DISCLAIMERS REPOSTED IN PART 0
* * *
[Poor Marc. Right up until he saw me glue myself to the face of the guy
whod just got done kicking his ass, I think he thought he had a chance.]
It was enough to make Marie really feel for the guy. *No one* was
particularly sorry that the bullying Jerod had taken such a pounding he
was *still* in the infirmary, and as far as she was concerned Haroun was
a condescending asshole whose ego could desperately benefit from
receiving a few good beatings but Sharon, Angelica and Marc were decent
types. Marie was glad that the trio had escaped without lingering damages
though that was due more to deliberate care on Logans part than to
The X-Men were still a topic to be avoided, but Logan and the
non-superhero dealings of Xaviers School were an absorbing enough topic.
Angelica in particular was charmed by the idea of an entire campus in
which students were free to use their powers, rather than a
strictly-defined area of the administration building.
A certain amount of comparison between powers of the two student bodies
also took place, leading Marc to wish aloud for a few bolt-throwing
lessons from Ms. Munroe and Rogue to be put in the position of trying to
judge whether Sam could outblast Haroun. (She had no idea.)
When Marie finally parted company from the others, they were debating the
best methods of suggesting to Emma that Xaviers School be sounded out
for cooperative learning? Exchange programs? Informal interscholastic
competitions? She was still giggling at the mental image of the Rocket
Boy Races and Flamethrowing Finals as she made her way to the phones.
Perfect timing, too caught her parents after dinner, so she wasnt
"Marie! Joseph, its Marie! How you doing, honey?"
Marie gave her father a few minutes to pick up the extension before
"Hi, Dad! Mom, Dad I have something to tell you..."
"Whats that, sugar?"
"Im cured. I can I can touch people and not have to worry about it. I
can get rid of the gloves and scarves. I can come home and pass for
"Thats wonderful, sweetheart!"
"Sounds like we were right to send you to that other school!"
Marie gritted her teeth. "Guess so," not wanting to admit that shed been
lying to her parents about her control for months now.
"So Ms. Frost is able to teach you, then."
Alarm bells went off at her fathers tone. "Mm, not really. Im Im
pretty well taught already." The absolute truth.
"After less than a week?"
Marie winced. "We we had a breakthrough," she said feebly.
"Well, honey, thats just wonderful."
Marie frowned disbelieving. Afer all this time waiting for her to gain
control so they could... "So youll come get me, then?" She shouldnt
have had to suggest it at all, they should have started making plans for
a pickup date as soon as they were told she could pass...
"In the middle of the school year? Honey, its your senior year
wouldnt you rather go ahead and finish before leaving?"
"Id Id rather have gone ahead and finished at Xaviers my friends
are there," acerbically.
"Baby, Professor Xavier wasnt able to do anything in more than a year,
and Ms. Frost fixed you right up in a few *days*. Youre better off
sticking with her for a while, seeing what she can teach you."
Ah, the penalties of lying. "Dad Ms. Frost didnt teach me *anything*.
I learned to control my gift at Xaviers months ago, practicing with a...
friend of mine. I just said I didnt have control cause I wasnt ready
to come home."
"Now thats a little bit convenient, dont you think?"
Speechless, Marie listened to her father as he continued.
"Professor Xavier let you slack off and have fun with your friends and
didnt make you worry about being normal, and then Ms. Frost comes along
and makes you *work* for a change, and *now* you want to come home?"
Confusion and disbelief chased themselves around in her head, pursued by
rising anger, as she wondered what the hell was going on.
"Sugar, what youve been given is a gift from God. Ms. Frost is going to
show you how to use it the best you can."
The roiling emotions were cleared, chased out by an icy wash of terror
that rapidly mutated to frigid fury. Her mother would *never* have
referred to her power as a gift of any kind, let alone a divine one nor
would her father have agreed with the description.
If they were in their right minds, that was.
That *bitch*. That chilly, conniving, scheming, backstabbing,
manipulative, mindcontrolling BITCH.
Emma Frost had literally changed her parents minds.
Marie went through the motions of saying the appropriate goodbyes and
ending the call, but she barely knew what she said or what her parents
answered. She was too preoccupied with thoughts of how best to deal with
the Ice Bitch. Hanging up the phone, she didnt step aside but instead
leaned against it, rapt in thought.
The knowledge that one was being held in the clutches of an amoral
telepath for unknown but presumably nefarious purposes was disturbing.
Especially when paired with the realization that ones parents were
enthralled into putting said telepath in the unassailable position of a
school administrator with the full authority to "take disciplinary
action" and "prevent truancy." Which meant that if she tried calling or
even running away to the cops or other authorities, shed probably find
herself turned in to Frosty.
Had she been alone in this, she might have been frightened.
"Are you gonna just stand there all *night*? Some of us need to use the
*phone*," griped an unpleasant voice behind her.
Marie turned to glare at the girl. "One more call, then Im done."
Placing her back firmly to the budding temper tantrum, she dialed.
Logan answered on the fifth ring. "What?" Judging by the guarded tone, he
might have been expecting an unwelcome call.
Had she been in a better mood, she might have teased him about it, asked
if hed been getting guilt-trip calls from the X-Crew or something. But
right now she wasnt feeling at all playful. "I told my parents."
"They didnt believe me or didnt believe that Frost wasnt the one
responsible for what Ive learned. They want me to stay, they *said*."
She hoped hed reach the same conclusion she had. Helping him out, "Mom
said I had a gift from God and Ms. Frost would teach me how to use it
Logan had overheard enough conversations with her parents to know how out
of character *that* statement was. She hoped.
She was right. "*Shit*. She managed to reach your parents all the way
down in Mississippi?"
"Are you being listened to? Right now?"
"Yes." The girl behind her was muttering impatiently.
"All right. Plan C?"
"The place and time you were thinking but I dont want to wait."
"Tonight, you mean?"
"Okay. Ill be there."
"See you then." She hung up, ignoring the girls exaggerated cry of
Because that had been the *last* of the other thoughts she had gotten
from Logan during their kiss.
[Two AM, under *this* tree,] with a mental image of a large oak with
overhanging limbs conveniently close to the wall surrounding the school
grounds, [tomorrow night.]
And as she had told him, she didnt want to wait till then.
* * *
She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
Adamantium-Revealing X-Rays, and Official Listener for the Occasional
"Okay, then, you have to promise if I say something you don't like you
won't do that voice that sounds like people with wet and bubbly stuff in
their lungs buried under the ground being crushed to death by giant worms
-- Delirium, SANDMAN #41, by Neil Gaiman
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