Title: A New Day
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the X-Men.
He had promised Scott that he would never affect his life without permission, and he was bound and determined that he was never going to break his word.
The only problem was the fact that before he had made the promise, he'd already tampered with Scott's life.
From the first moment he'd met Scott, there'd been darkness in the other boy. Losing his parents at a young age, growing up in an orphanage and in foster homes, then manifesting a deadly mutation… all of those would have bruised even the strongest of spirits. But what had broken
Scott was his having to run away from his last foster home when his power had gone out of control, killing three people.
To escape from the authorities and from having to face what he'd done, he taped his eyes shut and made his way to Las Vegas where he'd lived on the streets for two years. And since he was only thirteen at the time, there wasn't very much he could do to survive. It wasn't like he could get a legal job. So he had done what needed to be done and had taken up prostitution.
For two years he had lived a life of degradation and pain. He sold himself to anyone that had the money and forced himself not to care. And by the time he had come to the Xavier Institute and Xander had met him, Scott had been scarred in body and mind.
Xander still remembered the horror he had felt when he had seen Scott's naked body in the light of day. It was after their second midnight sexfest, and Xander had finally found out why Scott always changed clothes in the bathroom and why he had insisted that they turn the lights off before they made love.
Someone had whipped Scott until his back was a mass of almost liquid-looking scars; they dripped down over his buttocks and streamed over the sides of his ribs. Someone else had put out what looked like twenty cigars on Scott's chest, just this loose grouping of gray-edged pits covering Scott's upper body, one right over his left nipple, twisting the flesh until it looked like it should have fallen off. There were knife slashes along Scott's inner thighs, still glaringly obvious after four years; they looked like they'd been done by a burning blade, the cuts cauterized as they were made, one twisted and ragged from where it had gotten infected and healed over.
Xander had never imagined that anyone could ever do such a horrible thing to a person like Scott. So beautiful and nice, Scott was everything Xander had ever dreamed of being. How could someone hurt him so much?
Was it any wonder that Xander decided to "fix" things and make them better? He wanted Scott to not have to remember such a horrible past. He didn't want Scott to have the nightmares that tormented him night after night. He didn't want to have to see the shame in Scott's eyes as he tried to cover up the marks on his body. And he didn't want Scott to have to remember the terror he'd felt as one of his John's tried to castrate him with a dull pocketknife and the sizzling burn of cooked flesh as he had opened his eyes to save himself.
It was an act of mercy that had made Xander Reach out with his power and twist the threads of Scott's past. It was almost childishly easy to change everything so that Scott never accidentally killed his foster family. Just a couple of strong yanks, and suddenly Scott manifested his power in as harmless a manner as possible, simply blowing up a wall. And without the guilt and fear of having killed the people that took care of him and loved him, Scott didn't immediately runaway.
He stayed, and even though he was put in the hospital and had tests run on his eyes and everything else, he had been relatively unharmed. It was in the hospital that Xavier came to him and took him away, bringing him to the mansion to be trained from his early teens onward to be the perfect X-Man.
Xander changed Scott's life and it was so easy that there almost had
to be dire consequences. The heartbreak of losing his lover was a rough lesson to learn, but it kept him from being overconfident about his abilities.
A couple of yanks on Scott's threads, and suddenly Scott's whole life was different. He never learned the harsh lessons life had taught him. Instead of two years on the street whoring himself to survive, he lived a life of relative luxury in a mansion with a manipulative father figure that molded him like rough clay into the perfect little mutant soldier boy.
Scott didn't remember the love they had shared. With the difference in his circumstances, his life had been formed differently and he wasn't the same person that had shyly seduced Xander and vowed that they would be together forever. There were walls of suppression built up inside him and he had never faced the darker aspects of his own soul. He was an innocent child that refused to be corrupted by the call of the flesh, not even if he wanted it more than anything else, burning with a desire he stubbornly refused to name.
It hurt Xander to know that it had been his own need to tamper with Scott's life that had killed their relationship. There was no way that Scott could look at him with sexual desire now, because Scott was no longer open to the prospects of homosexuality, and he did not want to face those parts of himself.
Because of Xander's interference, he and Scott could only ever be friends. And the sad thing was that he couldn't regret having changed Scott's past and made it better. He couldn't regret all the pain he had spared Scott from having to live through. And maybe this
Scott wasn't as strong, as tempered as his
Scott, but at least this one had known happiness and peace. This
Scott had never had to face the darker sides of human nature, and it showed in the simple trust he placed in nearly every person he met, even the enemies they fought. He was always looking for the bright side of things, always searching for the goodness in every person that he met. And Xander couldn't begrudge him that, because he loved Scott more than anyone in the world.
But even with how happy Scott had become, Xander just couldn't bear to live the rest of his life knowing what he had lost. The great love of his life, and he had ruined it with a couple of thoughtless tugs
It hurt so bad.
"I can't do this," he whispered in the silence. "I can't live knowing that I had Scott's love and threw it away. I can't stand to have him look at me as just a friend, and know
that it wasn't always that way, that we had so much more. I can't do it. I'm not strong enough."
Clenching his teeth together and screwing his eyes tight shut, he braced himself for what he had to do. It might not be the right choice, but it was his choice, and nothing was going to stop him. He didn't want to have to face the pain of losing his lovely, passionate, sweet, sexy and beloved Scott forever.
Using his power on himself always hurt like a thousand red hot needles tearing through his skin, but it had to happen. He couldn't live with the memory of what he'd lost. And with one tug of his own fate lines, he erased from his mind the memory of what he had done.
Blackness rose up and a new day dawned.