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Fic: Perfect Ring of Scars 8: Smashed

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  • Aericura
    double feature tonight (ulterior motive: RL time deadlines). enjoy, and no, it s not any happier. in fact, one of my fave scenes is in this one. :)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2000
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      double feature tonight (ulterior motive: RL time deadlines). enjoy, and no,
      it's not any happier. in fact, one of my fave scenes is in this one. :)


      Title/Part: PRS 8: Smashed
      Series: Perfect Ring of Scars
      Author: Shana Nolan
      E-Mail: aericura@...
      Genre: angst!! (J,L,S,R)
      Rating: strong R (implied sexual sitches, language, violence, drug usage)
      Archive: the usual suspects, and others will ask first
      Summary: to quote a line from a later part: "the year from hell"
      Disclaimers: Fox and Marvel Entertainment Group have the X-Men and their
      movie. Stan Lee, I worship at your feet. I don't own anyone and I don't
      intend to sell this. no money, no sue, no powers. but my CB handle was
      Phoenix (great, date yourself, why don't you).
      Comments: are welcome. Flames, however, are only accepted from a mutant
      named Pyro and even he knows better.

      *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

      PRS: Smashed

      ~*~*~

      "smashed up what I believed in, smashed up what's left of me, smashed up my
      everything, smashed up all that was true, gonna smash myself"

      ~*~*~

      In the creation of the soul, the capacity to be a martyr has been ingrained
      from the start. As history marched forward and brought the advent of
      machinery that could do man's work for him, it removed some of the elements
      that would make him willing to die for something outside a selfish cause,
      and the soul suffered.

      But in the mind of Jean Grey, who knew herself all too well in the recent
      past, machinery could only make her complexes worse. She needed to feel the
      burden of doing everything herself to be whole again.

      Or at least that was what she thought.

      By the time she had gotten off shift that night, she had successfully
      started herself down a path of destruction. Going in early and leaving a
      few hours after her shift's technical end-- because the chief of staff
      ordered her to-- she had wore herself to the bone and managed to not eat.
      Despite the fact that she had changed two times at the hospital, she still
      managed to crawl back to her apartments with traces of other's blood on her,
      her gifted senses throbbing in agony over the continual tide of pain, fear
      and misery that she had been surrounded by. It was all too much and she was
      taking it without protest, as if she was expected to suffer, to endure for
      the sake of others.

      As if she was the martyr in the tale.

      The riot was a harsh trial for all involved. For the ones that were brought
      to the ERs, theirs were the wounds to tend, the brutality rained down upon
      them because they were different. The doctors, "Cath" and others, had to
      heal these victims, telling them to hold on so they could fight for the
      lives of an endless sea of strangers, knowing them by their injuries, and
      not their names, or where they grew up.

      And then there were the rescuers. They needed no names or background, and
      when they came, they ended the public fight dealing with morals, ethics and
      rights.

      And started a new fight solely based on the personal with a single knock on
      the door.


      ~*~


      Telepathy could never be mistaken as a gift when the person didn't truly
      want it.

      In her dreams she saw the faces of the mutant youth she had treated for
      injuries, their eyes wide and pleading for her help. They needed her,
      needed her talents, needed her experience in how to live in the human world,
      her sympathy and guidance.

      And her connections, no matter how much she tried to deny them.

      The knock on the door was tentative at first, one of caution and pure
      hesitation. They intended to talk to her after visiting Saint Michaels and
      finding out that a Doctor Grey had been one of the doctors in the trauma
      centre that night.

      They could never be faulted for being unintelligent, not that there was
      really any doubt whom they were chasing.

      By the time they had knocked thrice, it had finally connected to her
      exhausted body that someone was interrupting her sleep.

      Again.

      Her gifts were off as a protective measure. When she had gotten home, she
      had showered and changed into something comfortable, fighting off the
      migraine caused by all the psychic energies acting like a massive hammer
      banging repeatedly on her brain.

      But in order to silence the voices, she had sacrificed her ability to know
      who was waiting on the other side of her door.

      With her robe wrapped around her body, the sloppy braid barely holding her
      hair, she opened the door, looked out to the party of people waiting for her
      with palpable hesitation, and blinked.

      "Jean?"

      The silence was enough. Time ceased for a second as Scott Summers, Remy
      LeBeau, Ororo Munroe and Rogue observed the condition of their former
      teammate, her green eyes heavy with exhaustion and irritation over their
      sudden presence at her door.

      And then courtesy returned to her. "Come on in."

      Ororo, grateful for the secret correspondence that had been going on between
      her and Jean, smiled a little and stepped in, knowing what to expect from
      the life the doctor had set up for herself. Rogue, lingering nervously
      next to the taller presence of Scott, waited for a sign that everything was
      safe.

      Remy strolled past the southern girl, nodding to their hostess with near
      chivalry. "Nice place you have set up here, cherie."

      Shrugging, taking in a quick glance and balancing out her impression of the
      lean, young man with the way Ororo described him, Jean headed for her
      kitchen.

      From this point on, their visit apparently not a short one, she was likely
      to get little sleep until she literally passed out, meaning one thing:

      Coffee.

      The last two in the hall seemed to linger, afraid to broach new territory.
      Finally, as if something kicked him into action, Scott stepped in, smiled to
      his other teammates and watched with rapt fascination as the woman he almost
      married made an entirely mundane pot of coffee.

      "We found out you were here through the hospital you work at. I thought we
      might stop by and make sure you weren't harmed in the riot."

      Her smile to him was cursory. Polite. Professional.

      But his voice cut right through her like a knife. Scott was still Scott,
      and even with a slight upward glance from the filter and measuring cup, she
      could read the tension in his stance.

      They were checking on her. Making sure, after all this time that she was
      alive and well.

      How quaint of them.

      She couldn't fault her last true friend from the school, Ororo; she would
      have gone on a mission and followed along for the sake of being a team.
      Remy seemed like a good enough guy, and his natural charm was pleasant even
      to her. Rogue was still learning; she was the student hero of the party,
      observing everything.

      But Scott... he should have known better. The mention of his name alone
      could open fatal wounds in her given the right circumstance.

      Or the very moment they were all trapped in.

      Cool. Collected. You owe them nothing. "I'm fine, I just got to treat
      fifty percent of the riot's victims. Being tired is only the start of how
      I'm doing."

      "We woke you up, didn't we?"

      She smiled at her only true ally in the room. Yes, Storm, the Weather
      Goddess, would be the only one who actually realised that schedule.
      "S'alright. Just means I'm working on 14 hours of sleep within a 72 hour
      period. I'll live."

      The silence descended again until she crossed into the main room, hot cup in
      hand. Taking an obvious moment to size up the twenty year old girl standing
      in a doorframe, she noticed that even a year had matured her more than last
      time she had seen her.

      Which was not to forget the deferential look she gave the red glasses clad
      man. He was her leader. Her mentor. Her friend.

      And something more possibly. Her eyes narrowed as she studied Rogue's brown
      irises, half tempted to unshield her powers to see if the deeper thoughts
      mirrored the inescapable surface ones. "Did you come because of the riot?"

      Apparently the strongest voice in the room was Ororo. "Yes. With all the
      recent anti-mutant sentiment here, the Professor was monitoring the
      situation closely. We got here as soon as we could, but obviously couldn't
      prevent any of the violence."

      "Like the two mutants that died. One on the table and the other a few hours
      after coming in."

      Her voice must have been harsher than she thought it was, because the others
      looked like they had been slapped. Well, it was a proper reaction. People
      died. Ones that didn't ask or deserve it.

      And she had to felt both of them slip away.

      Why the hell had she cancelled breakfast with Nigel? She could use his
      comforting, his laughter able to distract her from the nastiest of shifts.

      "We shoulda gotten here sooner an' stopped them from killin'."

      "How, chere? Lock up de salopards and hope dat rat mayor don't stir up his
      own troubles?"

      "Something like that." Scorning the bottom of her coffee cup, Jean upped
      her initial opinion of the Cajun. "It's been coming for a long time, I'm
      just sorry it had to happen this way."

      Scott's silence in the conversation bordered on monumental. It was almost
      like he wasn't in the room, not that she, the outsider in the party now, was
      making an effort to welcome him.

      It was her home. Not theirs.

      "There weren't any warning signs you ignored, were there, Jean?"

      The way he said her name. Familiar, but challenging. They hadn't shared a
      bed, much less a civil conversation in over a year, and here was the proof.
      He was doubting her.

      "And what could I do? Tell everyone here that I'm a mutant superhero come
      to spy on their city?"

      "Ya could."

      The words were said by Rogue, but they mirrored the glasses-marred
      expression. Did they have any idea what she had done in order to be safe?
      Did they have any concept of what she was now?

      "Well, Jean?"

      Anger bubbled up inside of her. "No, I couldn't. No one knows I'm a mutant
      here, not even Nigel or my friends. I've been lying since day one to get a
      job, a home and a little happiness in my life and you ask me whether or not
      I can still traipse about in black leather trying to save the world?"

      If shock had a physical tremor to it, it rumbled beneath her feet. Their
      Jean didn't do this, didn't fight and get defensive over her own actions.

      But their Jean was gone. Their Jean died the day she hopped on a plane and
      fled the area like a whipped child.

      "Forget it. I'm sorry to have wasted you time. It was good to see you
      again Ororo, Rogue, and nice to meet you Remy, but it's time for you to go.
      I need sleep and I have a life here. And as for you, Scott, next time you
      want to wound me, do it without an audience. I was loyal to you, and you
      drove me away. Don't ever expect me to come crawling back."

      By the time they had left, her rant the last words said by any of them, she
      closed the door, bolted it and crawled back into her bed, clothes and all.

      And then she cried in the dark. It never ended. She could never be free of
      what she was and what she had done.

      That realisation hurt more than anything that had happened before.


      *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

      Next: Ran Away (nearing the end here)


      Shana,
      CyclopsGrrl
      ...with a serious Logan fetish

      aericura@...
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "Life isn't worth living. It's to be taken and beaten and wrestled and
      formed in your own image. That's where the meaning lies. In what you can
      twist life into. For those who just endure life, yeah, it is a very nasty
      joke. But those who form it with their will, the joke is on those who get
      in the way." Ares, X:WP
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