DISCLAIMER: Don't own them, though I do covet them.
NOTE: Somewhat AU, basically after Genosha Scott takes off and Jean finds herself spending much more time with the Institute's newest addition, Emma Frost.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Underneath It All
By Janine


Part 13

Emma paused as she reached the doorway of the kitchen, stepping back and to the side quickly so that she was hidden from sight from the occupant of the room. Letting her head fall back against the wall she tilted her head up to contemplate the ceiling and breathed in deeply. She'd been doing her best to avoid Jean since the incident in her bedroom a few days before and she knew that Jean had been trying to avoid her too, though she had found that despite their obvious attempts at evasion their eyes had an annoying habit of finding each other quite often across the quad, across the dining room table and down hallways.

She'd spent much of that very day contemplating the situation she found herself in with Jean and what to do about it. She'd thought that if she just decided to not acknowledge the redhead or her attraction to her that that would take care of the matter. Whenever she'd tired of someone in the past deciding that she was no longer going to bother with them and putting them out of her mind had actually put them out of her mind. However, like most things with Jean, this no longer worked for her either. She found herself thinking about the redhead just as much if not more since their self-imposed hiatus from each other, and she knew exactly why that was.

She actually, genuinely cared about Jean Grey. She had known for a while that she lusted after her, she had even acknowledged quite a while before that she enjoyed the redhead's company, but it was more than that and it was that deeper connection that she had been fighting to avoid admitting to.

The truth of the matter was she wanted to be with Jean Grey. She didn't just want to fuck her – though she did want to fuck her. She didn't just want to spend time with her when she couldn't think of anything better to do. She wanted to make love to Jean, slowly, often and repeatedly. She wanted to lay with her afterwards and talk to her. She wanted to spend her free time with the other woman, and missed her, actually missed her when she wasn't around.

She wanted to be Jean's girlfriend and as annoying as she found idea, she couldn't deny it. And that was a huge fucking problem, because as their last significant encounter had reminded them, Jean was married.

Of course, she was married to a selfish, self-righteous, douche-bag and that comforted Emma somewhat.

When she had realized that being away from Jean was making her miserable, and that she really disliked being miserable she'd decided that she was just going to have to win Jean over, and the fact that Scott was a little bitch-boy that ran away from his wife because he was angsting made the possibly of doing just that much more plausible then it may have otherwise been.

Besides, Jean wanted her too, she could see it in her eyes when they looked at each other. She could feel it the other night as they touched each other. She wanted Jean, Jean wanted her, and Scott wanted space, so it very much made sense to her that she should be with Jean, while Scott got to enjoy all of the space he could possibly want, alone.

Emma straightened her shoulders and headed into the kitchen.

Jean looked up, not particularly surprised to see Emma enter the kitchen. She hadn't been certain but she'd felt the blonde's presence a few moments before nearby and knew that it was probably only a matter of time before she made her way into the room.

"Ice cream's all gone," Jean said by way of greeting her eyes lingering on Emma's form for a moment before she lowered her gaze back to her bowl. The blonde was in a knee length, sheer white nightgown that excentuated every single one of her exquisite curves and Jean knew her gaze would soon turn into oggling if she looked at the blonde any longer.

"I guess you'll just have to share then," Emma responded moving to the side and opening a drawer to take out a spoon before moving to an empty stool on Jean's right.

Jean shrugged and moved the bowl to the side slightly so that Emma wouldn't have to practically sit in her lap in order to reach it.

Since Emma had come into the room knowing full well she was in there, Jean had expected the blonde to say something, to try and initiate some kind of conversation, but Emma didn't make a sound and Jean found that she had no idea what to say, leaving them in silence.

Jean gave up on the ice cream leaving it Emma and began fiddling with her spoon trying to think of something that would break the awkward, oppressive silence that covered the room.

Distractedly Jean brought the spoon up to her mouth to lick away remnants of vanilla that still covered it, but preoccupied as she was she missed her mouth and ended up hitting her cheek with the spoon, leaving a dollop of white cream on her face.

"First day with the new mouth, dear?" Emma asked almost as soon as Jean realized what she'd done. Jean resisted the urge to sigh, it figured that Emma would've seen that. Still, despite her embarrassment she was somewhat glad to be teased, it felt very familiar and hope momentarily flared in her chest that things might be able to go back the way they were before. And she wanted that, she still wanted to be friends with Emma. She did genuinely like the other woman.

"Apparently," Jean muttered putting the spoon down before lifting her hand to begin cleaning off the icy treat. However before her hand got there she felt a warm hand cupping her cheek, Emma having beaten her to it.

"Hold still," Emma said encouraging Jean to shift on the stool slightly so that she was looking straight at her. With that she then rubbed at the spot with her thumb transferring the glob from Jean's face to her finger. Emma removed her hand for a moment staring at the messy digit and then stuck her thumb in her mouth, cleaning it off before reaching for Jean again, using the now clean and damp digit to remove any residual stickiness that may have lingered after her first pass.

Emma remained cupping Jean's face in her hand after she had finished cleaning the woman up. She couldn't read the redhead telepathically, but she could see desire and longing in her eyes. Her touch was affecting the redhead, she was certain of it, if she leaned in and kissed her she was certain that Jean would allow the contact.

Jean met Emma's searching gaze even though she wanted to look away. The blonde was studying her, her eyebrows furrowed slightly in thought and Jean wondered what she was thinking. There was something sad and yearning beneath Emma's studious gaze and Jean wanted to reach out to her, she wanted to touch her.

Emma blinked but didn't move as she saw Jean begin to sway towards her, her eyes closing seconds before the redhead's lips landed against her own, pressing softly. She brought the hand that wasn't still on Jean's cheek to rest on her thigh, and leaned forward responding to the tentative contact Jean had initiated.

Jean pulled back to gaze at Emma, watching as the blonde's sky blue eyes slowly opened. 'She had her eyes closed' Jean thought as she reached out to the blonde, her fingers moving to Emma's mouth, brushing against her lips. She found it incredibly sweet and extremely sexy that Emma had had her eyes closed.

She leaned in again, deepening the kiss this time, allowing her tongue to enter Emma's mouth, drinking in the blonde's soft sigh. Emma's mouth was warm and welcoming, the hand the blonde still had cupping her soft and gentle. Emma felt so good, it felt so good to be touching her and to be touched by her. She just wanted to fall into Emma's arms and be enveloped by her.

She found herself slipping off of the stool and into a standing position, taking a step closer to Emma, never once losing contact with her lips, until she was standing between Emma's spread legs, the blonde's head tilted up to meet her lips. Her movement caused Emma's hands to leave her face and leg, but the blonde soon settled them on her hips, one hand moving behind Jean to stroke her back as their lips continued to move against each other.

Jean broke away from the blonde's lips once more, and grasped the hand Emma had placed on her hip. She lifted it bringing it to her mouth, kissing Emma's palm before lowering the hand, placing it over her breast, holding it there for a moment. Jean could feel Emma's bare thighs against her own, the shorts she was wearing allowing much of their skin to come in contact and dropped her hand to Emma's thigh, running it up along the length of Emma's leg pushing the helm of her gown up as she luxuriated in the silky smooth feeling of Emma's skin.

Emma's lips parted and Jean knew that she could feel the hardening of her nipple through the thin material of her night shirt. She began to lean down again, intent on capturing the blonde's lips once more.

"No I'm sure she was Russian. A crazy Russian, but then again that distinction is kind of redundant, isn't it?"

Jean froze as Bobby's voice reached her ears. She stared at Emma for a moment and then pulled back, groping behind her for the stool she had been seated on before, settling back down on it and spinning so that she was seated behind the counter. She saw Emma smooth down her nightgown and then the blonde shifted so that she fully seated behind the counter again and picked up her spoon twisting it idly between her fingers as figures appeared in the doorway.

"Jean! Frosty!" Bobby greeted loudly with a smile. He was very clearly drunk. "You ladies missed an excellent night out. There were shenanigans," he continued as Ororo, Kitty, Rogue and Peter followed him into the kitchen. "Shenanigans were had. But I'm sure whatever you two were doing was fun too," he went on leering at them though his eyes were mostly focused on Emma's chest.

"You're drunk," Kitty said moving to the fridge interrupting the silence that followed Bobby's last remark before it could become awkward. "Here," she said removing a bottle of water. "Drink, I'm not babysitting you for the rest of the night, and I'm certainly not cleaning up."

"Is there any ice-cream left?" Rogue asked ambling over to the counter taking Kitty's clue and striving for normalcy. Honestly she was having a hard time not staring at Emma's breasts. It wasn't that cold in the room, and she began to wonder if there was anything to Bobby's drunken insinuation.

"Fraid not," Jean replied forcing herself to appear normal. "Emma finished it off," she joked automatically slipping into a familiar pattern of teasing, one that she quickly discovered Emma wasn't in the mood to reciprocate. Not that she could blame the blonde woman considering what had been going on before the others crashed their party.

Emma turned to look at Jean and frowned. "Despite Tiger's allegation I don't make it a habit to sneak down here in the middle of the night to steal frozen milk products," she replied looking over at Rogue, the dissatisfied and annoyed look still on her face.

"Then why is the bowl in front of you?" Kitty asked moving over beside Rogue so that she could see the countertop.

"And why do you have a spoon?" Bobby accused pointing at the spoon Emma was absently stroking with her thumb.

Emma looked down at the spoon in question and then glared at Jean before turning her icy gaze on the other occupants of the room. To say that she was not in a very charitable mood at the moment would have been a very generous description indeed. She didn't enjoy being teased by the other X-Men on the best of days and she certainly didn't appreciate their drunken ribbing at the moment. Things had been going rather well with Jean before they had shown up, she hadn't even really needed to turn on the old Frost charm to get the redhead virtually pressing her up against the kitchen counter and the interruption was not appreciated.

Emma's jaw clenched, her nostrils flaring slightly before she pushed her stool back and stood up. She wasn't in the mood to deal with this shit. "Gushingly glad we had this opportunity chat," Emma said, her voice flat and aloof not making the least bit of effort to pretend that she was anything but exasperated and irritated with the lot of them.

That said the blonde then dropped the spoon she had been holding onto the counter and strode out of the kitchen without another word.

"Maybe she's not a night person," Kitty suggested smirking once Emma was out of sight.

"She's not really a morning person either," Bobby added helpfully.

"Or an afternoon person," Kitty supplied in case anyone was wondering.

"Evening isn't really her forte either," Bobby finished causing laughter to briefly ripple throughout the room.

Jean stood up wearily not in the mood to deal with the banter and Emma bashing. Picking up the bowl and her spoon as well as Emma's she moved to the sink and deposited them before moving towards the door.

Ororo caught her eye as she was about to leave and Jean held the other woman's gaze for a moment before biting her lip and shaking her head wearily.

She really didn't want to talk about it.


Part 14

Two days later…

Jean stared at the back of her door for a long moment as more impatient knocks sounded. She knew that it was Emma on the other side, and she was aware that Emma was quite aware that she was inside the room, but despite the fact that she knew she had been caught she was giving serious thought to just walking away from the door and leaving the blonde to stew. It wasn't that she wanted to upset Emma, it was just that she just wasn't sure that she was up to dealing with the blonde at that moment. She didn't seem to have much self-control when it came to Emma these days if the incident in the kitchen, the kitchen of all places, was any indication, and her lapses in will power just seemed to be making the situation worse.

She didn't want to be a tease. She didn't want to continue screwing with Emma's emotions behaving one way and saying something different. She didn't want to lead the blonde on, which was why she had once again tried to avoid her. She knew that nothing could come of their attraction and she didn't want to end up in another lip lock or groping session with the other woman only to douse her in cold water once more. Not being around each other, especially in bedrooms, was the only way to be fair to both of them.

There was a brief pause in the knocking and for a moment Jean thought with relief that the blonde had left. However, just as she was about to turn away from the door and head to a mirror that she could then stare into while obsessively telling herself that she loved her husband, she felt a gentle nudging at her mental shields and lowered them enough to hear what Emma had to say.


Jean stayed where she was not daring to move a muscle.


Jean closed her eyes. She wasn't going to open the door. She couldn't or she'd end up falling into Emma all over again and nothing would be solved. She was married, she couldn't do this. No matter how much she wanted Emma or Emma wanted her. She simply wasn't in a position to pursue it. However, she realized that her mind was considerably ahead of her body in figuring this out and that until her body caught up it meant that the door had to stay closed.

~Dammit Jean!~

Jean's hand started to shake and she made a fist willing it to stop. Emma was upset, she could understand that. The blonde had every right to be mad at her. She hadn't meant to, she truly hadn't meant to, but she had led the blonde on. She had been weak a few nights ago, she had given into her inappropriate desire for the blonde, and it had been so …

Jean bit her lip trying to hold back a moan. Emma deserved an explanation and an apology, and she would give her one. She just couldn't do it at that moment, she just couldn't face her yet.


Jean blinked rapidly her eyes stinging and brought her hand up to rub at them. Emma's mental voice was pleading, she sounded so small, so very unlike Emma and it made her want to throw the door open and draw the blonde into a huge hug.

~Do you want me to beg? Will you open the door if I fall to my knees? Do you want me to grovel? How much do I have to debase myself for you to open the door?~

Jean sighed and reached for the door knob.

Emma didn't say anything as she entered the room, she simply stalked by Jean without even sparing a glance at her.

Jean closed the door. It was time to face the music.

"Emma, I …" Jean began, but before she could say anything the blonde was in front of her, and then she was kissing her hard, her hands gripping Jean's biceps pulling her into her.

Jean wilted into the kiss responding automatically to Emma's demanding lips before realizing that she was doing the exact thing she had sworn not to do.

"Emma stop," she said struggling against the blonde's hold. "We can't do this. I can't do this."

"You can," Emma responded. She stopped trying to kiss Jean but didn't release her. "You want to," she continued staring at the redhead, lust, rage, frustration, tenderness, and uncertainty all warring within as she gazed at Jean. She was tired of waiting, she didn't wait well. She was a go getter. If she wanted something she went and got it, but she'd tried to push down her more predatory instincts with Jean and it hadn't gotten her anywhere. She'd hoped that if she just gave Jean time to come to terms with her feelings that the redhead would come to her. But Jean was taking to long, and Emma realized could probably take a whole lot longer debating with herself and living in self denial. She had to force the redhead's hand. It was time to be proactive and embrace her inner alpha.

"Scott," Jean began to say.

"Isn't here," Emma interrupted. "Hasn't been here. I have. I am. And I want you. Desperately," she continued whispering the last word because it was true and that meant she had to force it past her lips.

With that she kissed Jean again and felt the redhead respond once more, her body relaxing against her own. There was no denial with reactions like this, Jean had to realize that.

Jean felt one of Emma's hands release her arm and then move down between their bodies. She tensed slightly into the kiss unsure what Emma was planning. She could feel the blonde's arm resting between their bodies, but Emma made no move to touch her where she thought and she relaxed into the blonde's kiss once more.

Long, breathless moment later Emma pulled away from Jean's lips and stared at her. She met Emma's gaze not bothering to try and hide her desire. Emma was right, she did want her. She wanted her badly, she wanted to give in to what she was feeling so very, very much, but she just couldn't.

Jean opened her mouth, the first syllable of Emma's name on her lips but before she could get the sound out she felt Emma's fingers on her lips tracing the soft full flesh of them. Jean's eyes fluttered shut at the feeling, her brain noting somewhat distractedly that Emma's finger tips were damp. As she felt the blonde's other hand come to rest on her hip she began to wonder why that was when a familiar musky scent registered with her.

Jean gasped her eyes opening wide as she realized where Emma's hand had been when it dipped down between them.

She shivered lightly and Emma leaned forward brushing her lips against Jean's cheek before whispering, "From just the thought of you."

Jean breathed in shakily, realizing her mistake the moment she did and she smelled Emma's arousal once more. Her lips begin to part and before she could even think about what she was doing, they wrapped around the tip of Emma's finger, tasting the blonde woman's passion. Her eyes closed again and a small, chocked sound escaped from Jean's throat as she tasted Emma for the first time. Her hand flew up capturing the blonde's wrist, holding her hand in place and turned her head further to the side taking Emma's finger fully into her mouth sucking on it with an almost pained whimper before releasing the digit and kissing the blonde soundly on the mouth.

"Emma," Jean said finally able to get the blonde's name out though this time there was no protest in her voice. This time her tone was longing and inviting.

She tried, she had tried so hard. She knew that she shouldn't, she knew it was cheating but she wanted the blonde badly. She just couldn't fight it anymore. She'd been alone for too long and Emma felt so good pressed up against her, she tasted so good. Scott had denied her for so long that she had almost forgotten what it was like to be wanted, to see someone look at her consumed with desire, but as Emma gazed at her she knew the intoxicating effects of that feeling once more.

Emma leaned forward her arms wrapping around Jean's waist and she pressed her lips against Jean's sighing contentedly into her mouth. She had heard Jean's tone and understood it.

She knew that Jean wouldn't stop them this time.

Three hours later …

Jean licked her lips, chewing on the soft flesh for a moment. She could still taste Emma on her lips and it made her clench longingly below her waist. She leaned forward and pressed her lips against Emma's, kissing her slowly, in long, luxurious strokes her hand moving to Emma's side caressing the smooth, silky skin of her torso indolently.

She felt so incredibly relaxed, but more than that she felt happy and content.

She felt Emma smile against her lips and yelped a moment later as the blonde's fingers began to dance across her stomach tickling her.

"Stop that," Jean squealed slapping in Emma's general direction, her hands encountering nothing but naked skin.

"That's how I held you for the first time," Emma said softly stopping the tickling, her hands moving against the flesh of Jean's tummy tenderly and without purpose, simply touching the other woman. She bent her head down and placed her lips just above Jean's belly button pressing a soft kiss to her skin before kissing her way up the redhead's torso, stopping briefly to take a nipple into her mouth before continued up to Jean's mouth to kiss her.

Jean met Emma's lips, her hands moving to the blonde's hips pulling her closer. The kiss to her breast had been gentle and playful, but Jean could feel her desire beginning to rise again as they kissed. The nipple Emma had kissed was now rock hard, and as Emma shifted to cover her with her body, her breasts lowering to press against Jean's she felt the other one begin to follow suit.

"Emma," Jean said when Emma pulled back to kiss her cheek and along her jaw. "You're getting me wet again."

Emma smiled against Jean's throat, giving a slow grind against the redhead's hip before dipping a hand down between their bodies. Sure enough she could feel moisture beginning to pool there once again. She nipped at Jean's neck and ground her pelvis against her once more.

"I can take care of that for you," Emma mumbled against her neck before moving to kiss Jean's shoulder, her fingers rubbing very lightly along the redhead's slick folds. At this point in the night she knew that Jean's clit would be especially sensitive after all of the attention she had paid to it earlier and that she had be careful to make sure that what she was doing was still pleasurable.

"I think if I come again I might die," Jean replied never the less coaxing Emma's mouth back up to hers and kissing her soundly. She felt Emma smile into the kiss and when she pulled back she could see the blonde's blue eyes practically shining with mirth.

"That's the point. As long as it's only a little," Emma drawled softly her fingers still moving languidly between Jean's legs. Despite what the redhead said, her body was responding beautifully and Emma was sure she could get another couple orgasms out of her before they passed out due to exhaustion. "Besides I hear that's not really a problem for you."

"You realize of course that'd leave it to you to explain to the team why I need resurrecting, right?" Jean asked smiling, her hips beginning to slowly undulate against Emma's hand. "Jean Grey. Beloved daughter, friend and teacher. Killed by le grande morte."

"What? Death by orgasm isn't fancy enough for an X-Woman?" Emma asked slipping a finger inside of Jean as she spoke, biting her lip as the redhead gasped and thrust her hips up to meet the penetration.

"Come here," Jean said ignoring Emma's last comment, kissing the blonde soundly when she moved within range.

Emma leaned back a second later allowing Jean access to her neck her throat, moaning as the redhead kissed her way towards her chest, biting at the soft swell of her breast before taking a nipple into her mouth and sucking. She found it endlessly arousing that Jean was a breast woman.

Emma was distracted from her thoughts about Jean's favorite body part as she felt herself being turned over, a loss of sensation alerting her to the fact that Jean had pulled off of her fingers when she had moved them. She felt like complaining since she thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being buried within the redhead, however as Jean moved to straddle her she kept quiet. For most of the night she had been on top, but occasionally Jean had taken control as she was doing now and Emma had found those times extremely enjoyable.

Jean reached down and took Emma's hand guiding it back to sex. Cradling Emma's hand in her own for a moment, she bent down the blonde's pinky finger and thumb and then looked up at her smiling as she guided the remaining three extended fingers between her legs.

Emma matched her smile and lifted her head meeting Jean's mouth as the redhead impaled herself on Emma's fingers and began to slowly ride her hand.

Emma brought her free hand around Jean's back resting her palm in the small of her back, supporting Jean as she moved against her, lifting her head to kiss the redhead's chest and breasts as Jean's movements became more urgent.

Emma felt Jean's mind brush against her own and lowered her shields. They hadn't done this before during their hours of lovemaking but Emma had been expecting it and was looking forward to it even though she was feeling a bit anxious. She had been in previous lover's minds as they had reached orgasm in the past but she had never had anyone in hers before. She had never lost herself in the sensation before, her mind merging with someone else's until it was impossible to tell where one mind began and the other ended. She had never trusted anyone enough.

She felt Jean tense almost immediately, the redhead's pleasure and affection rushing over her like a tidal wave, and she could feel the reciprocal flood of emotion leaving her. Jean's body began to shake and her eyes closed tightly for a moment before opening, tears streaming down her face when they did. Emma surged up and Jean leaned down their lips meeting halfway with bruising intensity as the redhead's hip began to buck wildly as she climaxed warm liquid coating Emma's fingers as they clung to each other. Emma's breath hitched at the same time Jean's orgasm echoing through her, her own body shaking and convulsing beneath the redhead's. She could feel her fingers inside of herself as if she were Jean, and the pleasure of their orgasms mingled together in their minds creating one very grande morte that seemed to go on forever exponentially expanding itself until they literally couldn't take anymore.

"Oh my god," Jean gasped collapsing on top of Emma what had to have been over a full minute later. She could still feel the blonde inside of her mind, and it intensified the feeling of the blonde's fingers still stroking gently inside of her. "My god," she whispered again burying her face in Emma's neck as the other woman wrapped her hand around back hugging her tightly. She had never experienced anything even remotely like that in her entire life.

Emma kissed her temple, then kissed the top of her head, her body still trembling. She felt raw. She felt like she had just been cut open and everything inside of her was threatening to spill out. But Jean was there around her, holding it all in, holding her together. She was still shaking but it no longer had anything to do with the orgasm she had just had. She felt so incredibly open and pressed herself against Jean more tightly, clinging to her with all of the strength she had left in her body as if the redhead really were stopping her from falling completely apart.

"Emma," Jean said softly, wrapping the blonde up tightly in her arms. She was crying. "Oh Emma," she whispered kissing the blonde wherever she could reach, stroking her skin softly, keeping herself in Emma's head, sending warmth and love to her much as she had done that terrible night after the attack on Genosha. Only this time it wasn't tears of pain but tears of happiness that rained down upon Jean and as the redhead reached around with one hand until she found the edge of the sheet and drew it up over them, she began to shed a few tears of her own.


Part 15

Jean blinked against the morning light shining into her eyes and groaned rolling over - right into a warm body – in an attempt to block it out. Emma, she thought smiling and wrapping her arms around the blonde nuzzling against her for a moment, enjoying her scent and the warmth of her body before opening her eyes.

"Good morning, Tiger," Emma replied smiling down at her as Jean blinked at her sleepily, Emma fuzzy but radiant to her still sleep blurred eyes. "You're precious in the morning," Emma continued reaching out to brush some stray strands of hair out of Jean's face.

"Mmm," Jean moaned unintelligibly before burying her face in Emma's neck once more, kissing the warm skin she found there causing Emma to twitch slightly. "Hmm," Jean mumbled sounding much more awake. She kissed the spot again, and once again Emma twitched.

"Do stop that, dear," Emma complained reaching out to place her hand on Jean's shoulder, stopping her from leaning in again.

"So you are ticklish," Jean noted with a somewhat devious smile on her face.

"Not much," Emma replied, "though I do have my weak spots. However since you've only found one, and I've found quite a few more on you," she continued punctuating her statement by giving Jean a little tickle. "I think you might want to hold off on any declarations of war."

Jean had to admit she had a point. She'd find a way to exploit that weak spot one day however.

Jean pulled back from Emma slightly and propped herself up on her elbow so that she was looking down at the still reclining blonde. She wasn't sure if it had been sleepy motions, or her early morning hugging, but the sheet had fallen down revealing Emma's breasts and much of her flat stomach. Jean was sure that meant she was just as visible but her own nudity didn't interest her nearly as much as Emma's did.

"You're so beautiful," Jean said softly, reaching out with her free hand. She began by resting her finger on Emma's lip, smiling as the blonde playfully nipped at it before running her finger across her jaw, and then her neck, moving it further down in between the valley of her breasts and down her torso before dipping it in her belly button and pulling away.

She leaned over and kissed Emma softly suddenly needing to feel her.


Emma's voice was surprisingly serious when she pulled back, and Jean turned her full attention towards the blonde. She knew that they would need to have a talk about what had happened, but it surprised her somewhat that Emma was initiating it and so soon.

Emma sighed averting her eyes to stare out into the room once Jean focused on her. "You've seen more of me than any other living soul." The words were sighed softly but there was a weighty gravitas to them that Jean didn't miss.

Jean reached out and stroked Emma's cheek. She understood the subtext of Emma's simple comment. What Emma had really said was 'I trust you. Don't hurt me.'

Jean nodded and then lowered her head resting it on Emma's shoulder. She needed a moment to compose herself. She knew that no matter what she decided to do she was going to hurt somebody that she loved and the knowledge of that weighed on her heavily. She had made a promise to herself months ago that she was going to show Emma that there was such a thing as trust and that she could trust her. She had sworn that she wouldn't be one more person in Emma's life to give up on her, that she wouldn't abandon her or leave her like so many people had in the past. She had promised herself that she was going to show Emma that people wouldn't always let her down. And she had. Emma Frost had opened up to her the night before more than any other person in her life had, more than her own husband had. She had wondered when she first set out to befriend the blonde if it would ever be possible to really get the woman to trust her and now she had her answer. Yes, resoundingly yes, she could and she did.

The question before her now was what she was going to do about that. Because as much as she had made promises to Emma she had also taken vows with Scott. Vows she had broken so completely and satisfyingly with Emma the night before, and had been breaking bit by bit with the blonde for weeks before.

Jean propped herself up once more and looked down at Emma.

"I love you," she said softly, blinking as she studied the blonde's features. "I do, God forgive me, I love you," she continued feeling tears begin to form in her eyes. She turned her head away from Emma trying to get some control over herself before continuing. "Do you love me too, Emma? Be honest with me, do you love me, too?" Her voice sounded strained and she had to force herself to look over at Emma's. So much, so much depended on the question she had just asked but already knew the answer to.

"You know that I do," Emma replied staring up at the ceiling. "I certainly never planned on it, but here we both are," she continued still unable to meet Jean's eyes. "I do love you, Jean. I want to be with you. And I know you know how difficult it is for me to say this," she went on still staring straight up. "But I'm doing it because it's you … because you asked."

Jean blinked. She did know that it was difficult for Emma to say it out loud. The blonde didn't talk about her emotions. It was one of the first things she had noticed about the former White Queen because it reminded her of Scott. But even though it didn't come to her naturally Emma was trying. Emma, who hated revealing any vulnerability and would vehemently deny having a heart to anyone who accused her of it, was talking about her feelings, was making herself vulnerable; was trying, for her. She was doing it because Jean had asked her to and she loved her. Scott had never put himself out for her, he had never caused himself discomfort by trying to give her what she needed emotionally, and when a true test came, when they needed to share with each other and open up to each other more than ever in their entire lives together, he shut her out and left. She had asked him, she had begged him and he had turned a deaf ear.

But Emma, Emma replied and the knowledge made her heart contract and her eyes sting.

Jean leaned down brining her lips against Emma's kissing her intensely, desperately, the kiss messy and imprecise as she tried to take as much of the blonde as possible into her.

"You have me," Jean whispered shakily in between kisses her body shivering slightly as she realized the truth of the words. "You have me," she repeated softly somewhat awed. It shouldn't have happened, she never meant for it to happen, but it had and she couldn't fight it anymore. She didn't want to. She was happy, Emma made her feel happy, and full and she wasn't going to give that up despite the less than ideal timing.

Emma's hand shook minutely as she grasped Jean's face between her hands halting her kisses momentarily. "If you say that, you're stuck with me," Emma said softly but seriously, her eyes burning into Jean's. Her breath was shallow and rapid and she recognized it as a fear response. "I'm very stubborn. Exceedingly …" she continued realizing that she was terrified even as she continued to speak.

"Abrasively stubborn," Jean interjected smiling as she flashed back to their conversation weeks ago in the antique shop. She turned her head to the side briefly catching sight of the painting Emma had bought for her during that conversation. It seemed so long ago. "I know," Jean continued turning back to Emma smiling softly. Now that her own emotions had calmed somewhat she could feel the anxiety emanating from Emma, and reached out tenderly, stroking her cheek. "I know. And I think I'll keep you."

Emma stared at her for a moment her eyes fluttering shut as she took a deep breath while Jean continued her tender caress, and then her bright blue eyes opened and she leaned up capturing Jean's lips forcefully with her own. "I'm going to have my way with you," Emma husked suddenly needing more contact right that moment.

Jean lay back. She had absolutely no problem with that course of action.


Part 16

Jean contemplated the flowers that surrounded her, looking at them with a critical eye. There weren't any that were white, which put her straight back to the drawing board trying to figure out what other kind of flower Emma might like. She smiled to herself as she walked through Ororo's garden, shaking her head. She couldn't quite believe that she was looking for flowers for Emma Frost.

"You seem to be in a much better humor."

Jean turned at the sound of a familiar voice, smiling as she met Ororo's blue eyes. She was actually glad Ororo had dropped by since if she was actually able to decide on any flowers she'd need the woman's permission to take them.

"I am," Jean responded stopping to allow the dark skinned woman to catch up to her.

"You've come to a decision then?" Ororo asked as Jean began to walk once more. It was rare to actually find the redhead walking the garden and she wondered if it had anything to do with the reason why her friend was smiling for the first time in days.

"I have," Jean replied. "It wasn't easy," she went on, stopping her browsing for a moment to turn to face Ororo. "It's not really easy now. But there is a certain amount of relief in having made a decision at least."

"You've chosen Emma," Ororo said, not quite able to keep the surprise out of her voice. She realized that Jean's feelings for the woman were deeper than most of them imagined, and with Scott's absence and the strong attraction to the blonde that Jean had admitted to she suspected that Jean would have given into her attraction for the blonde at some point. But she didn't really think that Jean would have seriously considered leaving Scott for her. After all, with what he had done a dalliance with someone in his absence could be forgiven, but to choose to be with Emma permanently. No, she hadn't expected that.

"Yes," Jean said hearing the surprise in Ororo's voice. "A surprise I know," she continued shaking her head. "To me as well," she admitted.

"Are you sure she's … what you want?" Ororo asked looking down at the flowers beside the path they were walking.

Jean laughed a little and Ororo looked up to see the redhead looking at her keenly.

"You want to know if we've slept together don't you?" Jean asked knowingly, catching a little more of an emphasis on the word 'she' than the others in Ororo's question. She supposed it was a valid question, she had been with Scott for so long that she was sure she had taken on a somewhat asexual personae to those that knew her best, and she had never had any public relationships with women when she was younger, though that was hardly surprising. There had been girls back then, but she never would've told anyone about it, and as she had gotten older her bisexuality had become somewhat of a moot point.

"It would be a good idea to be sure before making such a decision," Ororo admitted without having to actually admit that that had been what she was asking.

"We have," Jean said looking over at Ororo, a large smile spreading across her face before she looked away realizing what such a happy expression related. "It was fine."

Ororo laughed at that. "Fine?" She questioned. Jean's expression indicated that it had been more than fine.

"It was special," Jean said in a more serious tone, her eyes traveling about the garden. "It wasn't really like anything I've felt before, and not because she's a she," she added knowing that Ororo would probably ask. "She was so open about everything. What she felt, what she wanted, and demanded that I be open too. And, she let me in her head Ro, I could feel what she felt, with our shields down there was such a merging between our consciousness's … I've never felt that close to anyone," she went on finally looking over at Ororo and seeing her questioning look. She shook her head. "Not even Scott. He never trusted me … or maybe he never trusted himself enough to let me in like that."

Ororo nodded surprised by that. She knew that there had been issues between them with Scott not wanting Jean in his head after the possession, but she hadn't realized his issues with that had been long standing. Obviously the possession by Apocalypse had exacerbated his concerns, but apparently there had been some long before that.

"And she feels the same way about you, as you do about her?" Ororo asked deciding to leave the sex issue alone.

Jean nodded. "We talked," she said out loud. "And, like I said we were inside of each other. It was more like a confirmation of feeling than anything else."

"And you're happy with her?" Ororo asked, still trying to wrap her mind around the idea that anybody could actually enjoy being around Emma Frost. Certainly she recognized the woman's aesthetic qualities, she was quite lovely to look at, but she knew that for Jean to be changing her whole life around it had to be more than that, and it boggled her mind. She shook her head, she was going to have to try to hold an actual conversation with the blonde sometime.

"I am," Jean responded hearing Ororo's somewhat bewildered tone and understanding it. Ororo had been right weeks ago when she'd said that Emma was different around her. She knew that she saw a side of the blonde that few, if any, had seen before. She still maintained that if they were a bit less hostile to Emma they could begin to see some of that too, though obviously it would never be to the extent that she saw. "Much happier than I've been in a long time," Jean continued sounding surprised herself. She hadn't really realized that she'd been longing for something she hadn't had until she had found it.

"Then you have my congratulations," Ororo told her placing her hand on her shoulder. "And support. I'll admit that I'm quite surprised by the turn things have taken," Ororo continued. "But I know you and that this isn't a decision that was come to lightly, or without much soul searching. If you truly weren't happy before, then this is the only decision there can be."

Jean placed her hand over top of Ororo's and squeezed feeling her eyes sting a little with tears.

"Thank you," she said her voice soft with emotion. "This is not going to be easy, I know that," she said sighing. "The others, and … and when Scott gets back," she went on looking up at the sky. "You're my best friend," Jean continued looking back over at Ororo, meeting her eyes. "I don't know what I would've done if … I think, I'm going to need that support in coming days, my friend," Jean finished with a shake of her head.

"Then you shall have it," Ororo said before turning to look out at the garden again. "Were you looking for anything in particular out here?"

Jean breathed in deeply and exhaled glad for the chance in topic.

"Something white," Jean replied smiling a little and then grinning when Ororo feigned shock. "That was really my only criteria. Emma's quite predictable that way. But it seems as if I'm out of luck."

"I think I might have something for you," Ororo revealed, her voice heavy with importance.

"The private stock?" Jean asked sounding awed before grinning.

Ororo nodded before turning them in another direction. "I don't give these ones out lightly," Ororo commented as they headed towards her very private garden. "You better have great sex after this."

Jean laughed. "Well, I was planning on that anyway."

Two days later…

Jean sighed and closed her eyes as Emma began to read. They were in the blonde's room on her rather spacious bed with Emma leaning against the back board while Jean lay in between her legs resting against the blonde. It was a very cozy position for Jean, and left Emma feeling in charge, which Jean was more than happy to do since she had suckered her girlfriend into doing something she was certain Emma would rather not have been doing.

"//I've never been one to believe in coincidence. That type of thinking has never worked for me. Maybe it goes hand in hand with my Type-A-must-always-be-in-control personality//," Emma read from the book in her hand pausing as she finished the last sentence to tilt her head in Jean's direction. "Is there a reason in particular you picked this book, dear?" she asked lifting a questioning eyebrow. She hadn't really had any significant relationships in the past but she was certain that it was far too early in theirs for passive aggressive criticism.

Jean laughed as she glanced at the Harlequin novel in Emma's hand. "A Dog Named Nate" by Inglath Cooper. She hadn't actually picked the book for any particular reason. She hadn't actually picked the book at all. She had found it in the living room earlier and had brought it to Emma's room with her because she'd been planning on finding its owner the next day. She suspected it was Kitty, but she couldn't be certain. When she'd decided that she wanted Emma to read something to her, all the blonde had on hand was business reports which Jean wasn't interested in hearing about, even though the point of having Emma read to her had mostly been to listen to the blonde's voice. She'd grabbed the Cooper book when Emma had pointed that out to her, saying that it shouldn't matter if she read the book then.

"Happy coincidence," Jean replied tilting her head to the side pressing a kiss to Emma's cheek. "And I happen to like your Type-A-must always be in control personality," she purred a moment later her eyes fluttering closed as she remembered how much as had enjoyed Emma's controlling personality the night before. The times they had made love previous to that, which were rather numerous considering the amount of time they had been together, had been fairly evenly distributed between them being on top, but the night before Emma had evaded her attempts to dominate their love-making before finally holding down her hips and telling her in no uncertain terms while staring into her eyes that she was going to be the only one on top that night. She had thought of protesting, but as Emma demonstrated exactly what it was she planned on doing with her, her thoughts of protest turned into pleas for pleasure.

Emma smiled as Jean's thoughts drifted into her mind. The redhead wasn't exactly broadcasting her thoughts to her but she wasn't trying to keep what she was thinking to herself either and since the mental contact between them had been almost constant after the first night they made love Emma had no trouble reading her lovers thoughts.

Biting down on her lip lightly as Jean shifted against her, Emma's free hand began to move from where it had been resting on Jean's stomach, slipping underneath the material of the redhead's grey tank top and sliding along warm smooth skin to cup Jean's bra-clad breast. She felt Jean inhale deeply and took a moment to enjoy the warmth and weight of the redhead's breast in her hand before squeezing the soft mound of flesh.

Jean moaned softly and turned her head to kiss Emma's neck again, this time opening her mouth to lick at the soft, warm skin beneath her lips. After few moments of that Jean then trailed her fingers up her own stomach until her hand was resting over Emma's allowing her to still the blonde's hand.

"Later," Jean whispered gently, noting that her voice was lower than it had been moments ago. Despite the fact that she stopped Emma she had been anything but immune to the blonde's arousing touch, but she still wanted to hear Emma read to her. They had spent more time with each other during the previous two days than they had in the week that preceded it, and as wonderful as the time had been it had also been overwhelming and confused and terrifying and enveloping, and as much as her body craved Emma's touch she also needed some to just be with the blonde, some time to calm down and breath and just take pleasure in Emma's presence.

Emma allowed her hand to slip from under Jean's shirt. The redhead was purposefully broadcasting to her then and she understood what Jean was feeling. She turned her head to the side and kissed Jean's temple before tensing for a moment. Emma closed her eyes and breathed in deeply one time before noiselessly exhaling and projecting her feelings to Jean. She was still adjusting to sharing herself in such an intimate way with another person and sometimes had to force herself to tell or show Jean what she was feeling instead of boxing it away like she was used to. She knew she had been very physical with Jean since the first time they slept together, her hands immediately wandering all over Jean's body the moment they were alone together, her lips covering Jean's before the other woman could even greet her. But it wasn't that sex was all she was interested in when she was with Jean, despite how it may have seemed. She wanted to be close to the redhead, she had a constant and intense need to be near Jean that she actually found rather alarming, and sex was the only language she had to convey those feelings. She had used people to satisfy her desires, and she had been used by others to satisfy theirs and she had no problem with that. One time though, one time she had cared about the man that was using her, she had been seventeen and had thought she was in love with him and when she had realized that he was only interested in one thing from her it had hurt … deeply. She knew that because of her time with the Hellfire club and her everyday attire most of the X-Men were convinced she was some kind of exhibitionist nymphomaniac, and while she was an exhibitionist she didn't want Jean to think that she was only interested in …

Jean's lips moved to cover Emma's moving against the blonde lovingly for a moment before she pulled back, her fingers drifting to Emma's face so that she could brush the backs of them against the blonde's cheek.

~I know, baby~

Emma closed her eyes and leaned into Jean's touch her heart clutching at the redhead's whispered mental words.

"I …" Emma began turning her face away from Jean's hand into her hair breathing in deeply. "I like it when you call me 'baby'," she continued her voice barely audible a moment later keeping her nose buried in Jean's hair to hide the blush she knew covered her face. Her feelings were so messed up, she hated feeling nervous and vulnerable and schmaltzy and yet she felt good after revealing something horribly embarrassing about herself to Jean. It was insane, she was a madwoman.

Jean allowed her fingers to drift down to touch the hand Emma still loosely had the Cooper book clutched in. She could feel the waves of emotion pouring from her lover and knew that Emma wouldn't be able to take much more emotionally charged contact. It was difficult for Emma, not only showing her how she felt, but experiencing the emotions themselves. She knew that Emma would need time to orient herself to what she was feeling, the complex tangle of emotions that Emma brought out in her were almost overwhelming sometimes and she was used to emotionally entangling relationships. She would have said that she couldn't fathom how difficult it must be for her lover, but she could fathom it because Emma had already come so much farther than she ever would have expected, had shown her so much despite her natural instinct to conceal, and it awed her. She marveled at her lover's courage.

"Turn the page, baby," Jean said quietly a moment later stroking Emma's hand drawing her attention back to the book and away from her hair which Emma had seemed to be trying to burrow into or at the very least inhale.

Emma pulled her face away from Jean and looked back down at the book in her hands. She already didn't like the book, and she had no expectation that it was going to get any better, but she was glad for the distraction. She hadn't been quite sure what to do with what she had been feeling, and she knew that if Jean hadn't distracted her that she would've tried to make love to her again just to do something.

"//It's my nature to believe there's a reason for everything, that each piece of the cosmic puzzle is put in place for a specific purpose. Three months down the road and looking back, I understand things now about myself I was otherwise blind to at the beginning of this story I'm about to tell//," Emma read before pausing to look at Jean again. "Are you sure you found this?" she asked skeptically glad to be talking again. Banter, quipping and conversation she could do.

"Uh huh," Jean responded glad to feel Emma relaxing behind her once again though she too was rather surprised by the relevance the opening of the book had to their current situation. "I swear," she said placing her palm over her heart.
"Very well," Emma sighed knowing Jean was telling the truth and it was just a very unfortunate coincidence. "You know, transcriptions can be a fairly interesting read if you go into with the proper mindset," she continued really not wanting to continue reading the book Jean had given her and actually needed to go through those transcriptions. "If you were to give it a chance you might …"

Jean tapped the book.

"//I think most of us can be accused of looking at ourselves through rose-colored glasses, and I am certainly no exception...//" Emma picked up where she had left off.

Jean closed her eyes again soaking in the cultured tones of Emma's voice, enjoying the warmth of the blonde's body behind her, and the way that Emma's free hand rubbed small circles on her stomach. She inhaled deeply breathing in the blonde's scent and sighed contentedly.

Life was good.

A few hours later …

Emma rolled over wrapping her arms around Jean's waist and kissed the back of the redhead's neck.

"Tell me you're joking," she mumbled against the warm skin under her lips.

"There's nothing wrong with Phil Collins," Jean grumbled though she tilted her head back to give Emma more access to her neck. "I'll admit I wasn't always a huge Genesis fan in the beginning. I found their early work rather difficult to define. It was rather pretentious and self-consciously arty. But I think that they really became comfortable with themselves with the Duke album, probably due to Phil Collins more pronounced influence and I'll gladly call myself a fan of their work after 1980," Jean continued smirking at her explanation. She'd picked up on some of Emma's habits it seemed.

"This is tragic," Emma declared slipping her hand under Jean's t-shirt to feel the warm skin underneath. "What other dreadful skeletons are hiding in your closet?"

"I …" Jean began pausing for dramatic effect trying not to smile. "I own both Avril Lavigne albums, I liked The O.C. in its first season, and I have an irrational fear of birds."

"Does Warren know about that last one?" Emma asked sounding terribly amused.

"It's really an aversion to things with beaks more than wings," Jean clarified hearing the amused tone in her lover's voice. "But no, and you're not going to tell him either."

Emma sighed and moved her hand further up Jean's shirt until her hand was resting over the redhead's breast. "You're lucky I'm already extremely fond of you. At an earlier stage in our relationship those might have been deal breakers," she mumbled before accepting Jean's lips as the redhead twisted in her arms.


Jean blinked pulling back from Emma's lips. That hadn't been the blonde.


Jean closed her eyes concentrating, it was … Ororo.

~I hear you~ Jean sent back surprised that Ororo would be projecting so loudly for her. Any other telepaths around her would've been deafened by the force, and feeling Emma pull back from her slightly she realized that her girlfriend had heard Ororo as well. ~Concentrate on me Ro, you're projecting all over the mansion~ Jean sent as she extended her mind reaching out for Ororo and tightening the connection between them blocking out most of it from prying minds. If any other telepaths were around they'd probably hear something similar to faint whispers but nothing they could make out.

~Sorry~ Ororo sent back, her increased concentration helping Jean. ~I would've come up, but I wanted to warn you in advance~

~What is it?~ Jean asked although she had a fairly good idea what might send Ororo calling for her and felt her stomach tighten and roll. ~I see~ Jean replied a moment later trying to keep her voice calm. ~Thanks~

Jean closed her eyes and sighed deeply before rolling away from Emma to sit up on the bed her legs dangling over the side. She felt queasy.

"Well, what was all that about?" Emma asked watching Jean's back, not liking the redhead's reaction at all. She'd tried to eavesdrop, but Jean was more powerful than her and had done an admirable job masking the conversation.

"Scott's back."

Part 17

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