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Author's note: This is an AU version of "Power Surge" that begins when Kurt teleports Rogue near Jean. Dr. McCoy and the new recruits are already at the institute and the fact that they are mutants has been discovered. Scott still thinks his brother is dead.

Rogue had just caught one concrete stalactites which had stayed in place, despite the telekinetic explosions which had already destroyed the sick-bay.

"Now Rogue, you must do it NOW!" ordered the professor.

In spite of Jean's powers' pressure, the mutant turned up to approach her a little more and to move her hand forward her face; but, before she had arrived to just skim her with her fingers, an other power explosion went, snatching a pain wail from the telepath, and created an other destructive wave. Under the blast, surprised and destabilized, Rogue gave up and was briefly swept along the column of debris spinning around Jean before falling toward the ground, caught just in time by Scott.

A momentary silence hung over the group. It was shattered by the crashing of the biggest objects which Jean's powers had swept up, and then by the falling of Jean herself, who dropped down heavily on the metal table before anyone had the chance to move.

"Jean!" Scott cried, running over to her.

As soon as he had reached her he tried to bring her back to consciousness by calling her name, but it was useless. The others team members had come closer too, and the professor struggled to clear a way through the debris to the young woman.

"Wait, stand aside! Hank has just arrived, someone go and fetch him!" he added after having briefly detected Dr. McCoy's presence.

Kurt teleported himself instantaneously in a cloud of smoke. Charles made his way to Jean's side, and gently placed one hand on her feverish face, the other against his own temple. He closed his eyes in concentration, while an almost reverent silence filled the ruined infirmary.

In order to not distract the professor from his task, Scott moved back reluctantly and stayed still, keeping his eyes on Jean's seemingly lifeless form.

A familiar sound disturbed the scene, as Kurt teleported back into the room with Hank. A shock expression marked the older mutant's face as he took in the extent of damage to the room. He didn’t let himself ponder that for long though, and he quickly weaved his way through the rubble to Jean, waiting anxiously for Professor Xavier's prognosis.

Charles broke the link with Jean. He kept his eyes on his unconscious young student, as if he wanted to avoid the worried looks of the others X-Men. Finally, with a troubled voice, he said, "I wasn't able to establish contact with her. Her mind is like a real battlefield; I didn't receive the slightest reaction. It's almost she’s no longer here..."

Hank had just leaned in to check her vital signs. Murmurs filled the room, but above them all came Scott's strained voice, "What do you mean, Professor? Is she...?"

"Scott," Hank interrupted him, taking control of the situation. "Take Jean up to her bedroom, the med lab is, quite obviously, out of order. Logan, I need the spare monitoring equipment which is in the Danger Room's first aid room. Kurt, find some ice, we must lower her fever."

But Scott was no longer listening; he delicately lifted Jean into his arms and slalomed between the debris to the exit. The others X-Men and the younger recruits who had just arrived, strayed out of the way, looking nervously at the young woman in Scott's arms.


Once in her room, Scott gently laid Jean down on her bed. He lightly brushed away the red locks that had fallen across her face. He opened his mouth to speak to her, but kept silent as Charles, Hank and Logan joined them. Ororo, who had arrived after the excitement, had since been informed of the events, and was following close behind with the same anxious expression haunting her face.

"Scott," the professor said in a kind voice, trying to be comforting, "we must to examine her now. It would probably be better if you waited outside."


"Scott," Charles said again, more insistently.

He didn’t know if the professor has had sent a telepathic order to Storm, but it was she who placed her hands on Scott's shoulders and steered him toward the exit. Reluctantly, he gave in, keeping his gaze on Jean as long as possible, until the door had been closed between them.


Wolverine was the first to leave, having finished helping to install the equipment required by Hank. He told Scott that he didn't know anything more before the young man could even ask the question.

That followed by an endless waiting. Storm had ordered the youngest recruits to return to their rooms, while the other X-Men leaned against the wall or sat on the ground, waiting for news.

Unlike his friends, Scott couldn't stay still and was pacing the floor, stopping only when he thought he heard a noise from Jean's bedroom. For the X-Men, seeing their leader, the professor's first student and a paragon of stability, in such a state of worrying was rather unnerving. If they were telepaths, they would have been able to see the thousand of hypothesis and scenarios going through Cyclops' mind, each one more disastrous than the other; he was submerged in an ocean of fear that threatened to drown him.

Finally, more that 20 minutes after Scott had been banished from the room, the door opened again to reveal Professor Xavier and Dr. McCoy.

"So, what's wrong with her? What happened to her in the med lab? Is she going to be all right?" Scott asked quickly, his voice forceful.

Hank was the first to answer. He sighed and, speaking to Cyclops as well as the other students, said, "Jean...Jean's in a coma."

The news stunned the group into momentary silence. Then the questions and reactions which sprang up from the five X-Men's and the two instructors came in such a disorganized wave that they were hardly understandable.

Charles cleared his throat in order to silence the group again, and explained in a voice which he tried to keep steady but which fooled nobody.

"I still haven't been able to get a response from her. I will have to help reorganize her mind, right now it's only chaos and confusion. I even believed, during a few moments, that...that perhaps she hadn't been able to withstand explosion of her powers...that her mind simply couldn't cope, and gave up."

He had purposefully avoided the term 'brain dead', not wanting to frighten his students any more than was necessary, since they were already in shock from what had happened.

"But her electroencephalogram proves the contrary," Dr. McCoy hastened to add. "There is still some brain activity, but it's dormant and I simply don't know..."

That was more that Scott could bear.

"Let me through!"

He cleared a way between his two instructors, who offered no resistance, and went to his friend's bed. He didn't hear the rest of the explanation given by Charles and Hank; no, all his attention was on the young woman whose hand he clasped. He took a deep breath and prepared himself to talk to her.

"Jean, it's me, Scott. Wake up Jean, please! It's over, everything's calm again. Jean, you can do it, please come back."

Professor Xavier re-entered the room and placed a comforting hand on Scott's shoulder. For a long moment, only the sounds of the brain and heart monitors could be heard in the room.

"Why is she like this?" Scott asked, never tearing his eyes away from Jean's face.

Charles spoke in a soft tone, obviously trying to protect his student.

"Her powers evolved too rapidly and with too much force for her mind and body to support. Being a mutant, her body is prepared for physical changes during the development of her powers, but not to this extent, not in so little time."

"But she'll be ok?"

"I don't know Scott," answered the professor honestly.

She can't die, thought the young leader.

We will do all we can not to let that happen, I promise you, Charles told him through telepathy. Scott's fear had been so overwhelming that he couldn't help but hear it.

"But you can't reach her telepathically."

"I admit that's what worries me the most," the professor answered. "Nevertheless, we all need to take care of her; bringing her to a hospital would only cause more problems, because of her identity."

Dejected, Scott sighed and let himself slowly fall down on his knees, his legs seemingly unable to support his weight anymore.

"You can stay with her," Charles told him. "Even if nothing was detectable telepathically, she's still alive. Her mind works and her heart beats; so wherever she may be, if you talk to her and she can hear you, I know that would help her."

Scott nodded silently as the professor left the room.


At supper, the students and their instructors gathered in the dinning room; crestfallen, most of them nibbled more than they ate. Scott was the only one to miss the meal; he hadn't had left Jean's bedside and didn't touch the meal Storm brought to him on a tray.

He looked after his friend throughout the night, the following day into the night, leaving her only a few minutes, quickly returning to her side to make sure she knew she wasn't alone by talking to her. Her fever had broken, but there were no others changes in Jean's condition. She remained motionless, lost in a universe only she could see.


When the third night began, Scott still hadn't had eaten a meal and still hadn't have left Jean alone since the 'accident'. Logan and Hank finally insisted he return to his bedroom in order to sleep for a few hours. Having said that, Cyclops didn't stay here for long, and the lock on his door was no match for his optic blasts. Later, thinking back on the incident, the two instructors agreed that, maybe they should have knocked out Scott rather than just locking him in his room.

Silently, Scott walked through the dark corridor and reclaimed his post at Jean's bedside, weakened by his three days of not sleeping or eating, but determined to not leaving her alone. He was afraid of not being here if she...he could barely bring himself to think the words: if she died. Like before, he sat on the ground leaning against the bedside table, taking the young woman's hand in his own. The unceasing beeping of the equipment created an uneasy atmosphere in the room.

"Jean, I'm begging you. Please don't leave me," he said, his voice tired. "You can' can't give up. I know you better that anyone ever has or ever will, I know what you're capable of. I know that you can fight, so do it, please fight!"

Professor Xavier's words came back to him. The day before, he had reminded Scott that Jean had survived another coma, one caused by the manifestation of her powers when she was eight years old. It should be easier for her to come back to them this time, because now she knew the way. But Charles had also admitted that he was worried because unlike her previous coma, he still was unable to contact her using his telepathy. It was still possible, in his opinion, that she would wake up like before, but without his help leading her back she could stay in the coma indefinitely or wake up in a catatonic state. With that much uncertainty, he didn't want to give Scott false hope.

Tears began to silently run down Scott’s cheeks, escaping from beneath his ruby-quartz glasses. His parents, his brother, and now Jean? No!

He drew himself up a little and stroked his fingers along the soft skin of Jean's face. Electrodes framed her face, sending a pulse of all brain activity to the EEG. Scott softly caressed Jean's cheek, the young woman he had always loved, and started speaking again in a desperate voice, his nerves beginning to fray under the stress of the situation and the lack of sleep.

"Jean, I...I wouldn't be able to go on without you, I care about you too much, do you hear me? You helped me to overcome so much. You taught me to smile again, to live, when I thought I would never be able to after losing my family."

He broke off, unable to hold back the tears any longer.

"I'm begging you, Jean, don't leave me. Please wake up, please. I never had the courage to tell you, I was too afraid that...I don't even remember why I was afraid. I want you to know, I need you to know that I love you, Jean. I always have and I always will. I need you, Jean. Please wake up, please."

Overwhelmed by emotion, Scott collapsed against the bed. He kept murmuring to Jean, gradually trailing off as exhaustion finally took over. With his head resting on the edge of the bed, Jean's hand still gripped in his, he succumbed to sleep for the first time in three days.


A soft grinding noise could be heard as the door to Jean's room opened a crack. A head appeared at the opening before quickly disappearing, followed by another grinding noise.

"He's here," confirmed Ororo in a low voice, speaking to the others waiting in the corridor.

"I figured as much," Logan answered.

Professor X, who had been advised of Scott's 'disappearance', nodded slowly.

"Scott and Jean became very close during their early years as the only students at the Institute. They have shared their fears and their dreams; they are closer to each other and know each other better than anyone else. It was obvious to me that a very strong connection has bonded them since they first met, and over time it has only grown stronger."

"Seeing Jean like this is hard enough for us, it's even worse for him. Especially considering how he feels about her," Storm said in understanding.

A silence fell on the little group before Hank changed the subject.

"How was Jean able to cause so much damage?" Hank asked, thinking about the destroyed med lab. "It's been three days, and I still can't get over it. The walls were in reinforced concrete, and not to mention the ceiling! It must have required a colossal amount of psychic strength to accomplish that!"

"I always knew that Jean was destined to become one of the most powerful telepaths and telekinetics in the word," Professor X interjected. "It was simply a question of time. I was just beginning to believe her powers would continue to develop gradually. I can't help but feel that I failed her somehow; I should have planned for this scenario, and tried to prepare her."

Charles hung his head sadly.

"No Charles, don't blame yourself," Hank objected. "We have almost 20 students here, and we have even more problems since humans now know of our existence. You can't manage all."

"And you tried to help her when Scott brought her home, but you weren't able to," added Logan. "Maybe Jean's 'power surge' was unavoidable."

"They're right," agreed Storm. "Preparing Jean might have changed nothing; you had no way of knowing her evolution would take place so rapidly. Not everything can be predicted, Charles. In the past you had placed blocks in Jean's mind in order to help her to cope her powers, but even the strongest blocks can break."

Professor Xavier nodded silently, knowing that his friends were sincere. A new silence hung over the corridor for some time before Logan spoke.

"Well, now that we've found Scott, we can go back to bed. There's no point bringing him up to his room again, 'cause we know that he won't stay there."

"And at least he's sleeping," added Ororo.

"He's finally fallen asleep?"

Storm nodded.

"No wonder," said Hank. "He hadn't gotten a moment of sleep in three days; at that rate he would have collapsed eventually."

Charles approved with a nod and rolled away, indicating it was time for them to return to their rooms.

Even he wasn't sleeping very well these past few days, but his mental training allowed him to keep a good physical state. Jean, his second student, a young woman he cared about very much and who he thought of as a daughter, was in a coma...he needed to cope with his own grief over the situation.


She began to gradually emerge from what seemed like an endless abyss. Her arms and legs were numb, she had a headache and to open her eyes seemed to need a colossal strength.

It took Jean a while to realize where she was. The room and the constant beeping of the equipment around her had confused her at first, but the semi-darkness of the dawn which was softly illuminating her bedroom furniture comforted her. As for why she was connected to all the machines, she had no idea...and the stabbing pain which was already making her head hurt didn't encourage her to search her own memories.

As she gradually regained awareness of her body, she realized that there was something resting on her abdomen, a hand was holding hers. She didn't need to see the face marked by exhaustion and anxiety to know it was Scott's, and, after having spent a few minutes observing him, she moved her fingers slightly.

The young man murmured something incomprehensible before he started, the movement of her fingers finally registering, and looked up, meeting Jean's gaze.

"Jean?" he asked in a hesitant voice, not quite believing his eyes. "Oh my god, you scared me! I was starting to think you wouldn't ever wake up again."

Tears of happiness ran down his cheeks as the first rays of morning sun shone through the window, bathing the room in a soft light.

"How are you feeling?"

"I...groggy," she answered in a weak voice.

She was overwhelmed and confused. She didn't know what had happened, but it must have been bad because this was the first time she has ever seen Scott cry. She slowly raised her left hand and cupped his face.

“Hey,” she said, delicately brushing away the tears in a soft caress. “It’s ok, Scott, don’t worry. What happened? Why aren’t I in the infirmary?”

Scott's lips stretched in an half embarrassed smile.

"Er...that's because there isn't an infirmary any more."


"Well, you collapsed at track and field tryouts at school three days ago."

"Three days?" Jean was surprised and she frowned slightly as she tried to remember. "Yes...I remember, I couldn't control my powers...Thoughts...thousands of thoughts that I couldn't shut up were in my head...I couldn't control my telekinesis, either. Oh my god, please tell me I didn't hurt anyone!"

"No everyone's fine, don’t worry."

"Are you sure?"

Scott nodded, reassured to see that Jean's memory seemed to be intact.

"Kitty and I brought you back to the Institute. I took you to the infirmary and Logan made me leave while the professor was trying to reach you. Everything in the lab began to fly around the room," explained the young man without releasing Jean's hand. "Then there was a sort of explosion and another one. The walls of the infirmary had been knocked down, the roof had been destroyed; you had been lifted up by your powers, everything flying around you."

"I did that?" asked a perplexed Jean.

Scott nodded before going on. "The professor told us that your mind was in chaos, that you needed something to focus on. We didn't have a lot of time and Rogue tried to reach you in order to drain off some of your powers so that I could try to talk to you… but it was too late."

He paused before continuing. "There was another telekinetic blast, and Rogue was thrown through the air -- she's fine," added Scott because of Jean's gaze, "and then everything stopped. Everything dropped, including you, and you fell into a coma."

Jean couldn't answer anything and, as a matter of fact, she didn't had the time. The professor, having felt Jean's presence in his mind, came into the bedroom followed by Ororo and Logan, a smile on theirs lips.

"Jean, welcome back! How are you?"

Ororo came closer to her and delicately removed the suckers of the EEG before switching off the machines, leaving the IV in place.

"Tired, and I have a horrible migraine," she summarized, giving them a slight smile which quickly faded.

She screwed up her eyes in a manner that Charles instantly recognized.

"Your telepathy?" he asked.

She nodded, placing her hands on her throbbing temples.

How? I thought it was over...this must be the aftermath... she heard

Some objects around the room began to drop to the ground or be lifted up without her will.

"Not only her telepathy," Logan observed, catching a book as it flew past him.

"I don't understand, with just Scott I was fine," said Jean.

No wonder, they...the kind of thing that doesn't surprise me...My god, Jean, you scared me so much!...I am sure it's Kurt who did seems that Jean has regained consciousness…go through a coma...What are we having for breakfast?...heard that...

Storm's, Wolverine's and Scott's thoughts were resonating in her mind; in background, some weaker murmurs from the other students in the mansion.

"Relax your mind, you know how to do." Charles told her.

Jean concentrated and a few moments later the levitating objects fell to the ground.

"Is it better now?"

"A little."

"Your powers have increased considerably, Jean. I even need to reinforce my own shield," said the professor. "With only one person, you can handle blocking out thoughts, but there are too many of us now, that's all."

"We will wait outside," proposed Ororo. "I'm really delighted to see you back with us again, Jean." ...thank goodness, she's alive...

"Don't ever do anything like that again, Red," grumbled Logan, before sending her a rare smile. ...I really thought we'd lost her, but she seems better...

Scott stood up again and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. This gesture surprised her, but she said nothing; Logan waited for Scott not wanting he to collapse from exhaustion and lack of food, and the door closed.

Wolverine and Storm took advantage of the opportunity to bring Scott to the kitchen and to make him eat, which, to their great relief, he didn't refused.


Twenty minutes later, Scott was allowed to return to see Jean, at her request. The young woman welcomed him with a smile, although her exhaustion was clearly evident in her eyes.

"The professor has held back some of my powers and has reinforced the psychic shield around my bedroom," she said. "No more unidentified flying objects, and you can't know how nice it is to be alone with my own thoughts again."

"Yes, I can only imagine," answered Scott.

He sighed and slightly smiled.

"Jean, I'm so relieved that you're out of your coma."

She let a silence hung over them before saying, "Scott, the professor told me that you didn't leave me for three days. He said they even needed to use persuasive force you to make you rest, and that they didn't have had a lot of success."

Although she couldn't see his eyes, from his facial expression she could see that he was slightly embarrassed.

"I couldn't leave you alone like that. I needed to stay and talk to you; I didn't want you think you'd been abandoned."

Jean smiled.

"Thanks, I can't really say that I heard you," she lied. "But I remember feeling comforted, which was a great help for me. I don't know if I would have pulled through this without you."

Storm opened the door. "Scott, I just wanted to tell to you that the professor wishes Jean to get some rest," she gently said before closing the door again, after having received a nodded acknowledgment.

"Well, you heard the boss," Scott said softly to Jean.

"That goes for you, too," she answered. "And do me a favour and eat something."

"I ate a sandwich," he smiled. "So, sleep well and don't forgot to wake up, ok?"

"I promise," she said.

She watched him moving away, seeming undecided in her thoughts, and as he opened the door and was about to go out, she called to him.



"I just wanted you to know...if it had been you, I would have done and said the same as you. Exactly the same as you."

He didn't know if he was really understanding what she meant. If she hadn't had heard him talking to her while she was in the coma, how could she mean what he thought she meant? There was a soft voice in his mind which brushed away his doubts.

I love you too, she admitted apprehensively. After all, maybe she'd been dreaming...maybe he hadn't told her that he loved her.

Scott's face was lit by a beautiful smile. Wolverine, fixing a door further down in the corridor and seeing that Scott was staying at Jean's, recalled him in a grumbling voice that he had to let her get some rest. "Scott..."

"Yes...2 minutes," answered Cyclops before re-entering into the room.

Scott wasn't really aware of what he was doing, as a matter of fact, he wasn't even sure to be in be in command of his movements, he was simply letting himself be controlled by his heart. It was his emotions which drove him toward Jean, which pushed him to take the young woman's delicate face in his hand and to press his lips against hers.

Hesitant at first, the kiss became rapidly more passionate. Jean had partly sat up to pass her arms around his neck, her eyes shut. She was savouring the experience as if kissing Scott was the most fabulous sensations she ever experienced and wished that the moment never end.

"Hey, I can be understanding bub, but 2 minutes doesn't mean 10..." Wolverine interrupted himself by entering in the room.

Scott and Jean slightly startled and reluctantly ended their kiss

"Ten?" they asked in surprise without really breaking their hug.

"I guess times flies, huh?" Logan joked, hiding his joy. "One minute, One-Eye, not one more, hum?"

He turned back again toward the door, a barely restrained smile on his lips. Before the door completely closed it behind him, Scott and Jean heard him murmuring. "Well...It's about time..."