Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Pairing: Alex/various, Alex/Hank
Word count: 1,380
Summary: "Five times Alex Summers loved someone, and the one time they loved him back."
A/N: Originally written for 1stclass_kink, full prompt can be found here.
There's Always One
When Alex Summers was four he fell in love with a playmate. It wasn’t real love, he knows that now, but they would chase each other around and around her garden for hours, their mother’s laughing between themselves as he tried to steal a kiss. He never got one though, it didn’t matter how hard he tried, and he didn’t care... not really.
Six months later however, she moved away, and he soon found out that the only friend’s he had left were his trusty tin soldiers and the cat from next-door.
He cared then.
Alex was seven when it happened again. It was the first day of second grade and he fell in love with his teacher, Miss Lawrence, who had the prettiest smile he had ever seen. And so, he went home that very afternoon and told his mother that he wanted to marry her, he didn’t care that she was old. His mother laughed, patted him lovingly on the shoulder, and told him to go out and play.
On his second day he took Miss Lawrence an apple. He did the same again the next day and the day after that. In fact, he did so every day for the next month and she would smile, tell him ‘thank you’... and then start talking about math.
He didn’t love her for very much longer after that.
Two summers later a new student transferred to his school and into his grade. His name was Michael and he had moved from California, from Hollywood. Hollywood! Alex liked him straight away and before he knew what was happening, he was tailing the other boy everywhere. It took him a month to realise that Michael didn’t actually like his company all that much and when he told Alex so, Alex felt his heart break.
He supposed that he had loved him, too.
On his thirteenth birthday, whilst he was out on his paper route, Alex discovered May, a pretty girl from the grade above. He cycled past her house and saw her sitting on the porch braiding her little sister’s hair. It was love at first sight and the next day at school he told her just that. She flushed beetroot red, told him to go away, and then ran off with her friends to play on the monkey bars.
Two weeks later he spotted her on the porch again and, distracted while waving at her, he cycled straight into her neighbour’s mailbox. She didn’t help, she stood there and laughed at him... and laughed some more.
It didn’t take him long to figure out that the feeling hadn’t been mutual.
It never was, not for him.
At fifteen Alex’s powers finally manifested, he blew a hole in his ceiling following a particularly nasty nightmare one night. No one was entirely sure what to do and three months later, when his parents died in an accident, he found himself dumped in an orphanage with what little life he had being stripped away from him.
It was the easiest option they had said. He didn’t even know who they were, but they said it. Why did they get to decide his fate?
After that, things gradually became worse and he forgot how to care, shutting out the world.
It wasn’t until he turned eighteen and was left to fend for himself that he realised this may have been a mistake. No one wanted to know him and, in all honestly, he didn’t blame them. He hated himself and he hated the world around him for making him the way he was. Being around people simply wasn’t an option anymore and when he found himself caught up in a fight several weeks later, it became clear that he really couldn’t be either.
The jail sentence was inevitable. No one – not even he – could explain how someone had ended up losing part of their anatomy without the aid of some kind of sharp object. Alex was a psycho, that was the long and short of it, and some days he began to wonder whether they were actually right.
Solitary confinement came later, it came after months of begging and pleading and causing unnecessary trouble. The prison wardens and the cops weren’t happy about it, but for the first time in years, Alex felt that he was where he belonged.
He didn’t have much need to care from then on out.
That was, until Charles and Erik showed up.
‘Alex, you really should eat something...’
Alex glances up from the spot he’s sat in, slumped against the bunker wall, eyeing Hank suspiciously. The older boy fidgets nervously beneath his stare, free hand coming up to push his glasses awkwardly back up his nose. A moment later he thrusts a plate towards Alex, reiterating his point with actions instead. There’s a sandwich sitting on it, nothing exciting, but it’s food and Alex would be lying if he said he wasn’t hungry.
‘Go away, Hank,’ he mutters, ignoring the protests of his rumbling stomach regardless. ‘I’m fine.’
‘But Charles insisted I--’
‘I SAID GO AWAY!’
Alex still hasn’t been able to get used to the constant company people are throwing upon him. He doesn’t want it and they refuse to understand, Hank especially for some reason. They may be the same, kin, but that doesn’t mean he wants to be bugged every second of the day.
It takes him several minutes to realise that Hank hasn’t moved and craning his head over in the other boy’s direction, he narrows his eyes. ‘You’re still here,’ he says and it comes out like a challenge. ‘Can’t you take a hint, bo--?’ He doesn’t finish, but sees the hurt in Hank’s eyes anyway. ‘I’m sorry – I didn’t--’
It’s no good, the damage has been done.
Hank leaves this time, but not before placing the plate down on the floor with a soft clunk, still insistent that Alex doesn’t starve himself.
He manages to hold back for all of five seconds before pouncing on the plate, wolfing the sandwich down greedily. It’s only when he’s finished his third mouthful and glanced back up, brushing the crumbs from his clothes, that he notices movement out of the corner of his eye.
Apparently Hank didn’t leave after all.
‘I can see you,’ Alex announces, taking another eager bite of the sandwich in his hand.
A sheepish looking Hank appears around the door a moment later, stammering some kind of ridiculous apology. He’s bright red, flustered and his glasses have slipped down his nose again, his earlier efforts a complete waste of time. ‘Wanted to make sure you were--’
‘I’m fine, Hank, I told you that,’ insists Alex, his features softening a little.
‘You have been spending an awful lot of time down here alone,’ Hank continues, oblivious. ‘I understand that you wanted to be on your own while you were in prison-’ (he stumbles over the word, embarrassed for even bringing it up) ‘-but people care about you here. You’re with friends. Even if you don’t treat some of us like it sometimes.’
Alex tries not to react to the backhand comment, although his gaze shifts and he suddenly finds himself unable to finish his snack. He’d never once meant it spitefully.
‘We’d like to see you upstairs for dinner today if you--’
‘I’ll be there.’ He doesn’t need to be told twice.
Hanks smiles, a little wider than Alex anticipated. ‘Great! That’s – yes!’ The reply is awkward, but in a good way. ‘Seven then, as usual.’
When he turns to go, Alex finds himself scrambling to his feet, and catching hold of the other boy’s arm before he reaches the door. He’s met with a questioning stare and incredibly blue eyes and, for a moment, he finds himself rendered speechless. Hank prompts him by yanking his arm from Alex’s vicelike grip.
‘Thank you,’ Alex says.
Hank blinks, confused. ‘Thank you?’ he repeats.
‘Oh.’ He’s still confused, but there’s a hint of something else behind those eyes. ‘You’re welcome.’
This time Alex lets him go and when he slips back down to the ground, his back resting against the hard cement, there’s a smile on his face.
Maybe this time he’s not the only one.