'd get it himself, as usual.

*

He was well into his fourth glass of water at this point, having been downing it in heaps since the warmth of summer was settling in making outside work a bit more strenuous. Not that he really needed it, but it helped to keep up appearances of normality when around others. His eyes lift up to Jean as she sits down, head tilting a bit as he taps the side of his head. "You know.. it goes both ways for us." There's a mild smile at that, trying to get a better external read on her.

For a few moments he remains silent then he sighs softly and leans back in the chair. "But I can't really read, wanna tell me?"

*

Jean shakes her head rather quickly, and instead of pushing her food along her plate, she immediately picks up a piece and begins to eat. "It's nothing.." She says with a full mouth, her head lowering as she swallows, then reaches for her glass of water to drink. "Just work, school stuff." She smiles a little, then shrugs her shoulders. "Part of me feels horrible about the way I've handled my degree, is all. I know the texts, I know the teachings, I've read the greatest minds in Columbia without their permission and passed with lackluster grades in testing. But it seems so fast."

She begins to eat again, then lifts her fork to point into his direction. "But then it felt so .. slow. I needed to get out of there. Everything seemed a bit much after.." She shakes her head. It was something that she really didn't want to talk about, but she felt the time was coming fast.

*

"You know, after this time… I would have thought Jean you'd stop trying to avoid talking to me." Gabriel offers after a bit, sipping his water afterwards. "But you are, still. Avoiding." His shoulders lift and eyebrow quirks up, looking across the table to her. Things simply haven't been right in sometime, since the abduction. The emotion from him is one of restraint, trying to stay calm and level headed.

*

The fork was dropped with a little bit of sauciness, her gaze lifting and looking away from him with a frown. "I'm trying to process, still." She says quietly, finally looking towards him with a bit of a frown. "What do I say? That you've killed me one thousand ways. That we've had one thousand children. We lived almost every lifetime and every possibility together and each one of them ended with the other bloodied at each others feet. Or, one of the sweeter ones. Old. Helping each other around the house. Waking up to find the other passed on when we.. us.." She presses her hand against her chest. "..them promised us forever." She looked as if she were to cry, but she didn't. "Grandchildren. Children. Dogs. Extended family by adoption or neighborhood kids. A family car. A walk in the park. Each more devastating than the last. Who wants to dream that up again?"

*

"None of it is real." Gabriel responds to Jean with a shake of his head. "It may seem real, but it isn't. And there's an element of all of it that you seem to want to skip over. None of it was me. You'd rather believe all the horrible things could be me, or all the wonderful things were me. But they weren't Jean. I am. Right here." He motions to himself. "And you want to … you're going to miss our real lives together, stuck in a torture machine of memory."

*

"I know that none of it is real." Jean snaps back. Her hand actually curled into a fist to slam hard against the surface of the table before she rises. Even still, her head shakes completely, her feet moving as her pacing begins. "It wasn't even that. The horrible things you've done. The horrible things I've done. It was the thought.. the -feeling- that I've lost you time and time again. Each time more painful than the last. Whether it was you dying in your sleep, it crushed me. And I never want to feel that, and yet I did."

*

"So now you're just going to shut it down, shut it off? Don't risk that pain but closing me off?" Gabriel asks raising an eyebrow. "Do you know how many times I destroyed this planet while in that machine? How many wars I lived through? How many times I killed you, killed others. Killed the children in here?" Arms fold, he remains seated. "It's called torture Jean. That's the point of it. It changed us, sure. But it's driven us apart instead of where we should be going, closer."

*

Jean shakes her head. "I didn't know I was shutting you off. Everything just felt so.. quiet." She stops pacing then, finally settling into her chair as she draws in a sigh. In truth, she didn't want him to know that she sneaks out in the middle of the night to do her.. heroing. Or whatever it was called. "I have never been tortured like that.. Gabriel. I don't know how to handle it. I need to process this in my own.. own way. I'm angry about it. Really, really angry. And I'm sorry, but you don't need to feel the anger I feel. Not after what.. we've done.

(Yay, off screen alien murder!)

*

Gabriel shakes his head at Jean, "Can I ask you something Jean? What do you think makes me feel angrier, more hurt? That I was tortured again, that my friends were tortured on my part simply for being around me? Or that you're shutting me out. I can handle pain. I can handle anger. What I can't handle is this… This void. This emptiness. If you want to do this alone? Fine. I can let you do it alone. But I can't." Gabriel says quietly, "I won't sit back and let you just do it alone. So… so yeah." There, he said hsi piece, "I love you too much to leave it be."

*

"I know.." Jean sounded at least a little glum, but that does draw her to reach over, both hands raised so that he could put his hands within hers. There was really nothing more to be said, just the fact that she was wrong, completely and wholly. Shutting him out wasn't the right thing to do, but it helped her cope. "I'm sorry.." She says quietly, a little smile playing upon her lips. "Forgive me?"

*

"Always." Gabe says, taking Jean's hands into his own. "You're strong. But you don't have to be alone." His hands squeeze, reassuringly. "Neither of us do. That's the whole damn point. If you want to be alone… well. That's not what I want. So we can talk about that. I just don't want us to shut each other out." Leaning forward, he presses his forehead to hers. "I'm heart broken too, I know how you feel. Let's pull closer. Let's open up. You do'nt need to sneak out at night. Just tell me."

*

"I didn't mean to shut you out. I thought I was protecting you from just that one feeling." It wasn't a flood through their connection, just a small trickle of emotion before the faucet was turned on completely. A gradual thing, one that didn't overwhelm him, one that let him know that it was coming and eased him into a spot of normalcy. Them.

"I really don't want to be alone. I.. just know your reluctance to such things and I'd rather spare you my midnight excursions.." Thankfully they didn't talk about her black eye! But he knew. She didn't have to say anything. "I stopped a robber. Met Spider-Man. Gotten a kitten out of a tree. I actually helped birth puppies, which was weird. Why in the world would someone take a really pregnant dog out for a long walk is -beyond- me.."

*

Gabriel chuckles softly to her and nods his head, "All are good. I approve. And I am reluctant because to bring me with you on such things is like bringing a hammer to a glass factory. That is not what I am meant to be. If the world is invaded by aliens? I will be at your side, rescuing kittens? I would be more likely to desroy the tree."

*

Jean happens to laugh just a little at that. "You over-estimate yourself too much." She leans up to kiss his lips, then settles back into the chair. "It's simple, to rescue a cat, you need only to fly. Which you -can- do. I saw it when you were sick. You flew all the way to Brazil. So rescuing kittens should be at the top of your list." She grows silent for a while, then nods her head. "Come with me. For a night. Watch my back. Or just keep me company, teach me how to properly fly. What do you think?"

*

"I don't remember how to fly, but I'll come with you. To make sure your back is safe. To make sure you have company…" He pauses to add, "At the very least, we'll spend time together. Which is what I miss most."

*

"We can probably go out to dinner first. You can have a fancy salad with all of the oils and seasonings that we don't have here, and I get to have a steak." Jean looks wistful at that. "A nice, big ol steak with a -huge- potato. With cheese, maybe ham. And sour cream. And a glass of wine.." She tightens her hold upon his hands, and he could actually feel the hope and joy just from the thought. Even see little flashes of the two walking along the street, holding hands and just talking. It felt like a dream..

"Then, if something is amiss, we'll help fix it. If not, we'll go to the park and remember to fly.."

*

He sees it, in her eyes and it smiles. Gabriel steps forward, leaning forward and whispering. "There you are." He says it as if seeing Jean for the first time in forever; hell his eyes are misting just a bit. "There you are. I missed you so much." It's the hope, the joy, those feelings that have been missing. "Whatever you want, let's go." The tone is that of a promise, hands tightening on hers.

*

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