Not Mine

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: First, this is based soley on movie canon. Second, I didn't mean to write this. Really. It was a drive by bunny. One minute, nothing. Then...bam! Single page introspective fic.

Everyone in our small but growing team has their place. The archetype that they fill, to make everything work smoothly. Storm is the goddess. Larger than life, awe inspiring at the height of her power, she seems to hold the world in her palm. Professor Xavier is the mastermind. The founder and the inspiration, father to us all, in a way. Jean is the human one. Appearing beautiful but normal, she is our link to the rest of the world. Logan believes himself to be the rebel, the one who doesn't quite fit the team. Hah. That is his place in the team. As much as it irritates me, he stirs things up. Forces us to think, to feel. He makes us make mistakes, but how else are we supposed to learn?

Me? I'm the fearless leader. The guiding hand. The heir to the throne, so to speak. Always calm, always in control, always thinking. It's my job to make sure the team stays balanced. And I do it damn well.

Sometimes the others hate me. I think Logan always hates me, but that's in the misfit's job description. Responsibility #1 - defy authority. Sometimes they love me, particularly Jean. Of course, that's in her job description. It doesn't really matter which of the two emotions surfaces. Either will bind the team together strongly. They are each other's allies. I'm the adversary.

I'm reasonably certain each of them believes they understand the demands of the role I fill. I make sure of that. A leader you don't understand is a leader you're not sure you want to follow. Who knows what their real objectives could be? When you see clearly, you don't look any closer.

All of which adds up to the fact that I am very, very alone.

Not that I mind. There's a certain safety in loneliness. There's freedom there as well. With only yourself, there are no roles to fill.

When my power first manifested itself, it didn't take me long to figure out that I could only shut it off by closing my eyes. Soon after that I realized that no matter how long I kept my eyes closed, it wasn't going to stay off when I opened them. So I kept them shut. For two very long months. At the time, I felt like not being able to see people meant that they weren't there. Weren't real. I felt abandoned, and I was certain that if only I could open my eyes, I'd become a part of the world again.

Eventually Charles found me, and I did open my eyes. But instead of sinking back into life, it was like I'd grown a hundred feet tall. Everything was distant. Of course, it wasn't me that had grown. It was everyone else that had drawn back. I saw red, in more ways than one.

It was, predictably, the professor that got through to me. He gave me my vision, and then he gave me a vision. He offered me a place, and I found a calling.

If I sit with my eyes closed for hours on end, trying to recapture the hope that haunted those two months, the hope that seeing would mean belonging, it's not myself that I do it for. It's all those other mutants out there, trying to hold back their gifts with hope. And if, when I open my eyes, I feel an echo of the bitterness I felt years ago, it's their bitterness. Their loss.

Not mine.