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24 April 2006 @ 11:41 pm
"Tempered"; challenge #12 - apology; Jean, Scott, Phoenix.  
Title: Tempered
Universe: The Animated Series. Set during The Phoenix Saga.
Challenge: #12 - Apology
Characters: Jean, Scott, The Phoenix.
Wordcount: 440 words.


When Jean speaks of the Phoenix, she speaks in third person. She knows she is not the Phoenix, but she is not seperate from the Phoenix, either. Her telepathy has become more forceful, more finely-tuned since the Phoenix's coming. She is suddenly so much more aware of feelings and emotions without having to dig for them. She does not have to intrude on conscious thought any longer, she simply sees love and pain radiate out from bodies like auras. Or like heat.

It is easier to speak with the Phoenix's voice, especially to Scott. When she lets the Phoenix decide for her, Jean can forget the squeeze of her heart at mention of his name. When the Phoenix speaks words she herself would not say, she can convince herself this is not her fault. She is not to blame for Scott's hurt.

She is not the Phoenix, after all.

Jean was prepared to share her life with Scott, to sacrifice a singular dream for a shared one. They both believed in Xavier's cause. Phoenix believes in nothing, she simply exists. She serves a purpose, but she is no slave to obligation. It is far beyond that. She extends around and inside and beyond simple ideas like duty and burden. Beyond the idea of love between two creatures who share a lifetime so short compared to eternal rebirth. It matters not to Phoenix whether Scott is content or in pain.

The words come from her own mouth, but they are not of Jean's making. They bypass her mind entirely, and even with her strength of mind and new purpose, she lets them. This power is too compelling, and the Phoenix corrupts her mind, whispers to her to nurture it. Great power and skill, all hers for the taking and having and controlling. She feels it like a child in her belly, growing slowly but surely, creating a warm fuzziness around itself until she cannot think of it other than in fondness. The glow that surrounds her is not entirely comprised of the Phoenix's flame.

Jean does not have the strength to resist the temptation. Great power such as this is a risk; it always attracts danger. But if it were not tempting, no-one would ever let themselves become succeptible to it. She feels Scott's hurt at the words, that she must do things alone, away from him, without his help. It goes unsaid that he will be useless to her. But somehow the hurt is dimmed, her heart shielded from it by fire. She rises up in the midst of flames. She makes no apologies for what she has become.

Neva: Irene and Roguenevacaruso on April 24th, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC)
Nicely done. The idea of Jean surrendering to the Phoenix is so tense and scary and tragic.
future queen of the world. groupies welcome!: suicidegirls; jetta jemothy on April 25th, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) I asked a friend to read it over and she very critically pointed out to me I focus on the dark side of everything too much, lol.
penknife: jeanpenknife on April 25th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
Mmm, I like this, particularly the sense of the Phoenix as a real temptation to Jean and the image of emotions radiating out like heat.

As an aside, I have to admit that the small type is really hard for me to read. I'm not saying this as any kind of official mod thing -- you're free to format your posts however you want, as long as you include the required headers -- but just to mention that it can be hard on the eyes, especially for those of us on the other side of thirty. :-)
future queen of the world. groupies welcome!: tbm; hand drawingemothy on April 25th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much!

As for the font, I absolutely understand what you're saying; it's probably because I have such a small screen resolution that it doesn't seem so tiny to me, but I know most people's are larger. In future in this comm I think I'll leave the font size unformatted so it's easier on everyone :)
Mark Clark: pic#53560029mark_clark on February 27th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
I have always wondered what Jean felt when she left everyone behind when she left as Phoenix, especially Scott. You really showed both sides of Jean here, the one that is herself and the Phoenix side. Awesome job.