Letter to Jean
Fearless Invitation: the story behind Letter to Jean
Open Letter From Scott Summers to the X-Men
Open Letter From Scott Summers to the X-Men
Umm. Hi, guys.
I’m writing to you from... space? My dad’s space ship?
*puts down pen* Ugh. *fights urge to crumple up letter. crosses out the last line instead. continues writing*
It’s been about a day since I last saw you guys. I miss you all so much already.
I don’t know if you’ll ever see this letter. It’s not like there are post offices where I’m going. Well, at least I don’t think there are. I don’t know. *pauses* I think that may be part of the reason why I left. For the first time since Blue Hank showed up at the Institute, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. Nobody is warning me about war, and revolution, and mutant genocide. Nobody is saying I’m responsible for how messed up everything is now, telling me I’ve done things so horrible I can’t imagine ever doing them... and quite honestly, I don’t know how older me lives with it. I don’t mean just the blame for Xavier’s death and this whole crazy Mutant Revolution thing he’s at the center of... I mean everything else too. I don’t know how our older selves went through the stuff they’ve been through and still kept functioning... especially without Jean.
When we first came here I thought there was something we could do about it, something we could change, a difference we could make. I guess deep down I hoped we’d see this terrible future for ourselves and it wouldn’t be as bad as Blue Hank made it sound. Or, even if he was right and the future was horrible, at least we could somehow stop it, reshape it, undo it. I hoped we would go home knowing we had a future ahead of us that was worth looking forward to again. Now we can’t go home at all, and I’m not sure how I feel about everything we’ve seen and done here.... A lot of the things Blue Hank told us turned out not to be true, but in some ways this future might be even worse than Blue Hank led us to fear it would be.
I can’t imagine what you guys must think of me for leaving you in the middle of all this. I know you must be mad at me. Believe it or not, I’m mad at myself too. I know you deserve better from me, especially after you stuck with me despite all this craziness with my future self. I wish I had a better explanation for my actions. I wish there had been more time for us to talk about my decision... but even if there had been enough time, I doubt I could have explained any of this in any way that makes what I decided to do okay. I don’t blame you all if you hate me for leaving, but I hope maybe you can understand a little too.
Until a couple of days ago you guys were the only family I had, the only family I’d had in years, since I was a little kid. I love you guys like family. And I owe Professor X a huge debt for what he did for me when he took me in, when he trusted my judgement enough to make me team leader. All of a sudden I didn’t have to be an outcast anymore. I was a part of something far greater than myself. I was an X-Man. Until even a couple of days ago I thought I knew exactly who I was. I was Scott Summers, leader of the X-Men. Cyclops. Mutant Revolutionary? Possible murderer of Charles Xavier? Possible husband to Jean Grey? Possible father...?
*rubs his hand over his forehead*
It gets to be too much to process after a while. All this future stuff that I barely know about, and have absolutely no control over. It’s not /my/ future! It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened to future me, and I don’t understand how or why any of it happened.
The last memory I had of my father, he was yelling for me and Alex to do what our mother said. The two of them were trying to get us off the plane before– *shudders* I had nightmares about that for years. Falling out of the sky with nothing but a failing parachute suspending us between life and death, clinging to Alex with every ounce of strength I possessed. Watching the plane explode into flames in mid-air. After I woke up from the coma I cried, and I begged, and I bargained, and I prayed to any god who would listen to a desperate, brain-damaged, orphaned eight-year-old. I was begging for a miracle. I prayed that it wasn’t true, I hoped desperately that my mother and father were alive somehow. I believed that one day they would come back for me, and for Alex too, and then we would be a family again. Years passed, alone in that orphanage, before I stopped praying and hoping, stopped needing to believe in a miracle.
Now we’ve come to this otherwise horrendous future, and somehow I got my miracle. First I got to see my little brother, Alex, all grown up. And then I found out my father is still alive. I can’t let that go. I can’t get my father back from the dead for a couple of days, then turn around and let him go all over again... maybe forever. I can’t... not even for you guys. I hope you can forgive me for that. I don’t know how long I need to be away from you all. All I can promise you is that this won’t be forever. It’s just where I need to be for right now.
Maybe it’s selfish. I know. Hell, maybe this whole adventure is nothing but selfish, and reckless. And I know that’s not like me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the verge of telling them to turn the ship around so I could come back... where I belong... back with you all. But I haven’t because I know you guys will be okay without me. You have Professor K, and future me, and about a gazillion other X-Men to look out for you. Before this, all we had was each other, and you all needed me to be the guy who took charge and made decisions for the team. You trusted me to be that guy. I don’t know anymore... if I trust my own decisions the way I need to, the way I have to when people’s lives are on the line. Given everything we know now, maybe I’m not the guy you thought I was either. Maybe I’m not who /I/ thought I was... and maybe that’s the problem.
A few weeks ago I was Cyclops. I didn’t know, or even care, who or what /else/ I was. I was Cyclops. That was all I needed to know. I was an X-Man. And that was everything.
Except... maybe I was the guy who was falling in love with Jean Grey. And maybe I was the guy who had finally found the father figure he’d always wanted when Professor Xavier first believed in me.... But in this future I’ve lost them both. I didn’t turn out to be the man either of them thought I was. In this future I horribly failed the two people I loved the very most.
So maybe I need to stop and find out who the man I’m becoming really is. Maybe I need to stop focusing on Cyclops long enough to figure out Scott Summers... and getting to know my father seems like a good place to begin figuring out myself.
Even if it is, you know, from space.
So... I’ll miss you guys.
And I’ll be back. I promise.
So Let it Be Written Publishing © 2004