Author: Morgan R.
Disclaimer: I asked for a mutant for Christmas- but continue to own not
Feedback: will make me adore you for all time
Summary: Marie sees Jean looking unwell
Yeah, she can be a little petty. She's only human- no matter what her
It's only natural. Living in a house with that woman, that paragon, that
vision of grace, and being a teenager is hard enough without Jean around
to make you feel any uglier. It isn't that Marie actually dislikes Jean.
She just wishes Jean wasn't so...perfect.
And if there comes a morning when she isn't, and Marie has to hide a
smile, is that proof of a weak character?
Not dressed in vibrant, sleek reds this morning. Not coifed and clear
eyed. She isn't even wearing any of her gorgeous, expensive shoes.
She's wrapped in a bathrobe with dark blue circles under her eyes, her
hair unwashed and actually *tangled*(Marie hadn't thought it was even
capable of messiness).
And it *is* petty, it is *so* petty, but it feels so good to say, "Jean,
you look awful."
And it should have meant a rueful smile and for once Marie would have
been the well-groomed, self possessed lady while Jean shuffled around in
But at the sound of a voice Jean actually had to stifle a shriek, and she
clutched at the countertop for support. All of the pettiness sank and
condensed and turned into some very uncomfortable guilt as Marie saw that
Jean looked almost dead. Her skin was as grey as her name and she was
"Jean- I'm sorry. I didn't- what happened?"
"Marie. I- oh, I was asleep."
"And something happened. And the walls fell down."
Marie felt very stupid, but she couldn't figure out what Jean was talking
about. "What walls?"
And then Marie understood, and the guilt was even worse. Because a
telepath as powerful as Jean has to block it out somehow, has to keep out
all the noise of billions of people.
"I mean," Jean added, breathing hard, "You know what it's like. You've
been through it."
"Me?" Maybe Jean was delirious. Marie wondered if she should call
"The feeling of all the noise pouring into your head- all the thoughts
and memories and dreams and nightmares crowding past your defenses,
filling you up until you think there's no room for your own mind
Marie was starting to feel sick.
"And there's no way to make it just leave, and it keeps screaming, and
you'd be willing to just pick up a shovel if it would do any good and get
them OUT. All of them, blending together into one big mass but clawing
and sticking to your head, shining with thorns of gold. If I had woken
up I could have stopped it, but I didn't and it all fermented while I had
dreams filled with tar... clawing at the edge until it shatters, and they
want to get out but they like it in as well, and I'd gladly give them
room except that there's nowhere else for me to *go* and it spreads you
out even as it pins you down with wire, shining wire that digs so deep-"
"Jean. Stop. You- you need-"
She looked up with wild eyes, laughing with a hint of hysteria. "No, but
I don't have to explain to you, do I? You could move metal for weeks
afterwards, and Logan is probably still prowling around inside of you.
Still there, bristling at the thought-"
Couldn't keep listening. "Jean!"
She shook herself. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. The professor, I need to see
Marie helped her to his office, trying to keep her own thoughts quiet and
unobtrusive, just in case.
The next day, Jean was smooth and collected, almost like always. But
there were still shadowy bruises around her eyes, no matter what her
expensive makeup tried to say to the contrary. They were dark and
steady, and Marie suspected that they matched her own.
Sometimes, a woman just likes to sleep alone.
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