"Come on!" Scott laughed, taking my hand and pulling me towards our room as we exit the training room.
"What? We have class!" I can't help but giggle at his spontaneous behaviour.
"Nope." He pulls me into his arms. "I spoke to the professor. We both agree you need some time to relax."
"After this whole thing with Sara, you haven't been yourself." He smiles sweetly at me. "So, I thought we should spend some time together."
"Where are we going?" I smile a genuine grin.
"I thought we'd go for a walk, then maybe grab some lunch at that new diner that's opened up just out of town?" He suggests.
"Sounds perfect." I kiss him softly.
"But don't expect me to let you miss lessons too often." I roll my eyes at his words. "Bad habit." He reminds me.
"I love you." I reply simply, ignoring his comment.
"I love you too." He taps my nose lightly, making me giggle. "Now, hurry up and get changed before the professor changes his mind about letting us out!"
Soon, we are strolling leisurely under the shade of the large trees dotted around the park, hand in hand.
"Thank you for this, Scott." I say shyly, stopping to face him. "I really needed it."
"I'm glad you're enjoying yourself." He kisses me quickly. "I'm sorry for everything that's happened recently."
"Why do you always apologize for things that aren't your fault?" I sigh. Oh, Scott.
"I'm responsible for-"
I kiss him strongly, cutting off his sentence. He quickly relaxes into the contact.
"Shut up." I whisper, breaking the contact.
"That works." He laughs.
"Now, go get us some fries!" I order, before sitting down against the trunk of a nearby tree.
"What happened to going to the diner?" He smirks.
"I'm in the mood for some greasy, cheap fries now." I retort smugly.
"Stay here." He orders, smiling gently. "I'll be right back."
"I'll be fine." I roll my eyes again as Scott turns away.
"Hey, sweetcheeks." John's voice in my mind makes me jump.
"John!" My surprise is evident.
"Yes, that's my name." He replies sarcastically.
"Sorry, you startled me. That's all." I confess.
"I just thought I'd let you know, you look really good today." I hear the amusement in his thoughts.
"What?" He must be using our connection to see me. Surely?
"Look up." He commands, and I quickly comply.
"What are you-" And then I see him. Stood just a few feet away dressed in all black, like in our dream last night. I try to the resist the smile that tugs at my lips, but it's useless.
"Hi." He speaks aloud, approaching me.
"Are you crazy?!" I hiss, my smile betraying my harsh words. "What if-"
"It's okay. I just came to apologize." He smiles lovingly when he reaches me.
"Apologize?" I furrow my brow, standing slowly.
"Yeah. Last night... I'm sorry for what happened. You know, in our 'dream'." He shrugs.
"If you're so sorry, why are you wearing that outfit?" I raise an eyebrow.
"I'm sorry that you felt so bad about what happened. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it." He smirks.
"Get out of here, you creep." Again my smile betrays my stern command, but I punch him lightly on the arm to emphasize my point.
"As you wish." He winks at me before turning to leave.
"You're unbelievably irritating, you know that?" I think strongly.
"You love it." He replies, not turning back to look at me.
"You wish." I break our connection and sigh, turning to see Scott returning.
"Hey, hot stuff." He smiles. I walk to meet him, quickly taking the fries from his hands.
"That was a terrible pun." I pout slightly, trying (unsuccessfully) to suppress a giggle.
"Made you smile though." He bends down and kisses me on the cheek.
"Damn, these fries are good!" I continue to consume far more than my recommended daily amount of calories.
"That's really not gunna help with your training." Scott comments. I shoot him a look. "But, today is your day."
"You will never be able to cap what I eat. Fact." I say after hurriedly swallowing a mouthful of fries.
"You can't be unfit though." He teases me. "That would look bad on the team."
"We're hardly the most attractive team anyway!" I retort, giggling.
"We're not that bad!" He laughs, taking my hand and continuing our walk.
"True. I mean, Warren's pretty hot." I feel Scott's hand tighten on mine as I tease him. "Relax, Summers! I'm just kidding!"
"Warren doesn't buy you fries." He replies, stealing the last few fries from my hands.
"Hey!" I object, but he quickly eats them. "I bet Warren wouldn't eat my food though."
"Well, I'm not Warren." He taps my nose lightly, making me giggle.
"True. You're my perfect, lovable and infuriating boyfriend." I reach up and kiss him on the cheek. "And I love you."
"I love you too." He smiles as he says the words. "Wanna go make out in my car?"
"And they say romance is dead!" I comment sarcastically.
"Fine. We don't have to..."
"No! I didn't say I didn't want to." I giggle, looking to the boy beside me. How did I get someone so sweet, funny, brave, strong and, of course, goddamn gorgeous?! I don't deserve him. He's too good for me. And if he knew what I'd done... I shudder at the thought. I can't hurt him. What can I do though? I could tell him, and destroy him. Or I could keep it a secret and hope he never finds out. Either way, I have to end everything with John. As easy as it seems to do that, it's not. John isn't a normal guy. He's my best friend. His mind is entwined with my own. I can't let him go that simply.
"Scott?" I say his name softly, stopping our journey mid-stride.
"What's wrong?" The smile fades quickly from his lips.
"I just want to let you know that I love you. And you're far too good for me. I'm sorry for being so irritating sometimes. And I'm sorry for being the way that I am. I just need you to know that I'll always love you, no matter what." I explain, looking into his glasses and hoping our eyes meet somewhere behind the lenses.
"Where did all this come from?" He cups my face gently in his hands and caresses my cheek with his thumb.
I shrug. "Just thinking."
"Well, don't." He smiles. "I'm not too good for you, nowhere near - I'm broken. And you have nothing to apologize for."
"You're not broken." I reply weakly. He lets his head fall so that his forehead rests on mine.
"I am. I've grown up without a family, and unable to look at anything without destroying it." He whispers.
"You have a family now, Scott." I let my eyes slip shut. "You have the X-Men. We'll be here through everything."
"And anyway, even if you are broken, I'm in love with you exactly how you are. And if you want, I can help you fix yourself?" I suggest light-heartedly.
"I like that idea." His tone is soft and loving. "Maybe you could start fixing me with a kiss."
I don't even reply. Instead I kiss him immediately. We don't have enough romantic moments anymore, but this is definitely one. Our kiss is fuelled by extremely strong emotions, but instead of those emotions being desire and lust, they seem to be love and empathy. Everything is finally perfect. All I'd my recent problems fall away and I feel safe. I love Scott. John was a mistake - a huge one - and I won't let that get between me and my love. I have to show John that that kiss meant nothing. Essentially, I have to lie.