A few people were curious about the background of the X-Men, since this movie uses some of the continuity laid down by X-Men
but quite obviously expands it and creates connections between canon and imported characters. So we're going to touch on that a bit in this chapter, both in the story's last X-Women in Sunnydale scene and upon their return to Westchester. In between… well, I had another scene planned but my muse refused to cooperate and since it's a time-independent scene, I decided to push it back rather than put out something shitty. Enjoy.
November 21, 2011
Chase Household - Kitchen
"…and he's so boring but the worst part is that he doesn't even try and let me be boring too. I mean, I hate mini golf. I loathe it. I'd rather have a girls' night in with Betsy and Regan than embarrass myself with one of those stupid little putters and the brightly colored ball and the windmill and the tricky ramps. If he asked, though? I'd do it. I'd hate it, but I'd do it. But he doesn't even ask. Or cars. Those are the only two things he does for fun: mini golf and fixing cars. Has he ever asked me to come in the garage and hand him wrenches? Nope!"
And this was why she was glad all her friends had stable marriages, Miriam thought with a sigh. And that most of them had the alcohol tolerance of a midget with half a liver. Because even after consuming enough liquor to kill most people, Jean was somehow still going, rambling endlessly about her pathetic life. Traitors that they were, Wanda and Pietro were just sitting there watching and snickering, leaving her to play good hostess to the blitzed redhead. "All right. So, this may be a dumb question but I'm going to ask it anyway. If he's not a good boyfriend and he's not satisfying you sexually - which was way too much information, by the way - why are you still with him?"
Jean let out a sigh as she toyed with the glass sitting in front of her. Unlike the other glasses she'd drained that morning, it was filled with a mixture of fruit juices rather than anything alcoholic. Maybe that was why she wasn't chugging it down eagerly, Miriam thought with a snort. "Because we've been together forever? Because it's comfortable? Because I don't want to be alone? Some combination of the above?" She shrugged. "Probably the last more than anything, though. I mean, do you know how hard it is to meet someone new when you work at a secret school for mutants? And at Xavier's… outside of Scott, my choices are one of my students, the man who practically raised me, the Irish single father, the man with ridiculous anger management issues, or-"
"Emma." Miriam's words brought Jean up short and the green-haired woman raised an eyebrow. "What? Even Irene would be able to see the woman's interested in you. You don't seem that against the idea, either, if what I saw when I poked my head into your room this morning is anything to go by. And unless I'm completely misunderstanding some of Rachel's comments…"
Grimacing, Jean grabbed her glass of juice and leaned back in her seat, idly tracing one finger along the rim. "Assuming she's telling the truth? Rachel's a time traveler who looks like me but can transmorph like Emma and her daughters. The math there is pretty obvious. Well, either that or… no, Bruce did a maternity test and I'm her mom." Pausing, Jean blinked a few times before slowly straightening up. "Son of a… I think he knew. When Rachel refused to tell me who her 'father' was, I went and asked Bruce and he told me that a paternity test didn't match any known male mutant. I didn't think anything of the fact that he mentioned males at the time, but-"
And people wondered why Miriam wanted nothing to do with an established mutant enclave. School? Hah. More like a soap opera with a curriculum. They might as well call the place As the Xavier's Turns
or something. "Right. Well. Something you can harass this 'Bruce' person about when you get home, I suppose. Assuming you remember any of this, that is. But Rachel's an effect. Let's go back to the cause. What's going on between you and nobody's favorite monochromatic mutant?"
Jean managed to stall for a moment by taking a long sip from her cup before giving in and answer. "I… Emma… I don't know. I don't get her anymore. We hate each other. Or we're supposed to. Or at least that's what I thought. We didn't get along back when you guys were in Westchester with us, and things only got worse after she came back from her experiment with running her own school."
For some reason, Miriam had a hard time believing that. Maybe it was everything she'd witnessed in the past thirty or so hours. Cordelia's amusing pictures of the pair in bed on Sunday, and then seeing it with her own eyes this morning. Watching Emma badger Maria for 'mutant appropriate' servings for herself and Jean at breakfast yesterday. The kitchen's second attempt hadn't satisfied the blonde, though; she'd eventually requested an extra plate of food, eating a bit from it before forcing Jean to consume the remainder. As evidenced by Cordelia's clandestine snapshot of dinner that night at the Rosenbergs' house, Emma's concern over Jean's intake wasn't a one-time occurrence. "You two sure have a funny way of showing it. I mean, I know I wouldn't snuggle with a woman I hated. Or let her hand-feed me dinner."
"Believe me, I know. But like I said, up until recently? We hated each other. And then all of a sudden…" Jean frowned and then she looked over at Miriam, eyes widening. "Wait a second. She's always going on and on about how she's the 'superior telepath'. Do you… do you think she did something to me?"
Oh for the love of God. She was actually going to have this conversation again? Miriam buried her face in her hands for a moment before looking back up at Jean. "I would think that you of all people would know that you can't catch 'The Gay', even from a telepath. Which you should already know, considering you are one." The redhead's brow furrowed as she thought that one over, and Miriam sighed as she shook her head. "Has it ever occurred to you that you might be bisexual? Especially considering, oh, I don't know, the fact that you get married to a woman in the future? And have a daughter with her?"
Jean shrugged, crossing her arms over her chest defensively as she continued to think. "I just… it made sense, okay? I've been attracted to women before, I'll admit that much. Your sister when we were younger because, well, Wanda's got an amazing figure and doesn't exactly dress to hide it. But it's always been a 'hey look' thing. Never a 'I want to get with her' thing or a 'I want to make a life with her' thing."
"There are two things wrong with that, though." Evidently being mentioned by name was enough to finally draw Wanda into the conversation. "Firstly, let's be fair here. When was the last time you looked at some random guy and thought about the house with the white picket fence and two point five children and a dog? I'm guessing never. Secondly, the fact that you don't look at random women as potential sexual conquests doesn't mean you don't like women. It means you have class. Third-"
"I thought you said two things?"
"Think of the first two as two halves of a first thing. This is the actual second thing." Leaning forward, Wanda reached over and tapped the silver ring on Jean's left ring finger. Considering Miriam remembered 'not even engaged' being part of the redhead's rant earlier… God. Was she actually wearing a 'promise ring' at her age? How pathetic. "You've been with Scott for pretty much your entire life. When would you have had a chance to do anything more than 'hey look' with anyone? Male, female, robot, or mono-gendered blue alien?"
Opening her mouth to reply, Jean paused and blinked owlishly at Wanda. "…why are those last two even in there?"
Wanda shrugged before gesturing for Jean to proceed. "You never know what's out there. Now answer the question."
"Never. Because I'm loyal and doing more than looking would be cheating and that's not who I am. So fine, you're right and I'm wrong. Happy now?" Jean sulked for a few seconds as she went back to sipping from her glass, and then something occurred to her. "But wait. Then with Emma-"
How the hell could someone who spent every waking moment being bombarded by the workings of teenage minds still be so uptight and prudish? Miriam whistled, cutting the redhead off. "Before you start talking yourself in circles again, I'm going to make this very simple for you. You don't go out of your way to look for something outside of Scott even though you're not happy. Hey, that's cool. Monogamy. Whoo. But now someone's come along who can see you're unhappy. Emma's powers let her know exactly why, and how to fix it. So she's trying to make you happy and - shock of shocks - you're having a hard time finding a problem with that. You know why? People want to be happy. It's the natural order of things."
Jean nodded slowly before offering Miriam a lost look, destroying any hope the green-haired woman had been harboring about the conversation concluding with that. "…so now what?"
Now she came up with a new plan for if this woman ever visited again, Miriam thought, because 'pump her full of alcohol' was proving to be a spectacular failure. Mostly because Jean was a whiny, needy drunk. At least with angry drunks, she could punch them and then walk away. And sleepy drunks… well, didn't do much of anything. "That's up to you. For some odd reason, Emma's decided she wants you. She's going to keep coming. You're going to have to decide which sounds better to you: turning her down to stay with Scott because it's familiar and comfortable, or leaving him for Emma and a chance at real happiness."
"Yeah…" Jean went silent, staring off into space. Just when Miriam was starting to wonder if the redhead had fallen asleep sitting up, she abruptly turned to face Wanda. "Can I kiss you?"
This time, it was Wanda's eyes that widened. "What?"
Nodding excitedly, Jean began ticking off points on her fingers as she spoke. "One: I've never kissed a girl. I'm curious. Two: you were my first girl crush, so it only makes sense for it to be you. Three: you're pretty. Four: if I'm going to feel guilty about being interested in women and such, I should actually be guilty of doing something. Five: it'd be a great way to break up with Scott without dragging Emma into the line of fire, if things ever get that far. You know, 'I kissed another woman, I think we should see other people, it's not you it's me'? Six…" Pausing, Jean looked down at her hand, twisting it to and fro before frowning. "I only have five fingers. That's annoying. Well anyway… six: you're really pretty. And seven: it's completely your fault that Scott was relationship retarded by the time I got to him. After all, you're the one who dumped him to fuck your own brother. That one alone means you owe me." Pausing, Jean scrunched up her nose in disgust. "I should probably stay out of your head when I'm drunk. It's messing with my control and I keep seeing stuff I don't want to see. Not to mention that one slip on my end could turn you into a drooling vegetable…"
…oh, this promised to be hilarious. And so when Wanda looked her way for help, Miriam just shrugged before nodding in Jean's directions. "It actually makes a lot of sense, in a strange drunk logic sort of way."
Wanda scowled as she pointed her finger at Miriam, then at Jean, and then back at Miriam. "You: don't encourage her. And you: I owe you nothing. Fine, I'll admit that I'm probably the reason Scott is socially dysfunctional. But I didn't make you date him. That was your choice. And you!" Wanda turned to Pietro, who raised one white brow at her. "Someone wants to kiss your wife! Shouldn't you be objecting or… something?"
"We may not be related, but she's cute." Pietro shrugged. "I'll allow it."
"I hate you all." Wanda looked back and forth, glaring at all three people in the kitchen with her, before focusing on Jean. "And while I'm tempted to turn you into a vegetable for poking around inside my head, I'm sure you'd find a way to be annoying as a potato so… fine. Whatever. Come here, you obnoxious woman."
Jean rose to her feet, stumbling a few steps to her right before stabilizing herself and managing some forward progress. "Wow, everything's spinning. Think I stood up a bit too fast." Pausing, she looked up Wanda up and down slowly. "Are you going to stand up too, or am I supposed to bend all the way over, or-"
Rolling her eyes, Wanda reached out and took Jean's hand, guiding the redhead toward her. "Neither. Sit on my lap." Jean blinked a few times before shrugging and moving to sit- "Not like that. You're going to kiss me, not tell me what you want for Christmas. Straddle my lap."
"Oh. Hey. Now we're on the same level. And you didn't have to stand up and I didn't have to bend over. Smart." Fidgeting, Jean placed her hands on Wanda's thighs before moving them to the brunette's hips, and then wrapped her arms around herself uncertainly. "…kay. Now what?"
Looking over at Miriam, Wanda mouthed 'seriously?' before turning back to the redhead. "Now you kiss me. I might be willing to go along with this, but that doesn't mean I'm going to ini-mmph!" Before she could finish, Jean tangled both her hands in Wanda's hair and pulled the brunette in for a kiss. After a few seconds, when they showed no signs of coming up for air, Miriam slid her hand down into her cleavage and pulled out her phone, opening up the camera app.
…was that tongue?
When the pair finally broke apart, Jean leaned back and licked her lips slowly before smiling. "Huh. That was… nice." And then she abruptly tipped forward, somehow managing to land with her face pressed into Wanda's cleavage. She mumbled something, wiggling a bit to get comfortable, and then began snoring softly.
Wanda spared a glance down at Jean before turning her attention back to Miriam and rolling her eyes. "I've known for a while that my milkshake brings all the boys and girls to the yard, but this is just getting ridiculous."
November 21, 2011
Sunnydale High School - Hallway
"So this whole time, you guys were just faking being sluts? And all the guys who think they slept with either of you, Santana made them believe it happened using her powers and nobody actually touched anybody?"
Santana glanced over at her girlfriend and rolled her eyes before turning her attention back to the redhead in front of her. Finally, they were getting somewhere. "Pretty much, yeah."
Crossing her arms over her chest, Janae glared at Santana. "You two are selfish bitches, you know that right?" …what? "Did you ever stop and think about how something like that would affect the rest of us? I mean, I could have actually been fucking some of those guys for real."
"From what I hear, you've been doing just fine as it is." Brittany flinched back as Janae's angry gaze turned her way, raising her hands in surrender. "What? Fine! I'm sorry I kept you from getting around more than you already do!"
Sniffing, Janae looked away. "You should be. I mean, I thought we were friends? Why would you do something like that to me?"
Brittany looked to Santana, who shrugged helplessly. Logically she'd known that the little clique of girls they'd assembled for camouflage actually did the stuff she pretended to, but… well, when she'd made a list of problems they might face upon coming out, this hadn't been on it. They had a girl who was upset that Santana's mental shenanigans had gotten in the way of her getting laid more. What… was the proper response to something like that?
Thankfully, her little blonde ball of sheer genius had one: a distraction. Reaching up to play with a strand of her hair, Brittany smiled at Janae. "Don't you have a Pinterest about long hair? Actually, I totally know you have one because a few pics of me are on it. This is just me changing the topic." Janae nodded slowly, eyeing the blonde suspiciously as Brittany inched closer. "Wanna be the first person to know a secret? One that even Santana doesn't know?"
"Um… okay." Janae shot an unreadable look over at Santana before returning her attention to Brittany. "But this doesn't make up for what the two of you did to me. Unless it's a really good secret."
"Oh, believe me, it is. And it will." Brittany lifted one hand and some of her hair likewise rose, winding itself into a long, thick blond tendril that reached out toward Janae. The tip brushed against the redhead's bangs, and Santana sucked in a breath as the blond and teal streaks in Janae's hair slowly faded away. Once her hair had been returned to one solid color, it began to lengthen and twist itself into a loose waterfall braid. By the time all was said and done, Janae had hair that stretched almost to the small of her back and looked like a totally different girl. Pulling her tendril of hair away, Brittany let it coil around her shoulders as she surveyed her work with satisfaction. "Well?"
Pulling out her phone, Janae held it up in front of herself so she could use the front-facing camera as a mirror of sorts. "…huh. Not bad. We'll see what the guys think, though; they're the ones whose opinions actually matter. If they don't like it, maybe something curly tomorrow?" Brittany opened her mouth to reply, but Janae cut her off. "Another makeover or six wouldn't be too much to ask for, right Brittany? I mean, you do have a year or so to make up for, don't you?" Sighing, Brittany nodded and Janae perked up. "Thought so. Well, I'm off. See you guys at practice." And with that, she turned and flounced away.
Santana watched Janae until she disappeared into the crowd of other students moving between classes, before turning and eyeing Brittany curiously. "I didn't know you could do that."
Leaning in, Brittany pressed a quick kiss to Santana's lips. "You never asked."
November 21, 2011
Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters - Foyer
Westchester, New York
Between waiting for Jean to be fit to fly and wrapping up a few odds and ends in Sunnydale, Emma's plane didn't manage to lift off until half past three in the afternoon. Flying back across the country, day quickly gave way to night as the hours and time zones passed; by the time the white Dassault Falcon 7X had touched down in New York and a limo had ferried the group back to Westchester, it was nearly eleven in the evening.
But even at that late hour, what remained of the school's staff was still up and waiting in the entry hall for them when they returned. Emma sighed and waved in the direction of the stairs that ascended to the second floor. "Girls, head up to your rooms. And remember, no talking about where you've been, what you've been doing, or who you've met. Especially the latter." As the teens lugged their bags up the stairs and Jean leaned against her to keep from falling over, Emma turned her attention back to the assembled group of adults. "Charles. Minions of Charles."
Rather than rising to the bait or asking Emma to apologize, which he knew by now that she wouldn't do, Charles just steepled his fingers under his chin. "Emma. Would you care to explain your most unusual behavior? And how it came to be that I sent four individuals in search of you and had three return to me, two of them not part of the team I sent?"
"You of all people should remember how… demanding… a Lehnsherr can be, Charles, especially when they've made up their mind about something. Besides, Miss Chase told you to jump and you did. I was just following your lead when it came to obeying her wishes. As to how we all ended up there in the first place?" Reaching up with the arm not wrapped around Jean's waist, Emma tapped one manicured finger against her temple. "You're always in here. I simply assumed you'd stick your nose where it didn't belong, just like you always do, and see what I was planning. I wasn't aware of the other team in Sunnydale until I was saving them from Miss Rosenberg and her friend."
Charles opened his mouth but was cut off as Jean let out a loud snort. "You didn't just 'save' us, you know."
Raising an eyebrow, Emma looked over at the redhead. "You and Miss Braddock were unconscious, darling. Scott was worse than useless, Rachel was in the middle of forgetting she had powers…"
"…Ivette was running around babbling, and Julian and Remy were too scared to come out of the shadows." Jean jabbed her elbow into Emma's side as she rolled her eyes, making the blonde grunt in pain. "I'm just saying, don't act like we were the only ones who needed help. Your group didn't do any better than mine."
Before they could argue the matter any further, Charles retook control of the conversation. "An aphorism I've heard the children use springs to mind here, Emma. 'When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me'?" Emma blinked; just when she thought she knew Charles inside and out, he said something completely out of left field that left her wondering if she knew him at all. Oh well. Kept life interesting. "However, your decisions and their repercussions are something we can discuss in private. What's done is done and arguing about it will change nothing. And so… Miss Chase and her friends. Tell me about them."
The accompanying prickle of his mind going to work against her shields made it clear to Emma that if she didn't share the information, Charles had no qualms about taking it from her by force. "Very well. Since I don't know what - if anything - Charles allowed Scott and the boys to share with the rest of you, I'll assume you know nothing and start from the top. In addition to Miriam Chase - Lorna Lehnsherr, to some of you - the town of Sunnydale is home to at least six manifested mutants, all of them teenage girls. Obviously, the most notable is Cordelia Chase, Magneto's granddaughter and the reason we were visiting the town. Through her, we met the other five: Michelle Flaherty, Willow Rosenberg, Janet van Dyne, Santana Lopez, and Brittany Pierce. I'm sure anyone who's heard about her is curious about Michelle, but I'm hesitant to talk about her until I can have Bruce run some tests for me. I want facts, not conjecture. And so we'll move on to Willow." Her eyes swept back and forth over the assembled adults before landing on her least favorite - well, after Scott - member of the faculty. "James." The man in question looked confused and Emma rolled her eyes, pointing at him for added emphasis. "Yes, you. Hirsute Canadian with the horribly smelly cigars."
"Me?" Logan frowned, furrowing his brow. "Pretty sure I'm Logan, not James. Was last time I checked, at any rate…"
"It turns out your real name is James Howlett and you're very much connected to all this. Willow is legally the daughter of Sheila and Ira Rosenberg, a pair of psychiatrists who were previously employed by Weapon X. Biologically, though, Willow is Sheila's daughter… by you. Evidently, you two knew each other at some point before you lost your memories and you seduced her away from her husband long enough to get her pregnant. Unlike you, Willow only has two claws in each hand but makes up for it by having a claw in each foot as well. And hers are made of bone. But…" Emma tapped her fingers against her temple again. "I did a bit of poking around before we left. As of when you got Sheila pregnant, at least according to her memories? So were yours. There's always the chance that her memories have been tampered with, since this has to do with a secret government project, but I don't see why they'd change a detail like that. Especially given they were willing to leave her with knowledge of you - and the project - in the first place. So you see, Charles, in the end it turns out it's a good thing I went to Sunnydale. James here now knows more about his missing past. As a matter of fact, I do believe I found out more about him in ten minutes by probing one woman's mind than you have in a year."
Logan took a moment to extend his claws, studying them thoughtfully before abruptly retracting them, head snapping up as his mind returned to a much more important point. "I have a daughter?" The revelation had him looking completely poleaxed, although Emma could sympathize; it was probably the same look she'd worn upon finding out about her quintuplets from that obnoxious gimp of a doctor in New Jersey who had muttered about 'parasites' while subjecting her to an ultrasound. "I have a daughter who's a mutant just like me? And there's someone out there who knows who I am? Huh. Imagine that. Wonder how we'll get on."
Considering she was hoping to bring the girls to Westchester at some point, Emma found Logan's choice of contraction encouraging. 'We will' rather than 'we would', implying he was definitely interested in meeting her. Then again, she realized, that might change once she started passing on what she already knew about Willow. "Well, there are a few speed bumps you'll need to watch out for. Cordelia's… not much of one. They're not especially close, and Cordelia is actually glad we stopped her grandfather at Liberty Island. Michelle, on the other hand? Like I said, I'll need Bruce to confirm it for us… but I can tell you that she believes herself to be the daughter of a woman that most of us are familiar with. Charles and I knew her as Raven Darkholme - Charles knew her quite a bit better than I did, dare I say - but I believe the rest of you are more familiar with the name she's been going by more recently: Mystique." Suddenly spotting her escape hatch, Emma decided to egg Logan on. "As a matter of fact, they're so close that Willow lets Michelle live with her and they pretend they're cousins. Which was the impetus behind my entire visit, but that's a long story for another time, I reckon."
Logan abruptly stilled, eyes going wide. "My girl lives with Mystique's girl?"
Rolling her eyes, Emma reached back and grabbed the extended handle of her wheeled white suitcase. "Did I stutter?"
Whirling to face Charles, Logan pointed emphatically at the floor. "We need to prep the jet, now. I'm going to Sunnydale to pick up Willow. Hell'll freeze over before I let a daughter of mine live under the same roof as anyone related to Mystique!"
That quickly sparked disagreement from Scott, who didn't want 'the little monster' anywhere near the school, and everything quite predictably went downhill from there. Having a daughter of his own, Sean understandably sided with Logan. Bruce, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with anyone directly connected to government programs. That left Ororo and Charles attempting to mediate the increasingly heated debate as Emma looked on in disgust and Jean… kept leaning on her for support. "They're so predictable. It's almost not worth the effort sometimes…"
"Mmm. I didn't even need to read their minds to know how that was going to go." Jean looked back over her shoulder as she waved her hand, her bag lifting up off the floor albeit with a bit of a 'drunk lean' to it. As Emma led the listing woman toward the hallway that housed the staff quarters, the redhead made a rather disjointed and rambling request. "Can I… I'm not in the mood… Scott… no. Please?"
After picking a memory of their morning out of Wanda's head, Emma could understand why the redhead didn't want to go 'home' that evening. For that matter, she also had some delicious blackmail material to add to the pictures that Miriam and Cordelia had sent her. On the other hand? "It's my room, my bed, and my rules. There will be none of that 'your side' foolishness, or demanding I sleep wearing something."
Much to her disbelief, Jean just shrugged her request off. "I'll survive. Like you said: your room, your rules."
Emma raised an eyebrow. In that case… "And you're not allowed to sleep wearing anything either."
Snorting, Jean managed a passable imitation of Emma's expression. Which came as a bit of a surprise, considering the redhead was having problems standing up straight at the moment. "I can kill you with my brain."
"But then who would you use as a pillow, darling?"
"I just so happen to prefer a cool pillow… darling."