TITLE: A Breath: The Résumé Remix
AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass
AUTHOR'S EMAIL: fishfolk@...
. Feedback is better than chocolate.
PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: The remix website only, please.
RATINGS/WARNINGS: R for disturbing content
SUMMARY: "Jean considers the pros and cons of drowning for a while, but
if she'd really wanted to do that, she'd have done it back at the
dam--just let the water wash over her and stop fighting it."
DISCLAIMER: The X-Men characters and universe belong to Twentieth
Century Fox, Marvel, and many other people with expensive lawyers, not me.
NOTES: This story was written (rather faster than is normal for me) for
the Remix Redux Challenge. This is a remix of RaeDances' story "A
Breath," available at www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=1603954. Both
the original and my remix are X2 AU stories. Thanks to Snowballjane and
Illmantrim for beta assistance.
DEDICATION: For Rachel, who called while I was doing my final edit of
this to tell me Jeff was in the hospital. He's going to be okay, but he
scared the crap out of us.
* * * * *
The straight razor gleams in the cold fluorescent lights of the
infirmary. Jean puts it on the table and considers it for a while--how
the light bounces off it and makes it hard to look at, how very very
sharp it is.
She thinks about what it would be like to use it on her arm or throat,
how it would hurt for a bit, but then it would stop hurting.
After a while, she puts it back in the cabinet next to the other
emergency supplies. She smiles, remembering Bobby's surprise at finding
a razor next to the bandages, and how she explained its various uses in
An empty syringe lying on a tray grabs her attention for a while, and
she considers the poetic aspects of injecting herself with nothingness.
After all, her life is empty now. Unfortunately, the reality is that
injecting air bubbles is a highly uncertain method and thus not
Jean considers the pros and cons of drowning, but if she'd really wanted
to do that, she'd have done it back at the dam--just let the water wash
over her, wash her away.
The idea of swallowing all that water is unappealing, though, and the
difficulties of drowning herself inside the building are simply too much
for her to think about. She'd have to leave this room to find a bathtub
and she isn't even certain there's a bathtub in the mansion big enough
for this. Definitely too much work.
Looking around the room, she finds plenty of hazardous chemicals, but
none that would be guaranteed to cause more than pain and disfiguration.
Even an undiluted acid wouldn't really be suitable, except perhaps in
quantities she doesn't keep on hand. Of course, she could go looking for
more, but she doesn't want to open the door. It's better with nobody
She feels Professor Xavier poking at the edges of her mind. **Yes,
**What are you doing?**
**Just cleaning up.**
His mental voice sounds hesitant. **Are you certain? I'm getting some
**Under the circumstances, you should be able to understand why.**
**You're right. I'm sorry, Jean, I don't mean to pry. It's just that
I'm...we're all worried about you.**
**I'll be fine.**
Jean is glad they're speaking with their minds. In an odd way, it would
be harder to lie to him in person, if she could see his face.
**If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.**
**I need some time, Professor.**
She imagines his reaction if he had probed behind her barriers, the
breathless panic, the urgency. It takes her breath away for a moment to
imagine it, but she regains her resolve.
Breath reminds her that there are various gaseous methods to consider.
Carbon monoxide would be painless and it *is* supposed to be odorless,
but that would require going to the garage. There's nitrous oxide in the
cabinet, but she's not entirely sure what a toxic dose would be.
Looking around the room, Jean can't even find something on which to hang
herself, although there are several excellent noose materials. The room
wasn't precisely designed for that, she thinks with a slightly
hysterical giggle. Obviously an oversight.
Finally, she turns her attention to the center of the room, to the slab
with its lifeless occupant, still in what's left of his leather uniform.
Tears in her eyes, she climbs up to curl against Scott's shoulder,
running her hands along his torso, feeling the smooth uniform, the cold
His body is stiff, a bit sticky from the blood she hadn't entirely
cleaned off, but she doesn't mind. It's all she has left of him, barring
the tattered remnants of their psionic bond, a gaping, raw wound in the
depths of her mind.
The professor is trying to call her, his mental voice sounding frantic,
but she blocks him out effortlessly. Ever since Liberty Island, as Scott
said, her powers have been so much stronger. Not strong enough to save
him, though. The only thing they're good for now is keeping out nosy
Jean laughs, her voice sounding loud in the metal-walled room, echoing
and echoing. Speaking for the first time in hours, she says, "Dorothy
Parker was wrong, honey. Did you know that?"
Scott doesn't respond, so she recites the poem, "Résumé," from memory.
"Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live."
She laughs again, her voice even more high-pitched. "She couldn't have
known that for a telekinetic, it's so easy to get around these things. I
love you, Scott."
With a single thought, Jean stops her heart.
The professor knows what has happened instantly, but it takes Logan and
several students 15 minutes to blast through the infirmary door. They're
too late; her body has already begun to match the temperature of
Scott's, her breath is long gone.