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5925X2 AU Fic: A Breath--The Résumé Remix

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  • Mara Greengrass
    May 21, 2004
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      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.
      CATEGORY: Drama/angst
      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.

      **telepathic speech**

      * * * * *

      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
      emergency medicine.

      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
      particularly suitable.

      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
      else here.

      She feels Professor Xavier poking at the edges of her mind. **Yes,
      Professor?**

      **What are you doing?**

      **Just cleaning up.**

      His mental voice sounds hesitant. **Are you certain? I'm getting some
      strange--**

      **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.**

      **Of course.**

      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
      skin.

      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
      professors.

      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;
      Nooses give;
      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.

      --end--