1963-09-01 - I'm Gonna Be High
Summary: Jean wakes up in a different room. Things get weird.
Related: Missing Pieces Plot
Theme Song: None

Shortly after Jean had fallen asleep — albeit restlessly amongst a barrage of tears — someone had slipped into her small cubic cell and injected her with a sedative before transporting her… where she wakes.

The white of the room almost blinds as light ricochets from one surface to the next. But unlike the last room, Jean isn't in some kind of cell. Instead she's strapped tightly to a bed — much like one might see in the psych ward — hooked up to an IV pumping a yellow fluid into her veins. Around her, the bullet proof glass separates her from the people on the other side observing her.

A screen, currently off, lays directly ahead, and Brahm's lullaby plays softly in the background. While Jean can't quite see or hear people on the other side of the glass, the sense that she's being watched is particularly off-putting in this space.


Dreams, they came and went. In here, this place, the dreams were empty. Empty as a life that may or may never be lived, hopes and dreams that vanish as soon as her eyes were opened, the stark white of the room has her eyes squinting and her hand wanting to reach up to rub against. But.. that wasn't the case.

She was still groggy, her head slightly rolling back and forth, focusing and unfocusing with quick and tired breaths and a loud cry to state her discomfort. And there was no one there. No bars. Just herself and a room, remniscint of what she had been through all those years prior. She was expecting them to roll in the carts soon to shock her back to reality.

Or could have this been it?

"Hello?" She quietly calls out, then clears her throat. "HELLO!" Her head turns to look at the yellow fluid that burns into her veins, her knees slightly risen and back again as she tries to work herself free. "Is someone there?!"


There's no reply. Just the tinny sound of an infamous lullaby reflecting through the room and the quiet echo of Jean's voice talking back to her. As she lays there, she can almost feel herself getting lulled into something introspective, and perhaps reflective in a weird place between the waking world and the plain of dreams.

There's a quiet hum, and, if Jean turns her head, she can see the fluid in the IV changing colour — whether a trick of the light or something else, it's impossible to know — from a pale yellow to a deep green, slowly morphing along the colour spectrum as it drip drip drips into her bloodstream.

She can slowly feel a change to her self; her consciousness can feel a release, and for the first time in an age, that which she'd sought to lose for so long hums quietly to her, telling her of its imminent return, and perhaps waiting for some consistent response in turn.

It's then that she can hear someone beyond the glass talking about their weekend plans. Evidently life is not sacred here.


"Please? Just talk to me?" She was incredibly lonely. In fact, she was always lonely. She was the only one in her family that she knew that was just like her. "It's cold.." Her mind wasn't a good place to be. She knew that, so did one other. It was a careful place to tread that had walls built up like a maze, all locked into a tiny little cabin in the middle of the woods of her own imagination. She barely could feel the tips of her finger tips. Were the binds too tight? Her legs felt a little bit too heavy. Did they fall asleep?

It felt almost akin to melting. Every bit of her drained out the soles of her feet, yet oddly enough she heard plans of wanting to visit Florida for the holidays. She wanted to go too. She's never seen Florida. She bets it would be nice.

Maybe Sam could go! And Logan to drive! Scarlett could tell stories from her college books and Illyana could pick out a new hairdo. Maybe Kitty and Piotr could hang in the sidecar.. though, do cars have sidecars? In her dreams it does! Either way, the lot of the X-Men would be on the beach, laughing by the firelight as they splash in the water in space.. wait.. there's water in space? Where was she?


The room echoes back to her again. While it could be lonely, her thoughts thrum and whatever had muted her since her arrival eases further, granting her greater feelings of space along the bed on which she's strapped. If she's melting from the soles of her feet, the world turns on its axis, granting her complete translation from her current self.

The lullaby gets louder, and a voice overlays through the room: masculine, gruff, and onerous. "CLXX report back to the field site." It's weirdly present and absent all at once.

She can feel an increase in her self. Her body and mind can sense the space differently. An image appears — that of a large beast looming in the corner of the room. It has not yet taken notice of her, but it growls ominously as large beads of saliva drip from its carnivorous teeth. Its body, akin to a cross between a cat and an ape lingers larger than life as it stares through the glass.


'And hello.'

That tiny little voice that sends a spike within her brain activity, was like a welcome home from something long missed even though she didn't realize that she did. It was so incredibly lonely. So lonely.

'I know.'

She sniffs quietly, her eyes opening wide to focus, drawing half lidded again as her head lolls to the other side. Her gaze was upon the glass, until the voice wakes her up and makes her jump, almost waiting and eager to see what would happen next. It was like television or a book. Something fantastical calling to her. Someone. Like a charmed prince in those rugged, novels that housewives read. All set to a wonderful backdrop, a wonderful.. calming.. sleepy..


Jean's eyes open again as she focuses upon the behemoth against the corner, narrowing.. and almost feeling her arms pushing up against the bed, feet pressed against the chill of the floor. It was all just a phantom, a dream. "I.. I can talk to you. I can understand you.." She says to the angry beast. "..tell me what's wrong.."


The beast growls back. Speech seems to evade it for a time as it turns to her. The beat of its breath expresses in puffs of visible hot moisture in the air. Puff. Puff. Puff.

Angrily, its nostrils flare at Jean. It tilts its head upwards, and in short order, Jean can see it staring at the control room just ahead. If she looks behind her, she can see herself strapped to the bed.

The control room, complete with five people — including the blonde twins — is a display of buttons, data, and clipboards. A file lays open along the desk. Jean Grey, #170 it reads at the top. A man in a lab coat sits and scribbles notes.

The beast growls again before it hits against the bullet proof glass. This doesn't get the attention of the others on the opposite side.


Curious. Jean lifts her hands. She could almost see through them. She felt weightless, almost as if she could fly from the ceiling to go home. Home.. that's where she was going right? Home.. where was that anyways? The Anndale.. or.. Hudson.. or.. W.. wait..

Her head tilts towards the control room, and with a slow turn around she could see herself. She looked worse than before, although seemingly relaxed. Her eyes were pointed towards the ceiling, her toes occasionally twitched, her chest rose and fell with the steady cadence of breath. Did she see her lips move? Was that a trick?

And then the room again, those people.. those girls.. were they doing this to her? The knock against the glass rouses her from her thoughts as she gives a slight shake of her head. "You can't get out that way. Try the door."

Her hand instinctively reaches out to press against the glass, which soon trembles and vibrates as if the sound itself manifested within her hands. Slowly, it collapses upon itself; shattering at first outwards, creating a tunnel that hangs within the air soon turned inwards. Tiny little cracks form in the shards, dispersing them into glitter, which soon rains down upon the ground near their feet. "Or not."

'Wake up.' The voice says. 'You need to wake up.'

Jean ignores it, then holds a hand out towards the beast. "Shall we?"


The beast grunts and groans and takes the offered hand. Its furry feel in her grip grants a measure of reassurance, even with its monstrous appearance. Upon closer inspection, Jean can see its fur isn't black as first blush would've considered, but instead rests as a brilliant indigo, alight with flecks of purple as it moves within and through the white light.

The collapsed glass seems to receive a reaction to those in mission control, causing people to flip through the clipboards ad nauseum, scribbling notes that etch over both pen and Jean's mind.

Jean Grey seems terribly unstable

Jean Grey will never function with others

Jean Grey can never hope to find peace

Each of the statements feels present and distant like some trumped up memory from an age long gone.

The beast and Jean happily make their escape out of the white room into whatever adventure lays behind the first door.


ROLL: Jean +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 8


ROLL: Jean +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 71


ROLL: Jean +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 3


Where The Wild Things Are.

The little woman and the beast march hand in hand into the darkness of the rooms.. where there was nothing save the blackness that reaches as far as thine eyes could see. But up ahead, a light begins to form. Slow.. building at first..

Jean Grey seems terribly unstable.
Jean Grey will never function with others.
Jean Grey can never hope to find peace.

The words begin to glow in the darkness, which was soon popped one by one, the sound almost akin to a drop of water touching upon an ocean. Echoing. Near thundering. But it was brief in which that Jean pays it no mind, even though it shakes her resolve.

But is this her resolve? To be strong for the sake of others? In the background a laugh could be heard. Laughter that was almost made in desperation to keep her from crying.

The white light was seen again in a brief instant; soon giving way to a forested area. The outer edges itself seem black but the grass beneath her feet was soft. There was a lot of room to run around, but what took up the space in the middle of this supposed forested area was a cabin. A cabin with windows that were blown out and cracked. A cabin that seemed to tilt at an odd angle to the right. A cabin that looks as if it were made out of Ticonderoga pencils unsharpened and ready for use. A cabin who's doors remained open, for whatever was inside finally stepped out in which was lit aflame out of pure, youthful rage.

The figure itself retains Jean's shape. Through the fire it has her face. Through the fire it has her blood red hair, but the hair itself was longer, tapering out with flames that drip towards the ground as she begins to stalk forward.


The laughter echoes and resounds across the landscape like claps of thunder against the strange sky. Its bitterness could burn like frost in winter air. But then nothing about the air feels frosty.

Fire melts the vision, and the hell-mouth that consumes the forest thickens, drawing in trees, grass, and even the sky itself into a vast pit of all-consuming abyss. The hellacious smell of burnt offerings to the fire goddess consume all sense, yet her desires will not be abetted.

The beast remains behind Jean, well within her care should she continue to do so. It points irritably to the sky overhead.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Water spatters on the fire below. Slowly. The leaky faucet of the world at large threatens to generate steam instead of smoke. Rain instead of fire.

But the rain itself sputters along Jean's consciousness. She can almost feel moisture draw around her — forming along her brow.


"It's not what it looks like." Jean says.
'Then what is this?' The figure gestures around. Even a little smoke trails upon her shoulder as the water begins to hit.
"I need to protect it."
'That thing?!' The figure nearly raises her voice, and that loudness within her voice resounds the within the cosmos. Past. Present. Future. It comes together in that moment in a sea of voices, the sea of voices that speak to her and the beast now.
"Yes! There's nothing wrong with that!" Jean implores.
'It is when you fail to protect yourself!' It snaps back.

Jean takes a step back, her hand reaching around to tug the larger beast behind her. She aimed to defend the monster with her entire being against one who was so much like herself. Could be herself. Would be herself. Was herself. But not.

"What would you have me do?!" She cries out. "I tried everything! I did all I could to save her and she still left! I begged, I pleaded. I -held- on! I held her life in my hands and she still.." She wasn't squeezing the beasts hand, she was grasping against the air so hard that her nails cut into her palms. Or did they? Why did her hands hurt?

'And I heard you.' The figure said, taking those few steps forward. 'I hear you.' It reassures.
"But you're never nice to me." Jean murmurs, almost like a little child.
'It's because I don't understand. Just take my hand Jean. Let's save ourselves for once. Be selfish. Be life.'


The beast growls again, but complies as she tugs at it. There's something oddly vulnerable about it despite its size. Its cumbersome posture, ragged appearance, and general slovenly unkempt nature juxtaposed with the brilliant indigo of its fur make it nearly pitiable. Or, perhaps, weirdly relatable.

The beautiful monster sidles up to Jean Grey, determined to stay friends. And even in its size, its vulnerability seems oddly apparent. Amongst the flames, dripping, and impending storm, the ape-cat stands little chance of survival. It wanted out as much as Jean did.

Through the smoke in the distance, a face begins to bubble — forming like some grand cloud that parts ways in the bit of wind that still traverses the forest. The face is familiar to Jean, known, and as the wind moves it becomes easier to see in the torrent that blows East.


Jean's hand reaches out towards the flame figure. It was a quick, anti-climatic joining. For as soon as their fingers touch the figure all but fades, save for the fire that now burns within Jean's eyes. It was quick. Quiet. But one could notice a change. The heat surrounding Jean and the Beast which lasts for three seconds longer than it should have..

There was an inhale of a breath.. one that happens in this intrepid dream land.. and one in the real. And even in the real world, her head tilts to the side as if she could see the face live and in full color.. while in the dream itself, Jean sees the face in the smoke and gives off a little frown.

'Curious one, aren't you.'
"Life is full of them." Jean confidently replies, taking a slight step away to reach a hand out towards the beast, grasping it's hand again to tug it along. "Come pretty.." She says quietly, "..I think we were meant to go this way.."
'You were also meant to wake up.' The voice looms.
"Was I? Or.. can I just sleep forever and never have to worry about these worldly things.." She sounded defeated, sad.. but even in that defeat her protection and care went towards the animal whos hand she holds. "You saw it.. I'll never find peace. I don't think I've ever had a chance."


The beast clings to Jean, hand grasping confidently at the redhead. It growls something low and indiscernible, but Jean can understand its meaning. They lie. There's something immutable about the observation. The beast will not relent on it. The lie is too obvious.

There's an odd change in the world as it spins on its own axis, a full tilt from one axis to the other in a half-rotation. The beast clamours as he grasps Jean to help her from falling on her face.

"CLXX report to the field site," a voice repeats.

The beast growls. Distrust seems to abound in this particular dreamscape. The smoke builds again, pushing even the face that had emerged into something indecipherable. An echo trails through the land, heralding some kind of change in Jean's world.


CONTINUED IN: As a Kite By Then

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