Pairing: Jean Grey/Scott Summers, with Jean Grey/Warren Worthington (very briefly) and unrequited Warren-->Scott
Fic Title: Special
Link: Can be downloaded as an ebook here (several file types, RTF can be read using Word if you don't have an e-reader) UPDATE 12/28/11: Special can now be found at FF.net here
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17/ADULT. Warnings for sex, underage sex/prostitution, trauma, language, and violence
Genre: Drama, Angst/Pathos
WIP?: No- Complete w/ a hefty 170,000+ word count. This is an honest-to-god novel.
Why This Must Be Read: Too often in fanfic, trauma is trivialized and used as a cheap plot device to introduce Teh Angst, after which point the traumatized character is magically healed by the power of Twu Wuv. This is not that kind of story. In this novel, Scott (pre-manifestation) is an orphan and street kid, who is coerced into becoming a prostitute in order to survive, before he is found and brought to Xavier's. I know some people just read that, looked at the warnings, and went "ABORT, ABORT! DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200," but I promise you that you are missing out if you pass this over. Make no mistake, this story gets dark in places, and in the hands of a less skilled author, it could come off as melodramatic and exploitative. But Min, as always, handles the recovery process with unflinching honesty, tempered with compassion, sensitivity, and above all, hope. In real life, recovering from trauma doesn't happen in an instant. Scott is damaged and the process of learning to deal and cope with his attendant issues is a hard-going journey, fraught with setbacks and frustration. But there is healing, and the emotional payoff of seeing him happy, forming relationships, achieving so much, and growing into himself as a person is all the more sweeter because you know just what he had to overcome to reach this place.
The story is Scott-centric, but the Jean/Scott ship is a major thoroughline throughout the plot. Jean/Scott in their various incarnations over the years and in various media haven't always tickled my fancy, but Min really makes me believe in them. Her Jean is a force of nature--compassionate, insecure, vivacious, and fiercely loyal. She's no shrinking violet and she refuses to let Scott wallow in his own self-pity. Her Scott is...a revelation. He's grouchy, abrasive, and so, so damaged, but at the same time, his strength, his thoughtfulness, and his kindness shine through. At times you want to shake him, and other times you want to hold him and weep for him. His journey and his growth is a marvel to witness.
minisinoo has written other novels and short stories in the X-Men universe, all of which I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend, but I had to rec this story above all the others because the experience of reading it was so transcendent. I don't like dark fic--I don't like angst or to see my favorite characters suffering, but I trusted Min as a writer and it was absolutely worth it. Do, please do, read this. You may need a box of tissues and a whole weekend to get through it, but like I said, so worth it