My Messed Up Family
may contain assorted violence, potential sexuality, a chance of bad words, and any material present in Marvel Comics or the BtVS seasons 1 to 5 is fair game.
main character: Joyce Creed
disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to anyone that you recognize.
distribution: if you have permission for any of my other X-men fics, yes. Otherwise ask.
note: What if Graydon wasn't the only child of Mystique and Sabertooth?
Joyce sighed as she sat on the porch. Her parents were fighting again. She might only be fourteen, but she knew that this wasn't a good sign. Her few friends at school didn't have parents that fought so much. Of course, they also didn't have fathers that were over seven feet tall, and well able to literally scare away would be boyfriends. Her dad could be so overprotective sometimes. Maybe it was a side effect of his military career. Major Victor Creed worried about the safety of his two children, after all.
Sometimes, she wondered what life would be like if she was in a normal family. With a father that wasn't a towering mass of muscle, with odd yellow eyes. With a mother who didn't smell like secrets and scales. A mother who hadn't lost half a dozen babies, trying to get... well, she didn't quite know why her mother had lost so many babies, or why she kept trying. Julia Creed wasn't the most loving mother around. But her brother Graydon seemed pretty normal. He was sixteen, a decent student, on the football team, and dating a cheerleader.
She wondered what life would be like if she were normal. If she couldn't hear things from the next room, smell who someone had been talking to that morning. If she didn't have fingernails that could cut glass and steel, although that made a painful squealing noise that hurt her ears. If it took her weeks to heal from bruises like it did everyone else. She'd tried her best to hide those things, to pretend to be normal. To pretend to be human. Her dad probably wouldn't mind, but... what about her friends? What about Graydon or mom? Could she deal with becoming a social outcast for being a mutant freak?
No, Graydon would definitely take it badly. He might be quite the athlete, and sort of open minded about inter-racial dating, but he'd have a fit if he knew the truth about her. If he knew that his sister was a mutant. She hated to admit it, but her brother Graydon Creed was a bit prejudiced.
"What has you upset and sighing out here, pumpkin?" Her dad's voice came from the doorway, where he loomed almost like something scary in a horror film The faint moonlight reflected on his eyes like a cat's, creating these two spots of yellow light.
Joyce tried to smile. "Sort of thinking. Daddy, could you teach me how to fight? I think... I'm afraid that someday I might need to know how to keep myself safe."
He came over, settling beside her on the wooden bench. His scent wrapped around her, like spices and fur and sunshine. "You were watching the news again, weren't you? All those civil rights protests and the riots."
Joyce sighed again, leaning against her father's arm. She felt safe with him, knowing that he wouldn't let anything hurt his children. "I don't think they're wrong to want the same rights as everyone else, daddy. But I won't always live here, and someday, I might get into trouble."
"Pumpkin, you know that if I ever find out about anyone trying to hurt you, I'll be there ready to gut him, right?" Her father was the only person that she'd ever met that would include mention of gutting someone in an attempt at reassurance.
She just looked at him, feeling the smile that tried to slip out. "It's things like that that make me wonder exactly what it is that you do for the military. But... as much as I know you would cheerfully gut anyone that hurt me, I'd sort of like to be able to get out of there and call you, you know?"
He grinned, reaching out to ruffle her hair, "You know that's classified stuff. And I'll teach you how to protect yourself. It'll probably annoy your mom some, but..."
"Mom's never satisfied with anything I do anyhow, so that wouldn't really be a change. No matter what I do, no matter what Graydon does, it's never enough to make her happy. I think... we just aren't the sort of kids that she wanted." Joyce could feel the tears threatening, and tried to hold them back.
"There's nothing wrong with you, Joyce. And your brother's a decent kid too." There was a hint of a growl in her father's voice.
"Glad that one of my parents thinks so anyhow." She couldn't help the trickle of bitterness in her voice.
Her mother was gone in the morning. Just... gone, with some of her things and one of the cars. None of them could quite believe it. Graydon tried to act like it didn't matter, but Joyce could see it in his eyes, smell the tears that he was refusing to shed. Everything felt off balance after that, like there was a huge chunk of their lives that had been torn away.
Joyce flung herself into the lessons on how to defend herself. She spent hours practicing, burning the movements and reactions into her muscles through hours of aching practice. She refused to let herself mourn for her mother, considering that Julia had never allowed her to be close, to be affectionate. Her mother had never really cared. If she ever had children, she would do better. Weeks blurred into months, and time blurred past.
Everything fell apart after Graydon's graduation. He had packed his things and gone off to college, intending to become a lawyer. She was carefully dating someone that she'd met at a football game, a boy a year older than her from the next town over. But then Her father didn't come back from one of his missions, at least, that was what the official message from his commander read. "Did not return from his last assignment." Her father had to be dead, because wouldn't he have returned otherwise? Her best friend Sarah had seen Kevin kissing some other girl, a brunette with a dark tan, so her boyfriend was cheating on her. Nobody knew anything about her mother, it was as if Julia Anne Chambers-Creed had vanished, the only proof that she'd ever existed her marriage to Victor Creed and their two children.
Joyce couldn't quite handle everything. She flung herself into school, barely aware of how she managed to finish, almost surprised that her grades hadn't suffered. She sold the house, placing half of the money in her account, half in Graydon's, and left town. She tried to loose herself in the hippy lifestyle, listening to music, traveling around in flower painted vans with people calling themselves Moonbeam and Rowan. But she didn't become one of the people constantly using drugs. Oh, she'd tried, but it had left her feeling so sick and miserable that she'd vowed never again. Somehow, the traveling vacation from responsibility allowed her to move past the grief. To be able to think again.
She went to college, having ended up in California, and majored in Art. She lied about her age, dropping fourteen years, and everybody believed it. After all, she didn't look thirty, she barely looked twenty.
While in college, she met Hank Summers. He was charming, handsome, and wanted to help take care of her, to protect her. maybe it would be nice to be taken care of again... Graydon had been content to let her fade from his awareness, going from law to politics. He'd also continued to hold his prejudices, getting involved with some new group that called themselves the 'Friends of Humanity'. Joyce thought they sounded like a bunch of mutant hating basket cases.
And when her marriage fell apart, leaving her a divorced mother of two, she remembered her father's words, how he would gut anyone that hurt her. If only he was still there, if only she could call him and talk to him about the pain that the divorce had left her. But her father was gone. And now, she had to raise her daughters, Buffy and Dawn, alone.
But she could survive this. She was her father's daughter.
end My Messed up Family.