Alex Summers x Reader
Plot: Moments in the life of Alex Summers, recounted in years.
A/N: I hope you like feelings. AND YOU GET A FEELS, AND YOU GET A FEELS. Everybody gets a feels! Ah hell, I had a little moment of weakness when writing this.
Alex Summers is 15.
He’s 15 and he’s pitchy in all the wrong places and his shoulders don’t fit right in his uniform anymore; all bones and muscle and strings too taught on a guitar. Alex feels displaced, misplaced - a bishop on the wrong end of the chess board as he crosses the football field and trips on his laces.
He’s 15 and he’s terrified when the flames catch at his knees and he’s burning, his chest is pulsing like he’s hooked up to a motor. He didn’t mean to hurt anyone but he can’t stop and they’re screaming, rising crescendos with the ringing in his ears. Red, all red, bright and scarlet and impossible.
He’s 15 and he thinks he’s dying.
Alex Summers is 21.
He’s 21 and he’s better off alone. A prison of his own making, walls all white and cold metal floors that smell of nothing. He stares up at the grainy ceiling, imagining the faces in the tapestries from his past. He barely knows where eyes should go after all this time, after all these days. They blur and shift in his mind; mutating into nothing.
He’s 21 and he’s free. He feels the air against his cheeks; breathing life into his lungs. Surrounded by banshees and beasts and balustrades; and even though he pushes back like waves on the shore - it’s the home he always wanted. He’s still afraid of all that fire; the nights that he lays awake under the stars, the pulsing in his stomach like knives in his spine.
He’s 21 and he’s bewitched. Her eyes hold that starlight; in her face he sees that prison fall away. But she walks like leaves in the autumn and he wonders if she’ll ever look at him, see the way his eyes trail on her face when she reads under the oak trees. He passes her in the corridor, once; their shoulders brush and he swears he feels it move him in his soul.
“Hello Alex” she breathes, his name on her lips weaving the scars on his soul shut.
He swallows, lumps catching in his throat as he turns to see the way her hair shines in the lamplight.
By the time he pushes down the butterflies, she’s eclipsed by the doorframe.
He’s 21 and he’s on a beach in Cuba and he’s bleeding, he’s bleeding but alive and hopeful and afraid. Her fingers dangle inches from his as the sand crunches under his boots, a family he never knew he had pulled and pushed and thrown around but alive.
He’s 21 and he’s hopeful.
Alex Summers is 29.
He’s 29 and there’s dirt under his fingernails, dirt in his soul. Golden locks plastered with sweat; his heart in his throat, in his lungs. It’s so hot and he swears he’s walking on bones but he doesn’t know which way is up anymore. He’s Ares and he’s drowning in the air; he’s Brutus and he’s covered in his own blood.
He’s 29 and he’s wide awake. Night without stars in the rainforest heat constricts his breathing and he’s that 15 year old boy again who had shoulders like spider webs and was always displaced but he’s not a bishop now; he’s a pawn instead. And he reaches into his pocket and it’s crumpled, it’s so, so crumpled from his clammy hands but her face is there in the photograph, her summer dress flowing like rain and he sees himself before all of this madness. They’re friends, friends as close as any he’s known but when he thumbs the frayed polaroid he swears the starlight in her eyes is shining just for him.
He’s 29 and he doesn’t want to die without knowing he’s loved.
Alex Summers is 32.
He’s 32 and he still screams into his pillow in the middle of the night when he thinks he’s alone. He knew a boy whos screams could shatter glass and bend the branches of the tallest trees; and now that boy is gone and Alex takes his place, tearing his vocal chords as he shakes. So many things he doesn’t know; about himself, about who’s left.
He’s 32 and she’s at his door and he can’t breathe.
“You’re alive” he says, but the words are strained through tears that track the heat on his face, pooling at the silver in his eyes.
And she’s in his arms and God, oh God, the world is falling into nothing and he wonders if he ever made it back from Vietnam at all. He’s Dante and he’s walking through the fires that choke him but he’s so present and eleven years, eleven years of want and longing and pain, so much pain.
But she’s here.
“I love you” he sobs “I love you so much”
And it’s a risk. It’s a risk he can’t not take.
“I love you too, Alex. I’ve loved you all these years”.
He’s 32 and he’s whole.
Alex Summers is 42.
He’s 42 and he’s walking Scott into the mansion, the brickwork looming over him and welcoming him back. He feels the gravel under his feet; the wind brushes golden locks against the nape of his neck. He still looks so young; he still feels so young. But he looks at Scott and knows the uncertainty, knows he has so much to teach and so much to say.
He’s 42 and there’s a flash on his fourth finger, his left hand. The metal there is warm and steady, and Charles can’t help but laugh. Mind reading is not cheating at the game when the pieces are so visible on the table, because Charles already knows what’s on his old friend’s mind. Because it’s the same thing that’s always been there; for every day since the days started.
He’s 42, and Alex Summers has many names. Friend, son, brother. Havok, Alex, mutant. Husband, father, love.
He’s 42 and he’s lived and loved. Bishop, pawn, king of the world.
He’s 42 and he’s ready.