WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN:
Perhaps that is the way that the Shi'ar had gotten to them all. Provided scenarios without really knowing what lies beneath. Without really knowing the dreams and hopes, but only the lines upon the screen which made their brains flare to life. Which made their blood pressures rise and fall to the tune of their heartbeats and the twisting of dials. What kept them asleep, the medicine pumping through their veins or the electricity that would shock them back to sleep..
It was a wonder that they weren't dead yet.
Perhaps it was a longing wish upon her part. The days that pass were an endless summer, but not too hot. The perfect temperature in which sundresses are worn, where the sun beats down upon the shoulders and quelled by an easy breeze that flows through that forever afternoon. On the boat, in which Sam Guthrie rowed, Jean settled in behind him.
The destination, an abandoned island… or what would have been if it were allowed to grow, but yet there was still enough room to run around in the forested like area, fields littered with little daisies and dandelions, where little wisps of light were at play due to the flowers that spread their seeds along the grass. That was where Sam Guthrie and Jean Grey often held their dates. A little slice of heaven away from the home they already made.
With the blanket spread out and the food already laid upon the plates, Jean settles in with a great sigh, not even feeling the need to eat, just content to soak up the suns rays even though her skin doesn't burn. Her eyes close, falling into that little bit of twilighted meditation she always does before they both fall into that usual banter that couples do…
Sam was happy to do the manual labour; it'd been his way all his life, and he wasn't about to change now. He rowed while Jean sat, watching the young woman happily, occasionally glancing behind him to ensure the boat was still on course, and correcting as needed. Once they had reached the shore, it was Sam who jumped out first, to pull the small craft further up onto the beach so that Jean could hop out without fear of stepping in the water unless she wished to.
The picnic set, Sam settles on the blanket next to Jean, a hand reaching out to grasp her own as he leans back. "We should get away like this more of'n, Jeannie. Away from everyone, everythin'.. all our troubles left behind. Nobody bothers us out here," he comments idly, looking up at the clear sky. "Ah know it hasn't been long.. but Ah missed this," he says, letting out a happy sigh.
That was wrong. In fact, everything felt wrong. But in the same vein, everything felt right. Jean allowed the scenario to play out, for it really wasn't her choice. She was under the thrall of the Shi'ar, the ship that hoovered above.. across the stars, heading to their final destinations..
"I know. It's probably only a week away from our wedding, and in truth, I really don't want a big wedding. I just want something small. Me, you, the preacher. No one else that doesn't need to be there." She grins a little, her hand squeezing his tightly. "I'd sometimes wish that we could live a life in seclusion, just us. No one else around us. No troubles of the world. Just nothing but happiness."
"Ah know, Jeannie," Sam replies, returning that little squeeze with one of his own. "But you know mah family.. small weddin's not really in their vocabulary, y'know?" He gives the woman, his bride-to-be, a warm smile. "We're pretty lucky mah Ma's not makin' it a bigger event than it already is.. but Ah promise, Jeannie. Ah'm not gonna let anythin' interrupt the honeymoon. Just me 'n you. Ah'll blast anyone who tries to get in our way," he jokes, though it's not really a joke. "You put any more though into where y'want to go? Th' sky's th' limit," he says, meaning it literally.
"I could tell them that it is. I could make them forget us. In fact, I could make the whole world forget us.." She smiles sadly, then slowly releases his hand, rolling over to her side. "You're so consumed by your family. It's always your family. It's never me. What's going to happen when we have our own family? Are you going to get up and leave? Be at their beck and call? You have so many other brothers and sisters who could take up the slack to take care of your mother.."
This bothered her to say.
Why was she saying this?
The sheer feeling of it all, it felt wrong.
There was laughter there as the scene itself blares across the screen, as Jean grows increasingly angry..
"You're a loser, Sam! A goddamned loser who can't stand up to his goddamned family because he killed his own.. 'PAW PAW'.."
What the hell? Sam's expression turns from happiness to sadness quickly as Jean tears into him emotionally, and he pulls his hand away from her. And then, of all things, she brings up his father. Not just brings up, but belittles. And anger flashes across his features. It was rare, Sam Guthrie showing anger, but it had been known to happen. "Ah can stand up to ANYONE, Jean. EVEN YOU." And he stands, moving slowly away from the woman, while around him the air starts to boil and spark the first signs of his mutant 'blast field'. "What th' hell do you even know about FAMILY, Jean? Yours dropped y' in a mental hospital and forgot you existed! Mah family loves me, and Ah love them. And Ah thought you understood. Ah thought you'd be PART of mah family.. thought Ah could help you find a place t' belong."
Jean stands just as he does, the fire flame licking from her arms as she clenches her fists tight. She knew well enough to take a step back from the blanket to not light the entire island aflame.. but then again.. that's what she'll do, right?
"I know more about family! More enough to know that I'm not their whipping boy! More enough to know that I won't kill my goddamned father!" She spat it back.
It hurts. The pain in her chest hurts. The binds on her hands hurt even more, she wanted to hold him…
"I don't want to be apart of your backwoods hick family anymore! I hate you Sam Guthrie! I hate you to hell and back and I hope you die!"
"YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, JEAN GREY," Sam screams back at her, flames of his own building around him as his anger escalates. "You've never been loyal to anyone! Ah left and you jumped inta bed with th' next man who made eyes at you. AH LOVED YOU, 'n you couldn't wait a few months for me? You don't know the FIRST THING about family. Family doesn't just turn on you, abandon you, no matter what you are! You're a MONSTER, Jean Grey. That thing in your head? The Phoenix? You know it's not real, right? It's just.. you. The worst part of you. Ah never thought you'd let it take over. But here you are." He pauses, and glares, the blast field around him building up even stronger. "Ah hate you. You're not mah family any more."
'We should probably stop this simulation, somethings going wrong with her scans.' - Spoken in Shi'ar.
'Why? She's just a lesser being. The product won't be damaged if we..'
"YOU LEFT ME WITHOUT A WORD SAM! I DIDN'T JUMP INTO BED WITH ANYONE! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! I WAITED FOR YOU! I LOVED ONLY YOU! YOU PROPOSED AND THEN LEFT ME!"
'No, I think we should stop this one. We're up to the highest number. Any more and we're going to damage the product!' - Spoken in Shi'ar.
'She doesn't need a brain to work! Look at that oth—..'
"I will end you Sam Guthrie! I will show you what a monster can do!"
The fire that surrounds her begins to blaze as the ribbons of the sundress fades, silk coating her body and wrapping her within a lovers embrace as the sigil of the Phoenix emblazons gold across her chest. Her eyes fade to white as she slowly begins to lift within the air, her fingers curling like talons ready to snatch the life from the victim that stands before her.
"I am fire.."
'SOUND THE ALARM!' - Screamed in Shi'ar.
"…incarnate! You will know me and.."
'The others are waking up!'
"YOU CAN'T HURT ME JEAN," Sam screams back, and his blast field flares around him at full strength just before he rockets through the air toward her. "You never loved me. You just used me.. just like you use ever'body! NO MORE!" He barrels toward her, meaning to blast straight through her and that abomination she calls the Phoenix as she flares fire and death around her.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sam Guthrie is having the worst dream of his life. Cold sweats and all.