Her dreams are not susceptible to spells or words of encouragement.
She finds herself at sixteen, curled up in a bathtub, shivering and shaking, the pain so overwhelming that screaming is beyond her. She’s dizzy, able to hear a storm outside, banging and rattling the windows, and tears running down her face. The smell of ammonia, blood, and something foul she can’t name fill her nose. The tub sides dig into her fingers as she pushes, knowing that she can’t stop, she can’t stop. The cry of a baby
pierces the air. She gasps, sobs, and presses her face against the kitchen tile. Her son is wailing, and she feels bone tired. No one is here: not Ororo, not Logan, not Xavier, not Scott. Madelyne is the only one here, cradling her son against her, the one human in a group of mutants. They have lives to save -- and she does not.
The only person who needs her in this moment is wailing against her breast: Nathan.
“Nathan, Nathan,” Madelyne sobs, fingers running through his sparse hair. His little hand strokes her cheek
his eyes so wide in his face. Except it isn’t in love, or awe. No, her son -- her little Scottie -- is afraid of her.
“Scottie?” She asks, her voice soft. “Scottie, what’s wrong?”
He looks beyond her: into the shadows. “I don’t like it, Mommy.” He whispers, urgent and afraid. “Mommy, it’s scaring me.”
Madelyne looks over her shoulder
and into the eyes of her mother. Her hand is inches away from the bookshelf, fearing her response.
“Why are you having second thoughts?” Karen’s voice is cool, tempered to a stranger’s ear. To Molly, however, it’s a warning sign. “You’re too young to keep it. You aren’t even on schedule to graduate anymore.”
On schedule. Her stomach turns. “I- I just read stuff,” Molly lies, “it makes me nervous about those other families.”What if they hurt him?”
Karen’s mouth twists in displeasure
as thunder and lightning strike. She tries not to hate Scott, tries her damndest to love him, to want him, to be with him. She tries so hard to be a good wife, a good mother.
But Scott is fighting Storm. Scott walked away from her, Scott wants so badly to be a leader, and not to be a father.
All for what? For people who would call him a mutie? For people who would gladly deny that he was of any help, who wouldn’t even say hello to him or open businesses to him or even appreciate their meaningless lives being saved.
Nathan cries in her arms
and her fingers caress her son’s hair, eyes focused forward, hatred coursing through her veins. She knows, she understands now exactly how Madea felt on the island. She knows why she would kill the children she so loved when the man who had set the sun in her world left.
Nathan cries and cries, and Maddy can almost taste the satisfaction when Scott sees him dead in her arms. To have this child he so wanted from her, the child they had done so much to make, cold
greets her fingers when she touches the pod. Her face replicated over and over and over and over. All of the version of hers sleeping, machines humming, and the knowledge, the reality sinking in.
Sinister smiles behind her. She is his creation. His perfect plan, fortuitous.
seeps into her again and again the more she thinks about it, the more that she contends with it. Her foot presses the gas pedal, the car glides forward, the engine roars.
She wanted her son. She wanted Teddy.
All she had wanted was Teddy, to be a mother.
And she didn’t have him. She never would have him ever again, as long as she lived.
The car engine roars. The sound drowns out everything
around her, leaving just herself in the dark. The tears roll down her cheeks without prompting, and she stays huddled in the dark, in the bushes wishing that things could be different, that she could unread what she knew now.
Her mother’s name, listed there. Her mother, claiming her son for her own. Giving him away to a family she’d never meet, to a place she’d never know.
Everything taken from her, everything she wanted.
Sirens wail. She knows that people -- that Adam, that Lainey, that Callie -- were looking for her. Molly doesn’t want to be found. She wants to nurse her grief, her rage fully.
seeps into her heavy limbs, looking up not at her face, but Jean Grey’s. It’s always been Jean Grey’s face -- always her body, her womb, her lover, her husband, her son. It’s always been about Jean Grey.
(it hasn’t it hasn’t she loves you doesn’t she you showed her yourself she loves you she loves you)
Jean’s fingers touch her skin; they are like a flame to her, the warmth, the life inside of her. She was beautiful, the goddess, and Madelyne Pryor was a joke, a broodmare anod thing else. Madelyne takes a rattling breath
and sobs into the pillow, waking up in Arthur’s arms, in bed, trying to regain her composure. Trying to stop the anger, the fury, the fear that eats and eats and eats at her. The memories, the full swath of it tearing inside of her, ripping open old wounds over and over again.
She tries to make it stop. She tries so hard to quell each and every emotion, but the more she thinks, the more afraid she gets. Afraid of a perfect plan coming to bloom in nine months, afraid of hands ripping her child from her arms, of betrayal over and over and over again.