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Seasons of Change

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Summary: Sometimes, you find the one. Sometimes, she finds you. But the path to happiness is never easy. (Now with crossovery goodness!)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-MenmutantLexiFR18934,85445614,85510 Aug 1228 Dec 12No

Perfect Present

Lexi's Note - Continuing Emma's first day of school.



May 25, 2009
The Office of Dr. Asgari Kapat
ī - Manhattan, New York
1:28PM




     Getting up from her rich brown leather chair, the tall, dark-complected woman walks to her desk, stopping to gently pet the small ebony cat curled atop her desk. After a moment, Dr. Kapatī turns and taps a button on the phone sitting near her new pet. "Jaime, can you please change my appointments? Miss Frost and I shall be running over our normal time."

     "Yes'm," the young man's chipper voice replies from the intercom. Kapatī glances through her small leather notebook, rereading the notes she made earlier in the session. Emma's blue eyes linger on her therapist for a moment, before wandering away as she realizes that she feels as if she's being watched… and the only other person in the room is reading. Her eyes slowly drift to the left before landing on the doctor's cat, the small feline's bright yellow eyes staring at her in the detached way that all cats do. Or at least she assumes it's a normal cat stare; she's never owned one. It looks like pictures she's seen of cats, though.

     As she continues staring back at her audience, Emma notices something new about the little black cat. It's not pure black, as she'd previously thought: a small, roundish smudge of white fur sits smack dab in the center of its forehead, standing out starkly from the deep ebony fur that surrounds it.

     Emma's attention returns to the cat's piercing yellow eyes, only to notice the cat's gaze has likewise wandered to… her hands? Looking down at them, Emma stares at the marble queen in her hands, glittering its perfect white in the warm light of the room. After a few seconds, she glances back up and finds that the cat's interest is no longer on the chess piece, and her large yellow eyes lock with Emma's for a moment. Then, with a blink and a lazy yawn, the cat curls back up in a ball and settles back into her fitful sleep.

     With a soft clearing of the doctor's throat, Emma's attention turns back to the Indian woman's presence. Without alerting the young blonde, Kapatī has settled back into her chair, her dark eyes watching Emma as the cat had. After a moment, a small smile appears on the doctor's face. "So, you were telling me of your first day at school?"

     Wrinkling her brow in thought, Emma focuses on the chess piece in her hands as she gently rubs it with a thumb. "Yeah, I… I learned a lot about myself that day…"



September 1, 2008
The Xavier School for the Gifted - Salem Center, New York
10:04AM




     Sitting in the small auditorium, Emma does her best to listen to the wet blanket named Scott Summers as he drones on about protocols and rules. Forcing herself to stay awake, she fidgets in her seat a bit before looking to her right at the massive young man beside her. The dark-haired boy looks maybe only a year older than her, but his physical size is intimidating. If Brian Braddock was the school's star quarterback, this kid would be a first-string lineman. As she turns her head to examine the other students around her, Emma notices something odd about her massive neighbor: a small leather bindle rests at his feet. Poking out of one end is what appears to be a chisel. An artist, maybe?

     Even he can't distract Emma forever, though, and a few seconds later she moves on to the student sitting to her left. A dull ache begins to build in the middle of her forehead as she eyes a fellow blonde, sprawled out in her seat in a rather undignified manner. The mystery blonde looks over at her and Emma plasters on her best fake smile, only to receive a vaguely disinterested nod in return. After a few seconds, the girl reconsiders. "Yo. Regan Wyngarde…" The young blonde introduces herself, hand outstretched. Emma shoots a quick glance to her right, quite sure that someone must be noticing their exchange. A heartbeat, and then another… and nothing. Turning back to Regan, Emma shakes the older blonde's hand. "…don't worry, no one'll notice us. It's how my powers work 'n all. So, who're you, noob?"

     Pulling her hand back, Emma reaches up to massage her forehead. The pressure is growing slowly but steadily, reminding her a bit of a sinus headache. She knows she's not sick, though, and has never had a problem with allergies… shaking her head, she tries to focus on the conversation at hand. "Emma. Emma Frost."

     "Oh, I thought you looked familiar. Wasn't your sister banging that soccer player?" Regan spouts with a touch of disdain.

     "Quaint," Emma replies, wincing as the ache in her head spikes to a whole new threshold of pain. And then she puts the pieces together, switching to perceive the world around her with her mind's eye and seeing the thread connecting her to Regan. With a flex of her own abilities, the ache suddenly disappears and Regan… changes. Before, the blonde had been wearing a slightly rumpled but still very much regulation Xavier's uniform. Now, it looks like a stripper's cheesy attempt at a schoolgirl uniform: the skirt would be indecently short even by Adrienne's standards and the buttons of Regan's blouse are undone down to between her rather unimpressive breasts.

     Emma stares at Regan stupidly for a few seconds, wondering what the point of her little masquerade was. Was she hoping to convince Emma that… wouldn't she have pretended to be wearing something trashy while actually dressing normally for a prank like that? Then someone clears their throat loudly and Emma realizes that she wasn't the only one Regan was hiding the truth from. A stocky, muscular man with rather wild black hair and matching lambchop sideburns glares their way before pushing off the wall, pointing first at Regan and then at a nearby door. "Wyngarde! My office! Now!"

     Hushed whispers and giggles erupt in the auditorium, and Regan's face loses its color before flushing red in embarrassment. Her blue eyes lock on Emma's as she snarls before mouthing 'you bitch', only to receive Emma's most saccharin of smiles in return. The scolded blonde rises from her seat and falls into line in front of the stout teacher, who looks down at Emma as he passes and gives her a small wink. "Good job, kid."

     "Children! May I have your attention, please? Your attention!" a statuesque woman calls to the crowd of students. Emma obeys, privately marveling at the way the woman's light mocha complexion contrasts with her pure white hair. The woman offers a smile to the living stick in the mud, rolling her eyes when Summers responds with a childish scowl before returning her attention to the students. "It would appear that we've managed to go over the time allotted for orientation. We need those of you whom are first years to meet me at the north elevators; returning students are free to settle in and enjoy your first day back."

     Looking around, Emma catches sight of a familiar mane of fiery red hair and she opens her mouth to call out to Jean. Then the cheerful redhead falls in with a group of students, several of whom Emma recognizes from her ill-fated first visit: Teresa, Warren, Neena, and Betsy are part of the group laughing and chatting as they leave the auditorium.

     Emma sighs and slouches down a little, only to straighten as she senses the presence of someone standing next to her. Somehow, the dark-complected teacher who'd restored order has made it all the way over to Emma; her pale grey eyes look the blonde over and then she gives a warm and honest smile. "Hello there. If I'm not mistaken, you're one of my first years? I'm Ororo Munroe, one of the teachers here."

     "Oh, hello. I'm Emma and… yes, I guess I am a first year."



     Sitting in the medical bay, Emma picks at the pale blue dressing gown she now wears. She isn't sure what she'd been expecting when she and the other first years were led off - perhaps a tour? - but a full physical isn't it. Then again, Emma reminds herself, this is Mutant High. Looking around the room, she notes the excessive amount of stainless steel on display; she wonders if Xavier hired the same man who designed the kitchen Mother so adores.

     The hiss of doors opening draws Emma's attention away from analyzing the décor as a massive man steps into the room. His form is covered in a dense, dark blue fur and his hands… no, paws are massive. Yet, amazingly enough, he's able to quite deftly operate the tablet in his hands. His gold eyes race back and forth across the screen behind the small glasses perched precariously on the large mutant's broad, leonine face. A gasp escapes Emma's lips before she can stop it, and she curses herself for her reaction. Slipping the tablet into the pocket of his lab coat, he removes the glasses from the bridge of his nose. "I understand my appearance can be… disquieting. If you'd prefer, I can ask one of my assistants to do your assessment?"

     "No! I… I'm sorry." Blushing, Emma looks down at her lap as she fidgets on the paper-covered table, her movements creating a remarkably loud rustling noise in the quiet room.

     "It's fine, Miss Frost. I've grown accustomed to people's first reactions. Even among our community, physical mutations this prominent are relatively rare and so it can be rather jarring to run into one of us unexpectedly. If it makes you feel any better, I can still manage to spook Mister Summers rather badly and he's known me for years." He offers a warm smile to the tiny blonde, who can't help but return it. Moving to one of the many computer terminals in the room, the large mutant pulls up the class list and then taps on Emma's name. "So, Frost comma Emma. It's a pleasure to meet you. My parents graced me with the name Henry McCoy; I'm the residing medical practitioner on site. If you're as accident-prone as the younger Mister Summers, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

     "It's a pleasure to meet you, Doctor McCoy." Emma offers her tiny hand to the doctor and an unreadable look passes over Henry's face before a large smile takes its place, his massive paw wrapping around Emma's hand and daintily shaking it. As Henry pulls his hand away, something he said sinks in and Emma frowns. "You mentioned a 'younger' Mister Summers. Shared last name, or is he unfortunate enough to be related to Mister Doorstop?"

     Henry lets out a soft chuckle as he goes back to tapping away at the computer. "Alexander is Scott's younger brother. There are four members of this generation of the Summers clan: two boys and two girls." Suddenly, he goes very still before turning slowly to look at Emma. "Forgive me, three members: two boys and one girl." Emma blinks a few times and Henry sighs. "The perils of being good friends with someone who knows things the rest of us shouldn't. I don't suppose you can erase your own memory of the last few seconds?"

     Frowning, Emma considers the idea. "I suppose I could try, but I'd really rather not. With my luck, I'd melt a good-sized portion of my brain and end up turning myself into Miss Wyngarde."

     "Mmm. A fate worse than death indeed." Henry makes a final adjustment on the computer and something in the ceiling begins to hum. As Emma watches, a large white ring descends a foot or so even as a matching ring in the floor raises up a few inches. Turning, Henry gestures to the matching rings. "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

     "Dante's Inferno, huh?" Emma chuckles as she slips off the edge of the examination table. Walking over to the lower ring, she steps into it and turns to face the doctor. Her eyes jump around wildly: taking in the glowing disc beneath her feet, watching as the ring around her ankles begins to move upward, peering upward as the other ring descends to meet it, noticing the pale blue line of light slowly moving up her small form…

     "Honestly, I was worried that it would come off cliché." Henry begins deftly tapping on the screen with a sheepish grin. "If you're at all curious, I'm currently doing a diagnostic of your overall health and abilities. The latter will be help us in guiding the growth of your powers." Nodding slightly, Emma closes her eyes as the pale blue light moves over her face. She projects her consciousness outward, feeling others close by: some waiting nervously, others in various stages of their own checkups. A soft cough pulls Emma's mind back into her body, and she opens her eyes as she looks over at the doctor. "Our testing is complete. If you'd like to step out and get dressed, I can have one of my assistants take you to get fitted for your training suit."

     Offering his large paw to the young blonde, Henry helps Emma step out of the diagnostic device and she offers him a smile of thanks before grabbing her clothes from the examination table. Stepping behind the provided screen, Emma begins redressing herself. "So, did I pass? I'm good with theoretical knowledge, but I don't always test well…"

     Henry lets out a strange, growling laugh at that. "Finally, someone who can make jokes without resorting to Star Trek references. I dare say I'm going to enjoy having you around, Miss Frost. As for your tests… you're a healthy fourteen-year-old girl, although you are slightly underweight. Height-wise, you're in the tenth percentile. And according to the scans, your powers are in the 93rd percentile among the psionics known to Xavier."

     "Hmm." Emma purses her lips as she steps out from behind the dressing screen, meticulously focused on the Windsor knot she's tying into her dark blue tie. Looking up, she feels her train of thought derail and burst into flames. Standing beside the large feline mutant is a familiar redheaded girl. Her wild mane is pulled back into a loose ponytail, her tall form encased in a tight black catsuit with a strip of kelly green running down the center of her body, only broken up by the stylized X at her waist. Thrown over the catsuit is a pale blue lab coat with a name tag affixed to the left breast. "…Jean?"

     "Oh wonderful, you're already acquainted!" Henry smiles as he moves to stand beside them. Placing a paw firmly on each girl's back, he guides them over to the door. "Miss Grey here is one of my student aides. She'll see you to the Danger Room, where you'll be given your training suit."

     And then suddenly they're standing in the hallway again, and Emma can't seem to remember how to make her mouth work.



     "This is awesome! I was hoping I'd get you," the tall redhead tells Emma as they walk down the hallway, her bright green eyes sparkling with excitement. Emma can feel her heart doing its best hummingbird impression again as she looks from Jean's brightly smiling face back to her own hands as the young blonde fusses with the hem of her vest. She had finally gotten herself calmed down during her morning chat with Jean, only to find herself feeling confused and flustered again in a matter of seconds.

     Turning a corner, the pair run into a mass of students chattering excitedly around a large video display. One clump of kids includes a young blond boy who bears a passing resemblance to the school's resident stick in the mud Summers. "Yes! I'm leading the X-Factor Squad!"

     Looking up at her companion, Emma quirks a brow. 'That's Alex Summers. He's the little brother of the Professor's aide,' Jean answers the unasked question. With a tilt of her head, the pair make their way through the small crowd. After a short walk and turning another corner, the redhead continue her explanation, "We're split up into squads here. It's to help us learn teamwork, as mutants and students."

     Looking back over her shoulder, Emma nibbles on her lower lip. "Oh. Then shouldn't we go back to see what squad I'm on?"

     "Nah. I pestered Warren. You're on the New Mutants with us," Jean winks at her walking companion. Suddenly, Emma's stomach does a flip, her face growing hot. How could she spend the year on the same squad with this maddeningly pretty girl without having a heart attack? Tugging on a suddenly irritating thread on her vest, a frown grows on Emma's face. Misunderstanding it, Jean is quick to apologize. "Oh… oh no. I'm sorry. I just thought… yeah. We can have you put on a different team if you want. I didn't mean to make everything weird, I just-"

     "Huh? Oh, no!" Emma's head jerks up and she stares at Jean with a shocked look. Before she can stop herself, she blurts out, "I'd like to be with you."

     A sly smile passes over Jean's face as they reach their destination; as the realization of what she said sinks in, Emma's face turns bright red again. As the blonde tries to figure out how to dig herself out of the hole she's fallen into, Jean surprises her by looping one arm around Emma's waist, resting her hand on the smaller blonde's hip. Together, they step into a room filled with computers and odd machinery. Before the redhead can say anything, the stout, dark-haired teacher from orientation looks up from his tablet, a smile forming on his grizzled face. 'Hey, Red. Should have known you'd make friends with a girl like this. She busted right through Wyngardge's illusions earlier. Hell of a job, kiddo."

     "Hello, Mister Howlett!" Jean responds before using the hand still resting on the young blonde's hip to guide Emma a bit further into the room, the door sliding shut behind them. The heavily muscled instructor's eyes drop to where Jean's hand is resting and then back up to the redhead's face, giving her a small grin and a wink. "Emma here is a new student and needs to have her Danger Room suit constructed."

     The instructor's dark brown eyes slide from Jean to Emma, and the tiny blonde is struck by how time and sadness have etched their mark in the man's eyes. "Ah, gotcha. What's the last name, Emma?"

     "Um… Frost, sir?" Emma responds, feeling a bit intimidated by the gruff man. She chides herself mentally for being such a spastic rabbit; her emotions, usually held tightly in check, are suddenly all over the place. It has to be her powers, she decides; she hasn't been around this many people since her powers manifested last year at her previous school. Their mental noise is filtering through and throwing her all out of whack. That must be it, that has to be the answer.

     Instructor Howlett mutters to himself as he prods the computer before perking up. "There you are. Emma Frost. So, seeing as how you're a girl and I'm quite obviously not…" Turning to Jean, he jerks a thumb towards the door. "Do you want me to go snag 'Ro or are you handling this one personally?" It takes a moment for Emma to realize that he's risen from his seat, and not much has changed: he can't possibly be more than an inch or two taller than her.

     "Is it okay if I do it? I mean, you won't get in trouble, will you?" For the first time in the short period she's known the girl, Emma notices a bit of worry in her new companion's voice.

     "Nah, Red, Chuck'll be fine with it. Anyway, I'm thinking this would be a great time for a cigar break," Instructor Howlett returns with a grin. With a call back over his shoulder, the fireplug of a man wanders out of the room. "You two have fun!"

     Noticing the hand on her hip has left its resting place, Emma finds herself missing it. She watches Jean wander over to seat herself in the chair previously occupied by Mr. Howlett, and the young ginger begins working the computer's touch interface. After a few seconds of silence, she turns in the chair, grinning mischievously at Emma, "Okay, I need you to strip."

     "Wait, what?!" the young blonde exclaims. At this moment, Emma's quite sure that she's blushing all over. How could Jean ask her something like that, especially this soon? Sure she's pretty, and smart, and funny, and pretty… but this is definitely rushing things! They haven't even started dating or anything, the blonde thinks to herself, and she's not even sure if she likes girls like that…

     "Calm down. Not like that," Jean replies with a giggle. "Although I didn't hear you complaining when you were all snuggling on me before Mister Howlett left."

     "I wasn't snuggling!" Well, maybe she was, but Emma Grace Frost shall not admit defeat. Crossing her arms over her chest and drawing herself up to the fullest extent of her admittedly unimpressive height, she sniffs haughtily. "You were the one being all Miss Grabby Hands."

     "Okay, okay. You win, I was being all grabby." Jean offers up that damn infectious smile again but Emma refuses to give into this girl's charm, no matter how wonderfully perfect she is. "The machine needs you to be naked so it can construct your suit. There's a dressing panel over there."

     "Sigh. Fine." Stepping behind the panel, Emma begins undressing. Her fingers tremble as she undoes the buttons of her blouse. Nervousness radiates through her but she doesn't quite understand why; she's gotten undressed around other girls before. After a few moments, Emma stands nude behind the screen and feeling very self-conscious. The door to her right slides open with a swish.

     "Just head into the room beside you," Jean's voice comes over the loudspeaker. Stepping into the dim room, Emma can make out only that it's cylindrical, with faintly glowing lights embedded into the walls. Slowly the lights come up and her self-consciousness spikes again, causing her to try and cover herself with her hands. Small nozzles emerge from the wall as Emma begins to fidget. "Are you ready? Just hold your arms out away from your sides with your palms up. I'll make sure the video recording is off." Jean's obviously teasing tone does nothing to help Emma's screaming nervousness. "Commencing lattice spray."

     Suddenly, Emma feels four small round pads pressing against her back as well as something rubbing against her spine, running from the nape of her neck to the bottom of her tailbone. Armatures come out of the wall, pressing two more small pads against her lower chest, just under her budding breasts. With a hiss, the nozzles begin to spray streams of a material that almost looks like black paint. Slowly, the nozzles being to orbit her, coming out of the walls on armatures, the spray overlapping and covering her pale skin.

     "The suit was invented by Doctor McCoy and a former student named Forge. It's an amazing piece of technology; when complete, it's only a little more than a half a millimeter thick. Don't let that fool you, though, because it's tear-proof, fire and cold resistant, and can disperse a bit of kinetic energy," Jean explains over the intercom. "It also has built in telemetric sensors that measure your heart rate, body temperature, and overall health."

     'While all so very fascinating, it's a fair bit embarrassing to be stuck here standing like this while you admire the view on the room's cameras,' Emma replies, trying to hide her insecurity behind her biting wit as usual. Her shoulders start to ache as she keeps her arms outstretched. 'How much longer is this going to take? My arms are starting to hurt…'

     'Not much longer; you've got about a minute left until the suit's done spraying,' Jean's melodic voice returns to Emma's mind. The nozzles begin to slow their rotation, as a pool of the black goo begins to rise from the floor. It covers her body slowly, eventually reaching her shoulders, and then her neck, and then forcing the small blonde to breathe through her nose as it creeps up to her cheeks. 'There, we're in the final phase of construction. Also, you kinda owed me a peek for sneaking into my room earlier and drooling while you watched me dance.'

     'I didn't sneak in!' Emma pouts as Jean's mental giggles roll through her mind, realizing too late that she'd walked into that one. 'Haha… I see what you did there.'

     'Just wanted you to relax a bit. Don't worry, I'm not going to bite… unless you ask nicely.' Jean's giggles continue to echo through Emma's mind.

     The black goo slowly drains away, eventually revealing a series of vents scattered around her on the floor. Emma looks down at herself, taking in the catsuit that now covers her. It's similar to Jean's except for the fact that it's all black. Slowly, it begins to change, the material shifting from a matte black to something glossier, like the costumes she sees on the superheroes on the news. A stripe running up the middle of her outfit begins to change color, slowly brightening from black to a medium grey and eventually ending up a pure white.

     'I figured white would fit. That way, if things work out, you can be my white knight.' There's something in Jean's voice Emma can't quite put her finger on, perhaps maybe longing?

     …she almost hopes it is.
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