by Diamonde



Yes, this is the sequel to 'Some Rain Must Fall'. It doesn't pick up immediately after, I couldn't think up a good enough explanation for the grass-stains. :)

DISCLAIMER: Still not making any money off things not mine, Marvel's characters/universe. These cute li'l deviations are my boys, though. <G>

WARNING: Nothing much this time, just m/m themes. Slash without sex, how strange... ah well.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Still also due only to the endless patience, assistance, tolerance and cunning manipulation of Kaylee. Extra thanks also to Mel and all those who sent me feedback for the first one, because they made me feel so GOOD about it. :)


Sam was kissing him again. Alex pulled him closer, still amazed at how right the muscled hardness felt...


Funny, that hadn't sounded like Sam's voice. And why was everything getting fuzzy?

"Alex. If you don't wake up in one minute I may have to declare you officially dead."

Alex blinked, disoriented, then groaned and buried his head firmly in his pillow. "Go AWAY, Maddie. I'm sleeping." It had all been a dream... and he had to get right back to it before it slipped away!

"That's what you said an hour ago. I can tell whatever you're dreaming about is probably really interesting, but if you don't get up now you're going to be late."

Alex flushed. Damn telepaths, could always tell when you were dreaming about sex. Although right now all she'd really need would be decent eyesight. "Alright, I'll get up." He sat up reluctantly and yawned widely. When he opened his eyes again, he couldn't help but notice that Madelyne was still exactly where she had been. "Piss off."

She snorted. "You're still a rude bastard in the morning, aren't you?"

"Piss off please."

"That's better." Madelyne grinned and obligingly left.

Muttering nasty things he didn't really mean about ex sisters-in-law, Alex headed for the shower. Once inside he could shut his eyes and continue to fantasize in private.

Unfortunately, now he was more awake the contemplation was less sexual. Instead he was wondering why out of all the notably good-looking men he'd met over the years, Sam was the only one he'd ever felt attracted to. And judging by the recurring dreams, it hadn't just been a one-off thing while he was all rain-happy.

Okay Alex, reboot sexuality. Now, think... Sex with the gorgeous woman who works in the bookshop appealing? Definitely. Sex with Sam? Oh, hell yes... Well, that was that question resolved. Surprising, yes... it had put him a little on edge. But he was trying to reorganize his life at the same time, so apparently being bisexual just wasn't a part of this way-early midlife crisis he really had time to worry about.

The next time he actually saw Sam, that might be worth worrying about. It had all seemed so normal at the time... well, as normal as swimming in the lake and getting more than a little muddy to hide green marks on your clothes can be. The whole thing had just seemed terribly funny. Most people had simply decided that the two of them were mad and ignored it, so they had as well... acted as if they'd just made friends out there. Which was exactly right, if you ignored the sex part.

He wasn't doing very well at ignoring the sex part.

* * *

Madelyne looked around curiously as Alex shook off the last effects of the teleport. "So this is Berkeley..."

"Yup." He smiled at the familiarity.

"This a good spot?"

It took Alex a moment to figure out what she meant. "Oh... yeah, here's fine. Back here in three hours, right?"

Madelyne nodded. "If I'm going to be longer I'll let you know... but I'm not that dedicated a shopper."

He snorted quietly as she looked innocent. "Whatever you say."

A quick smile flashed across her face, then she patted him on the shoulder. "Good luck."

"Thanks." Alex watched her disappear, then headed off to discuss his options for further education. With Madelyne's good luck and the money he had no trouble taking from Xavier things could turn out quite nicely.

An hour and a half later, Alex was realising that he'd not only forgotten exactly how much paper academic institutions liked to dump on you, but how pointless and confusing most of it was. The good news was that they were happy to let him do what he wanted to. The bad news was that he'd have to find the right pieces of paper first.

He was in the middle of trying to identify them when someone tapped him on the shoulder. Several years of conditioning kicked in and he spun around defensively, then sighed in... not quite relief.

Sam grinned, obviously delighted at having surprised him that much. "Hi."

"What are you doing here?" He couldn't help smiling a little in return, no matter how much he hated having people sneak up on him. Sam managed to look much cuter about it than most of them.

"Madelyne bounced through our place... mentioned what you were doing. Thought since Ah was going flying anyway Ah'd come this way and say hello."

"In this big place? I'm impressed."

"This is the geology and geophysics department." Sam waved at the building Alex had just walked out of.

"Oh, right." When he thought about that and not relative cuteness, it was much more obvious. "In that case, you can hold this for a second while I get this stuff organized." He dropped one pile of stuff into Sam's automatically-raised hands and quickly began to rearrange the rest into a more logical order.

"How did it go?"

Mental note: Talk to Madelyne about her big mouth. "Very well, actually. I'm going to wander through a few undergrad subjects for the next year or so, refresh a few things and do some extra background work, then start working towards a nice pretty Ph.D. next fall."

Sam looked thoughtful. "Doctor Summers... Ah guess nobody could confuse you with Scott or Cable."

The thought had occurred to him. "One reason of several to do it... but the most entertaining one." He grinned. "Petty, but entertaining."

"You're really going to enjoy it that much?"

Alex thought about it for a moment. "Yes, I think I will."

"That's kinda unusual, you know. Ah mean, siblings that don't grow up together are usually less competitive."

"Where did you hear that?"

"Domino said it to Cable once... she was making some comment about Stryfe."

"Seems to really not apply to the Summerses, then." Papers now arranged to his satisfaction, Alex took back the rest and bundled them together neatly. "I'm going to go find some coffee. Coming?"


Alex walked in silence for a few seconds, then spoke up again. "Scott's as smart as me."

"Ah can see how that would piss you off." Sam sounded utterly, perfectly sincere. Alex remembered Paige - who was determined to not only equal but better her brother in every facet of the superhero game - and believed it.

"It sounds egotistical, but I was used to being smarter than most other people. Then Scott came along... I love him, I really do, and I was delighted to see my brother again. But suddenly being the junior half of a pair and not being the smarter one bruised my ego. After that it was like I never quite caught up."

"And now you're doing somethin' he hasn't."

"Now I'm going to get a nice impressive degree. He can have the leadership deal, that he was always better at. He's got much more patience with people." Alex laughed. "I never learned that one... guess I always figured I was smarter than they were and got angry every time I was wrong about something."

"Ah didn't really have that problem with mah brothers... maybe because Ah DID grow up with them. Didn't matter who thought they were what, Ah was still bigger and could beat 'em up."

"Scott's still two inches taller than me and outweighs me by twenty pounds. But on the other hand, I'm taller than you." By a smidge.

"Ah live with Cable, Ah'm used to that." He stopped and half-turned, facing Alex frankly. "Come flying with me?" Not a 'do you want to', but a 'will you'. Want was different. You could want to do something, and not be able to. And if you didn't want to, that could be an uncomfortable thing to say. 'Will' asked if he wanted to come flying, was comfortable coming flying, and was comfortable being alone with Sam himself in one non-committal, easily refused package.

It only took a moment to consider. Coffee and dealing with double-negative questions on pointless forms or flying. Flying with Sam. Who he was still skittish around, but in an interesting way... He looked up at the sky, a warm and inviting California blue. Then down at the products of beaurocracy in his arms. "Just let me put this somewhere first."

Sam smiled another one of those adorably bright smiles, forcing Alex to administer a swift kick to his libido as he turned quickly towards the secluded corner where he'd arrived with Madelyne. On the other side of that wall were some glass doors that lead to a rather friendly-looking reception area.

The impression was right, after brief exposure to Classic X-Men Covert Ops Tactic #3 (smile prettily and lie your butt off) the equally friendly receptionist was quite happy to mind his papers for an hour. Within two minutes he was outside again, unencumbered and itching to get off the ground.

Feeling remarkably like a little kid, he ran with Sam to the back of the building where nobody would see them take off, laughing softly all the way. Once again the nervous reservations he should have had had been turned into jumpy exhilaration. And a vaguely reckless feeling... "Wait a second."

Sam looked back down from his assessment of the sky. "What?"

With a grin Alex leaned in and kissed him firmly. Not a deep-and-meaningful kiss, a 'hey, that thing in the rain was really fun, let's do it again sometime' reacquaintance that Sam had no trouble returning. "Okay. Now we can go."

Sam grinned and stepped behind him, sliding strong arms around his chest and stomach as the brightly glowing energy field surrounded them both. "Anywhere in particular you wanted to go?" he murmured into Alex's ear as they took off.

Sighing with contentment as the ground roared away and the warm body behind him was pressed closer, Alex waved vaguely to his left. "That cloud over there."

Liking clouds himself, Sam accommodatingly followed the direction but added his own details. First flipping them around so that they looked up at the fluffy pool of mist, he flew in lazy circles so that the disturbance of their flight carved patterns in the cloud's lower surface. Long before Alex got bored with that one they changed direction without warning and sailed straight up into the cloud itself.

Once inside Sam slowed, holding them in a pseudo-standing position inside. It was obviously damp and far colder than it had been, although they were close enough to the edge that it was still light in a diffuse way. But what fascinated Alex was the sudden seclusion. It was as if the entire world had simply faded away, leaving just the two of them in muffling whiteness.

It was a kind of peace he hadn't experienced in a long time.

Closing his eyes, the ex-superhero snuggled his head back against Sam's cheek and relaxed into the softness of listening to them breathe.

They stayed that way as minutes slowly slipped away, until Alex decided he had to either move or fall asleep. And moving sounded more interesting. He had to do it carefully, being that being dropped sounded _too_ interesting, but it was surprisingly easy to rearrange themselves so that they hovered face to face.

The result of that was obvious. The kiss was effortless, a gentle exploration that just happened all by itself. And he didn't want it to end, wanted to be able to keep it and snuggle it close forever. One pure thing, one moment of happiness that hadn't been confused or tainted yet by the years and pieces of himself he'd given away. The first small step towards having his own life again.

Maybe that was a heavy load for one kiss to take, but it was important. He wasn't going to try to hang a relationship on it, it was a gift. Like the afternoon in the rain had reintroduced him to the concept of spontaneity and a new part of himself, this moment said that there could be kisses without commitment or fighting or second-guessing. He owed Sam a lot for that, although Sam probably didn't see it that way. Sam was strange sometimes. But, Alex reminded himself, in a cute way...

The light grew brighter and brighter and turned back into direct sunlight. Still kissing, they both ignored the way the cloud had moved on and left them behind.

Probably not The End...

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