Ties That Bind

January 17, 2017:

Scott and Jean meet up, and catch up.

New York International Airport


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

* OOC Time: Tue Jan 17 19:09:43 2017 *

New York International Airport. For Jean Grey, watching the going-ons around her is more soothing than the thoughts that rage through her mind. People meet, greet, say hello, and move about not realizing that their every thought and emotion can be picked up by the red-head seated close to the luggage pick-up. Its easier to be nosy, than it is to allow her thoughts to dwell on more personal things.

Tonight Jean is here to pick up one Scott Summers. The redhead has kept a secret from everyone over the past few days. She is not the Jean Grey they knew from the past. In her time, in her place, she never knew about heroes like this Superman, or even knew a city called Gotham existed. This world is so vastly different from anything she'd ever known. Yet, here she was, and Jean had little desire to cause a stir. There just wasn't any need, what happened, happened, and Jean would do everything in her power to either make amends for transgressions that another Jean did, or simply continue onward, moving forward and not looking back.

The thing is the person that is arriving from the flight, the person that should be here any second. She can feel his thoughts as he disembarks from the plane. Though she doesn't peak any further, and instead focuses back on the other people around.

In her place in time and space, Scott -is- her world, but here, how do you tell someone that you're not the person they think you are?

With an aggravated sigh, which startles the older couple next to her, Jean rises to her feet. Her moral compass is going in circles, she has to tell him - but if he was at all close to her counterpart, does she want to? What will happen? Will he distance himself from her?

Some distance away, similar thoughts are mulling about in the head of one Scott Summers, erstwhile founder of the X-Men and one-time leader of the same group. A short time ago, he took a vacation to re-unite with grandparents that he never knew he had. Now, he's returning to a world that is at once both intimately familiar to him, yet wholly and strangely different. The X-Men, his home and everything that has always been there for him is still there, but he knows that there must be memories there that aren't his to share. Friends whom he may not recognize - and, even worse, other friends whom he may expect to see who aren't there.

One individual who he doesn't need to worry about, however - at least as far as her presence is concerned - is Jean Grey. Beyond grateful and thankful that she would be meeting him at the airport, Scott has been looking forward to the opportunity to talk with her since leaving Alaska. Though he certainly has his own questions as to whether or not the Jean of this mirror world may share the same bond with Scott as he had become accustomed do previously, the slim mutant knows that he would not be able to keep such things from Jean - any Jean - as the fact that he somehow hails from an alternate reality. Though it may mean that he would need to sacrifice a relationship with her, by the same token he would not want such a relationship to be built upon lies. He just wouldn't be able to live with himself otherwise.

Briefly, as he starts to collect his small carry-on satchel and disembark the plane, Scott feels a familiar sensation at the back of his head, a psychic pulse that is unmistakable to him as the rhythm of his own breathing. A telepathic connection, a deep bond that feels so true to him that he allows himself to hope, for just a moment… «Jean…?» he attempts to send out mentally, forgetting for a moment that there is no way that the Jean here could share the singularly unique psychic bond that he and his Jean had together. And then, as quickly as it came, the psychic sensation is gone - a trick of his mind, perhaps - and Scott shakes his head with a bit of a grim set to his jaw. The rest of the departure of the plane is tempered with slightly less enthusiasm, the reality of the looming situation and the many less than favorable results of his upcoming conversation with Jean starting to loom ahead of him. Optimism was never an outfit that fit Scott very well, after all.

Squaring his shoulders as he finally hits the concourse and has room to do so properly, Scott lets his long legs take him in even and measured strides towards the baggage claim, navigating the crowded hallways as best he can. His carry-on is slung over one shoulder, his ruby-red glasses firmly in place across his angular features, and the default expression of general grimness etched across his face. As he rounds the final corner to see the beautiful redhead that is awaiting him, however, that stoic facade cracks easily - a pleased and joyful smile spreading over his lips despite whatever else might happen in the next few moments. It's as is he's seeing Jean again for the first time all over again, and that, at least for now, is enough to chase away any other dark emotions. "Jean!" he calls out above the general din of the airport, hoping to catch her attention even though he's still a good number of paces away. A herd of noisy-school children bustle infront of him at that very moment, and caught in place he waves his free hand and calls out again, beckoning the red-head his way if she sees or hears him. "Jeeeeaaan!!"

So deep into her own thoughts, Jean's attention is on the crowd of people starting to mill around the luggage claim. The flight on the bright neon sign above displays the number of Scott's plane. The luggage carousal clicks to life with a humm of machinery, causing even more people to scurry towards the long conveyer belt. If anything, the noise in the airport grows in intensity. One hand idly runs through long red hair, as the tall telepath's gaze turns towards the escalator.

Scott, really, didn't need to call out twice, though the sound of his voice turns Jean's mouth into a wider grin. Moving around the group of school children, nimbly darting forward, regardless of whether or not she should, Jean's immediately in Scott's arms. Her own wrapped tightly about his neck, as she plants a kiss upon his lips.

It's the 'she probably shouldn't be doing this' point that Jean breaks the embrace fairly quickly, a chagrined expression crossing her features. "Scott - I…" So completely psionically blocking everything and everyone, she hasn't allowed herself to hope, or even believe that a psionic bond could still exist between the two. Aren't they different souls, from different times? Yet, Jean's mind reaches outwards and the intimate connection that she shares with her Scott, is there with /this/ one.

"I'm … we have a lot to talk about." Is all Jean can get out, still trying to figure out the connection that exists and the familiarity of that connection.

Whether or not he needed to call out twice, Scott is nonetheless glad that he did - after all, the end resulted in Jean rushing over to not only nearly leap into his arms, but to give him a warm and welcoming kiss. Despite his own reservations, Scott can't help but respond in kind, both arms wrapping around the red-haired woman as he holds her close - almost as if she were the only true constant in the universe. But then - in many ways for Scott, she is.

Less eager to stop the moment than Jean is, it seems Scott would have been content to remain that way for a good time longer. But he can see - and sense - Jean's conflicted emotions the concerns and worries that she carries with her. They're not just written across her features - but, Scott swears that he can feel them as well. Yes…despite all rational explanation, the bond that he would only expect to have with one Jean, in one reality, is present here. Does that mean that the connection is not as unique as he may have expected? Or… did Jean - his Jean - somehow make the same journey that Scott did?

The questions will have to wait for answers, as the middle of the baggage claim is not the proper time nor place to be asking them. Still, Scott quickly agrees with Jean's statement as he offers a smile to her words. "I think we do," he answers her, watching the woman through the red-hued lenses of his glasses. Even behind the ruby-colored spectacles the thoughtful expression can easily be seen in the man's eyes, emotion and reason struggling to balance against one another. "It's a good thing the drive back to the Mansion is such a long one." His attention darts briefly to the luggage carousel as various bags and suitcases start to tumble down the main ramp, keeping an eye out for his own baggage. He quickly enough returns to look at Jean, though, asking a question that may seem simple at first pass - but could also carry a much deeper meaning. "How long have you been here?"

Oh how Jean would love to simply delve right into Scott's mind and seek answers to questions that she has. Rationally, she knows she can't, and shouldn't, and wouldn't! But the irrational, impatient, redheaded side of her would greatly like to speed things up and get straight to the root of the problem. Sadly though, Jean has to wait, and she dislikes waiting. With an incline of her head, Jean takes a reluctant step back and away from Scott. "I agree, though I dislike waiting." She admits whole-heartedly, her mouth twisted into a deep scowl at the words.

Moving a strand of hair behind one ear, Jean slips to stand another step apart, uncertainty and apprehension guarding her thoughts - especially at the question asked. It's a simple question, and yet it can be so misleading /or/ leading as well. "I left my mom and dad's just after the new year, got here on the first, or second." The words are truthful enough, she arrived in New York then, greeted by one of the New Mutants, or - at least, one of the children that use to be a New Mutant in Jean's world.

Fidgeting, Jean's fingers slip up to fiddle with a charm on her neck, the pendant sparkles in the light showing off a bird in flight, with brilliant red rubies for eyes.

"How was your trip to Alaska? I'd love to meet your grandparents some day, Scott.." Jean offers as a means of 'chit-chat', her fingers still idly twisting the pendant about.

Not one to really prefer waiting either, Scott is only able to give Jean an apologetic expression in response to her declaration, a small shrug accompanying the look. With everything that the two need to talk about - they really do need to have a private location and time to do so. The drive back to the mansion will be perfect for that - but until then, the two must be relegated to frustrating small talk. Though, even in that idle chatter Scott finds a measure of comfort - perhaps, he thinks, strengthened by the familiar presence of that psychic connection, unique or not, lurking just under the surface of his mind and Jean's.

Watching Jean's fingers as she toys with the phoenix charm about her neck, Scott takes a moment to respond to her follow-up question, perhaps thinking of times past and the symbolism of that pendant. "I'd love for you to meet them too," he answers with a wide grin, then. "You'd like them, I think. And they'd *love* you." He shakes his head just a little, his voice uncharacteristically wistful. "They had so many stories about my mother and father… It was so strange. For the longest time, I had nearly convinced myself that my childhood, the family I had, must have been some sort a dream I fabricated. I'm not sure how to react, knowing it was actually real."

He's spared from further introspection, then, as he catches sight of his luggage cresting the baggage carousel, a large black bag with - fittingly - blue and gold trim. "There it is," he states before insinuating himself through the crowd to reach forward with a long arm, effortlessly snaring the bag and hoisting to the ground. He extends the telescoping handle with a series of clacking sounds before he starts to pull the luggage alongside him, moving back towards Jean and the direction of the exit. "Tell me you brought the Rolls," he deadpans then. "After an eight hour flight, I'm ready to stretch out."

It's the last comment that sends a wry expression over Jean's face. "Sorry, Slim." She begins, emerald eyes twinkling. "I brought the smart car." Which is a lie, what other car -than- the Rolls would Jean bring for such a pick-up? Though the idea of Scott sitting comfortably within the tiny confines of the teeny tiny automobile brings even more of a delight to Jean.

A few minutes later, and Jean's paying the fee for the airport parking, and moving out onto the highway. For the longest time she's waited for this moment, and yet, now that it is here - she's not sure how to begin.

With a breath, Jean's hands tighten upon the steering wheel. "Scott. I need to tell you something, and I need you to just listen until I'm done." With that, Jean begins, explaining how she found herself in this world, and how a different 'Jean' had been here before. She explains how she is trying her best to make amends for things she believes her counterpart did wrong, while simply looking to the future, instead of the past.

"You're the first, and only person I've told." Jean finishes with, wishing she could pull her eyes away from the road long enough to cast a glance at Scott's face. Yet the traffic pattern getting onto the highway to Westchester is too heavy at this particular moment.

"I wouldn't even know how to bring it up to the others, nor if I should. I'm here now, and that's all there is to it." Jean's mouth twists into a scowl, "Unless it's brought up, I'm going to simply keep it that way."

With a sigh, Jean's gaze turns towards Scott, seeking out his expression, his emotions. "I - thought you should know. I'm, I'm sorry I didn't say anything sooner." She feels distinctly guilty at that fact, especially as she basically flung herself into his arms there at the airport. "My Scott and I.. well, our connection ran deep."

The tale that Scott listens to is eerily reminiscent of his own recent experiences. While, for either good or ill, he has not yet had much depth of experience directly interacting with those friends and family he still knows the sensation of watching the news, reading articles, seeing history that he should remember first-hand - but does not. And so, as Jean speaks, Scott's expression is not one of disbelief or lack of comprehension. Rather, his features take on a surprised look of growing hope - daring to dream that, perhaps, fate has at least this once continued to smile upon him as far as Jean Grey is concerned.

"I thought I might be the only one…" he answers at first, choosing his words carefully. Then he, too, relates his own tale of discovery - as well as confessing as to his uncertainty regarding how the meeting at the airport might go, and how yet his arrival at the mansion may unfold. "Jean…" he states quietly then, doing his best to keep his emotions in check. "At the airport, when the plane landed and I was thinking about seeing you… I…" He pauses then, before pressing his lips together and ultimately deciding to throw caution to the proverbial wind. «I felt our telepathic connection, just like it always has been,» he sends to her mentally then, reaching out with his thoughts to the woman in the seat next to him, rather than speaking aloud. «The bond we've shared for so long. That type of link… *this* type of link… can't exist between strangers, can it?»

He keeps his head turned towards the woman after he asks the question, his gaze focused on the driving woman. His features are as open as his mind right now, earnest and, for the moment, hopeful. Should this dream be just that - a dream - Scott will dwell upon what may have been for some time to come, but for right now he dares to believe that his love, his Jean, and the one next to him are somehow, some way, the one and the same.

Sometimes fate takes a hand, or perhaps a connection between two individuals is so strong, not even the whims of time and chance are too great to keep them apart. As Jean listens to Scott, her fingers continue to grip the wheel of the car, to the point her knuckles turn bright white. Relaxing ever so slightly, the mental communication between Scott and herself does surprise her - a little. Then again, when something like love is present, and the connection between the two so strong, why can't a little happiness occur?

At the back of Jean's mind, she can't help but wonder if the connection between Scott and Jean isn't so much the fact they're from the same world, but perhaps just a connection the two wish to happen so much, it's there? Regardless of what ifs, Jean simply takes what is and goes with it.

None of those doubts enter into Jean's emotions, nor thoughts, no. She simply takes it as it is, and goes forward. « No, Scott. It can't. I'm glad you're here with me, whatever fate has in store for us, I'm thankful that I can share it with you, once more. » It simply doesn't matter the hows, or the whys, or the ifs, or the whats. Right now? It just matters that they both feel the same. The future looks to be a much better place - now, than it did a few hours ago.

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