"Back to bed, now." Scott orders as he follows me down the narrow corridor. I stop and wait for him to catch up, before pulling his body close against mine.
"Only if you'll join me." I whisper seductively.
"No. This is serious." He pushes me away slightly. "You need to rest. We need you on the team and you're no use if your injury is hampering your fighting."
"Why is everything so serious with you? Bobby and Warren can still have a laugh, why can't you?" I turn to storm off down the corridor when Scott takes my arm.
"I lost everything that was important to me when I was a child." His voice is low and pained. "Now I have something to fight for again, now I have you. And I can't lose you like I lost Alex and my parents! So, yeah, please excuse me if I'm not cracking jokes when my girlfriend has a gunshot wound that, just days ago, almost caused her to bleed to death!"
"Scott! I'm fine. You won't lose me. I'm healing fine now. Would you stop being so goddamn over protective?" My words sound harsher than I intend.
"Just go to bed!" He orders, turning his face from mine.
"Stop ordering me around!" I run my hands through my hair in an exasperated gesture. "Argh! Can't you just let me do what I want?"
"No. And, as your leader, not your boyfriend, I'm telling you to go to bed so that you don't endanger future missions." He doesn't look at me, just stares straight ahead.
"You're not my leader! I'm not a complete X-Man now!" Ugh! Why does he think he can control me? "Why do you assume you have the right to order me around?"
"I'll always be your leader. You'll never leave the X-Men." his voice is calmer now. I step closer to him, trying to appear intimidating (which is difficult when he's over half a foot taller than me).
"You will never be my leader!" I hiss. "I'm not going to let you control me!"
"No!" I cut him off. "I'm not going to sit around and take orders from you! The others can continue looking up to you and praising 'the glorious leader of the X-Men', but I won't."
"What are you saying?" He sounds worried now.
"I'm saying I don't want to be controlled by you or anyone else anymore. I'm saying that maybe I don't want to be part of the X-Men!" I move away from him and start off down the corridor. Can't he just let me be free?
"Evelyn, wait!" I hear his footsteps behind me but don't slow down. "Please!"
I stop and turn back to face him abruptly. "This time I'm the one giving orders; leave me alone!"
He sighs and strokes my cheek lightly. "Please," he sighs "Don't be like this."
"Like what, Cyclops? Like I'm the annoying fiery one who completely spoilt the clean appearance of the X-Men? Because, guess what, that's who I am!" My voice is beginning to sound weak and I can feel the lump taking control of my throat.
"No, you haven't spoilt anything." He whispers in a surprisingly soft voice. "I mean, don't act like you're invincible. Don't pretend you don't want to stay here - I know Bobby on his own is a big enough reason for you to stay." He's right. Bobby has become such a great friend recently. "And most of all, don't think we don't need you."
"But you don't, you-"
"We do. We need you just as much as any other member of the team. You're clever, beautiful, powerful, caring... You're everything we need!" Caring? Does he know me at all? "You're everything I need."
"Scott, I can't handle being told what to do all the time." I sigh, dropping my eyes to the floor. "I need to be free!"
"You are free. You just need to understand how difficult this is for me." He takes my face in his hands and tilts it up so that I am looking at him. I can feel the tears sparkling as they frame my eyes. "I have this wonderful girlfriend, who I love unconditionally, and she keeps running off and hurting herself for me when I'm in trouble. I can't control that. But I can control how she gets better. That's the only way I can get over the guilt of the fact this is all my fault."
"It's not your fault. I chose to come and find you." The first tear slips down my cheek. I thought new Evelyn didn't cry?
"Exactly. You risked your life for me." He takes a deep breath, as if he's preparing himself for something. "That night, when I held you in my arms as your life slipped away, I was consumed by guilt and pain. It was all my fault that you were dying on me. I longed to open my eyes and look you in the eye to apologize, to tell you that I love you. And then when the X-Jet arrived, I remember yelling at everyone, telling them they were so stupid to leave you alone. I even threatened the professor. And then we got you onto the jet and I wouldn't leave your side. They told me to sit down and calm myself. But I refused. I knelt next to your body apologizing over and over, my face wet with tears. And when we finally reached the hospital, they took you away from me. They wouldn't let me see you for over ten hours. I begged every doctor that walked past to give me information on your condition, but I got nothing. Finally, they let me in. I remember seeing you lying there all fragile and pale, and being told that there was no guarantee that you would ever wake up. I never left the hospital after that. I told your mother that I would go home when she was waiting with you, but I didn't. I couldn't. I just stayed in the hospital for three days. At one point the professor tried to get me to go home and when I refused, Warren took my arm and tried to guide me away. That's when I punched him. I told him it was all his fault, but of course, I knew it wasn't. I knew it was my fault. And then you finally woke up, and I vowed that I would never hurt you again."
"Scott, I..." The words I intend to use fall away. I'm speechless at his confession.
"So that's why I want to control you." He turns his head away from mine slightly, like he's ashamed. "And that's why I need to be the best leader I possibly can, because I screwed up so many times that night, and that's not happening again. I won't let it."
"You didn't screw up, Scott." I take a deep breath to suppress the sobs. "You never screw up."
"I love you, Evelyn. I don't tell you that enough, but I really do love you. You're everything to me." I take his hand as I hear his voice become increasingly weak.
"I know you do, Scott. But you need to let me breath. Keeping me in that room is not going to do me any good." He nods.
"I wish you were invincible." He laughs, but I can still hear the sadness behind it.
"Me too, if it would stop you worrying so much." I smile up at him sweetly and am rewarded with a kiss. "I love you with all of my heart, Scott Summers."
"Marry me." He orders softly. I cannot suppress my giggle.
"We're only seventeen." I remind him.
"I know. Not now, but one day, in the future, promise me we'll get married and have lots of cute mutant babies." He says in a sweet beg.
"I'm not promising you lots of mutant babies, maybe one or two." We both laugh. "But yes, one day, I'll marry you."
"Thank you." He kisses my forehead lightly. "Now, please go to bed?"
I roll my eyes. "Do I have to?"
"Yes," he smiles "And stop rolling your eyes at me."
"Why? Am I not allowed to roll my eyes at 'the prestigious Cyclops, leader of the X-Men'?" I ask mockingly.
"No, you're not allowed to roll your eyes at Scott Summers, because he says so." He taps me lightly on the nose.
"Hey!" I object.
"If you go to bed now, I'll join you for an hour or so." He whispers in my ear, I can almost feel his cheeky smile next to my skin. I bite my lip.
"Deal." I whisper before taking his hand and pulling him to our room.