A new mutant arises in New York that reveals a secret about Jean Grey and her family that will change her life forever. And it all centers around a familiar looking girl named Madelyn Pryor.
Chapter 2: Revelation
The drive home for Jean was the longest in recent memory. Every mile they went felt like an eternity, but there was no going back now. She had to see her family. She had to know what was going on. All the while, her mind wanted aimlessly, pondering what could possibly get her mom so emotional.
Sitting beside her, Scott drove without saying a word. He could tell that Jean was lost in thought. He could feel her inner conflict through their psychic link. Yet he didn't say anything. She had a lot on her mind and he could tell she just needed to be alone with her thoughts.
'What could it be?' she wondered, 'My mom is a lot of things, but she's not an emotional wreck. What could possibly make her so upset?'
Watching the trees fly by under the night sky, Jean thought about all the possibilities. From cancer to a death in the family, anything was possible. She didn't even want to consider some of them, but she couldn't turn her mind off. And she knew there was only one way to find out.
Finally, they entered the state of Connecticut, Jean Grey's home state. They were getting closer, but Jean was getting more anxious. Her heart was pounding, her legs were weak, and her hands were shaking. She tried to focus her attention on the passing trees, but nothing could make her forget.
"Jean?" said Scott, breaking his silence, "Are you going to be okay?"
Casting her lover a conflicted look, Jean lowered her head in uncertainty.
"I don't know."
"Well we're almost there," he told her softly, "It'll be okay."
"How do you know?" she said skeptically.
"I just have faith," he replied with a smile, "You're the strongest person I know, Jean. I'm sure that whatever your mom has to say, you'll get through it."
Her demeanor easing somewhat, Jean managed a smile as well, taking his hand in hers and giving it a firm squeeze.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Slim."
"Hey, what are boyfriends for?" he said warmly, "I promise you I'll be by your side every step of the way."
"I know you will," she said, leaning into his warmth, "You always are."
With renewed confidence, Jean pushed aside her anxiety and focused on the challenge that lay before her. The cries of her mother still echoed strongly in her mind as they neared her hometown. She wasn't sure what would happen, but she was going to find out soon enough.
It was late at night when they drove into Jean's old neighborhood. It hadn't changed much since the last time they were here, still the same upper class world that Jean had been privileged enough to be grow up in. And as they pulled into the driveway of her home, the young redhead took a deep breath in preparation for what she was about to face.
"Well...here we are," said Scott, turning off the engine, "Do you need a minute or two?"
Jean shook her head, undoing her seatbelt and stepping out under her own power.
"No. Let's go, Scott. I have to see what this is all about."
Following his girlfriend up to the door, Jean nervously rang the doorbell. Hugging her shoulders, she tried to stay strong. Through her telepathy, she could sense her family inside and she was picking up a lot of intense emotion. They weren't sad or painful, but they were very strong. And she had to find out what was causing all this.
After a couple of minutes, the door opened and Jean's father greeted them.
"Jean," he said, taking his daughter into his arms, "You made it."
Hugging her tighter than usual, Jean hugged back, trying to hold off her emotions.
"I came as soon as mom called," she told him, "What's going on, Daddy? Is everything okay?"
A conflicted look formed on the older man's face. He clearly knew something that Jean didn't. Normally he never kept secrets from his girls, but this was just beyond anything he had ever imagined. And he didn't want to tell her here. Chances were it would be better if she heard it from the source.
"Why don't you come in, dear?" he said, leading her inside, "Scott, I think you should come too."
"Okay sir," said Scott respectfully, "Is there anything I can do?"
"Just be here for moral support," he told him, "I have a feeling we'll need it after you hear this."
Jean swallowed nervously at those words. Taking Scott's hand, they followed John Grey into the living room where her mother, her sister, and a middle aged man in a brown suit she had never seen before were sitting on the couch. Her mother looked distraught and her sister looked as though she was in shock. And Jean was quick to come to their aid.
"Mom? Sara?" she asked them.
"Jean," said her mother, getting up and embracing her daughter, "I'm glad you're here."
Like her father, Elaine Grey hugged her daughter more tightly than usual, further adding fuel to the mystery. The man in the suit remained indifferent to it all, but if she wasn't mistaken, he was looking at her somewhat strangely.
"What's this about? Is everything alright?" asked Jean, looking at her family with a concerned look.
John and Elaine exchanged worried glances. Sara also didn't look too enthused either. She still had a look of shock on her face, seeming to be at a loss for words. But now that Jean was here, there was no going back.
"Honey," said John, "I think you'd better sit down."
"Sit down?" said Jean, starting to get freaked out.
"Yes, I believe I should take it from here," said the man in the suit as he stood up, his eyes still fixated on Jean for some reason.
"And who are you?" asked Scott suspiciously.
Reaching into his pocket, the man pulled out a badge.
"My name is Detective Stanley Claremont. I'm a private investigator from Boston. And I've been working a very big case for the past year for several major clients. But recently, I've come across some rather startling revelations concerning you."
"Me?" said Jean.
Reaching into his pocket again, he pulled out another picture. It looked like a mug shot, depicting a balding man in his mid fifties. To Jean, he looked a little creepy. And as she gazed at the image, she got a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach.
"Do you know this man?" he asked, letting her take the picture.
"I...no, I don't."
"Well I'm not surprised. His name is Doctor Greg Morrison. He's been a pediatrician for over 30 years. He's worked at several hospitals, lectured at Princeton, and was even sponsored by the Red Cross at one point."
"So what's he got to do with Jean?" asked Scott.
"He was the doctor I went to when I was pregnant with you," answered Elaine, her tone very strained.
Jean cast her mother a surprised look, sensing some very intense emotion. She wanted to probe further, but something within held her back, not wanting to find out like this.
"He handled everything," added John, seeing that his wife couldn't go on, "Her ultrasound, checkups, her delivery...the whole works."
"But that's not all, is there?" said Jean, growing increasingly frustrated, "Just tell me already!"
"He's the man I've been investigating," said Claremont, "He also happens to be awaiting federal charges of corruption, bribery, and mal-practice."
Jean's stomach sank upon hearing that. But in the back her mind, she knew there was more.
"I hope you ate a light lunch because what this guy has done will make you puke. Tell me, have you ever heard of the rich orphan market?"
"No. What's that?" asked Jean, her face contorting at such a name.
"It's an oxymoron, I know. But it's a real phenomenon and the good Doctor Morrison here is a key player. You see, when a child is put up for adoption, prospective parents can be very selective about the kind of kid they choose. Naturally, they want one that isn't sick, deformed, or damaged so to speak. But as you can probably guess, orphans like that can be a commodity when most are born from low income families."
"I'm not following," said Scott.
"Okay then picture this..." elaborated Detective Claremont, "You're a rich family who wants to adopt, but everywhere you look there are a bunch of sick kids you're not equipped to deal with. You demand a normal, healthy child to raise and love as if it were your own without the bells and whistles. And economics dictate that when there is demand for something, someone is going to try to supply it one way or another."
A heavy silence fell over the room as Jean's mother bowed her head in remorse. Having heard this before, she knew where it led and Jean could sense the turmoil coming off her. But that made what this man had to say all the more important.
"For some corrupt officials, the chance to make good money from rich families looking for a baby is too much to pass up. And even for a well paid doctor, it's hard to resist. So from time to time, when a healthy soon-to-be mother comes along, he'll keep watch on her in case the chance arises to make their move."
"Chance?" said Jean, growing more confused, "What kind of chance?"
From here, the detective's glance grew more serious as he gazed down at the young woman with an ominous look.
"A chance to get a healthy kid to a family willing to pay for it," he said, fixated on Jean's face, "And the best chance anybody in this racket can ask for is through a little technique known as the twin deception."
Jean's face paled at the sound of that word. She didn't know what it implied, but she didn't like the sound of it. And from here, Jean's mother took over.
"When I was pregnant, I only knew as much as Doctor Morrison told me," sobbed Elaine, "I had no idea that...I just..."
But she devolved into a fit of sobs, collapsing into her husband's arms. Detective Claremont remained indifferent to it all, showing little emotion. What Elaine couldn't finish, he could. And the cold hard truth was ready to come out.
"Morrison lied," he told Jean bluntly, "When you were born, you were not alone. You were delivered via caesarian section and in that time, you were separated from another baby. That baby, Jean Grey, was your sister...your twin sister."
Jean felt like she had just been dropped from a plane. The very foundation of her existence had just been rocked to its core. Those two words, 'twin sister,' changed the very world she knew.
Grabbing hold of Scott's hand and holding it firmly, she sat there in a trance, not knowing what to make of this. But they weren't done yet. From his pocket, Detective Claremont took out a picture of a woman who looked exactly like Jean. It confirmed what they didn't want to believe.
"Her name is Madelyn Pryor," he told her, letting her look at the picture, "She was adopted by a loving couple rich from the real estate business. They never knew that their daughter was separated from her mother at birth. Morrison made a handsome profit from social services. You never knew. The Pryors never knew. And until today, Madelyn never knew."
Looking at the picture, Jean shook her head in disbelief. It was like looking at a picture of herself. It was just impossible. She couldn't believe it. She had a twin sister that she had been separated from. A part of her family had been hidden her whole life. Her mind just didn't know how to process it.
Scott was just as amazed. The picture was uncanny, yet unmistakable. It was an amazing story, yet convincing enough to be true.
"You...you met her?" said Jean, her voice weak from the shock.
"She was hospitalized a few days ago," he explained, "Some kind of seizure they say, but I'm not so sure."
"Not sure?" questioned Scott.
"You're a mutant, are you not Ms Grey?" inquired the detective.
"I uh..." she stammered, "Yes."
"And if my high school biology knowledge serves me right, identical twins share the same genetic code, do they not?"
Jean looked back at Scott with a bewildered look. This was all so much to take in. Claremont knew that, but he had more. After all, it was his job to find the truth and tell it to the people that mattered. And nobody deserved to know more than this girl.
"Where is she?" asked Jean, looking back up at the middle aged man with a serious look.
"I had a feeling you'd want to know," he said with a sigh, "I've got the address of the hospital. It's in Boston. But before I give it to you, answer me this...do you really want to bring back a piece of your life that you weren't aware of before this moment?"
Looking back at her family and her boyfriend, Jean Grey had a tough decision to make. This was a big change for her. Her life would never be the same with this knowledge. But deep down, she knew she had to see this through. After many years of living with one greedy doctor's lies, it was time to make up for what she had lost.
"Yes. I have to meet her," said Jean strongly, "Where is she? Where is my sister?"
With a deep sigh, Detective Claremont gave her a slip of paper with a fateful address. There was no going back now. The truth was out and it was time to face it.
"I'll take you," he told her, "After all, you're 19 years overdue. But as the old saying goes...better late than never."
After giving her family many hugs goodbye, Jean and Scott were off to meet her long lost sister. Detective Claremont gave Jean's family a list of numbers to call in order to reach him and his office so they could be a part of this investigation. And if Dr. Morrison was going to pay, it was only proper that the people he had hurt help.
Jean's mother assured her that they'd meet up with the Pryors later, but first they had to see for themselves this long lost member of the Grey family. It was an odd feeling for Jean, knowing she had an identical twin. But she didn't care about the details. She just had to see for herself.
In Scott's car, they followed Detective Claremont along the highway towards Boston. Jean was distant the whole time, leaving Scott to sit and worry. He could feel how conflicted she was through their link. But he kept his silence for as long as he could bear it.
"Jean?" he asked, casting her a concerned look, "Babe, are you going to be okay?"
Her eyes remained fixated on the passing trees, a million conflicted thoughts coursing through her mind.
"I don't know," she said, shaking her head and sobbing, "All this time...I've had a twin sister out there that was taken from me at birth."
"Yeah, it's a lot to take in, I know," said Scott empathically, "Almost as tough as learning that your brother is alive after thinking he died ten years ago."
Looking back over at her lover, Jean affectionately took his hand. As crazy as this was, Scott had a good idea of what she was going through. And in her current state, that meant a lot to her.
"Our lives are insane," she mused.
"Certifiably demented," said Scott in agreement.
"I just...I don't know what to think anymore. I mean, if I meet this girl, what do I say? 'Hi, my name is Jean and I'm your long lost twin sister?'"
"I can't say I know. But she's still family, isn't she? Isn't that enough?"
Jean let out a deep sigh, diverting her gaze back out towards the passing landscape.
"Jean, I know it's not easy having your world shaken like this," said Scott softly, "But when it happens, you can't change it. You can either reject it or accept it. I may not be able to be in your shoes. But I can still be by your side."
Touched by his words, Jean smiled at her lover. As hard as this was, at least she wouldn't have to do it alone. Scott would be by her side as he had through so many difficult times. And whatever came of it, they would face together.
"Thank you, Scott," she said, her voice strained with emotion.
"Anytime Red," he replied, casting her a warm smile.
"How much further?"
"Not much. We'll be there soon enough. Just stay calm and take it easy. You've got a twin sister to meet."
The end of the road came all too soon for Jean Grey. The rest of the drive was a big blur. She couldn't stop thinking about how she would do this. It wasn't like there was a trick to meeting a long lost sister. She didn't even know how she would greet her.
Further complicating matters, her new sister may be just as confused because if they really were identical twins, then she would also be a mutant. And there would no doubt be complications with that as well. If necessary, they would have to call Xavier. But before they got to that point, they would have to take this one step at a time.
Arriving at a large hospital not far from the Boston University campus, Jean's legs shook as she neared her lost sibling. Taking Scott's hand, they met up with Detective Claremont who led them in past security, explaining himself along the way.
"I'm sorry this has to go down here," he said, leading them up towards Madelyn's room, "After her 'seizure,' the doctors weren't sure whether or it was safe to let her leave. They're not equipped to handle mutants, so she's been stuck here since I found her."
"Do...do they know she's a mutant?" asked Jean nervously.
"No," said Claremont with certainty, "If they did, it would be a media circus. But thankfully, the staff here isn't as attentive to detail as I am."
"Details? Is that how you found out about all this?" asked Scott.
"Wasn't too hard, actually," he shrugged, "I just did what any good investigator does and followed the clues. The Greys and the Pryors were just one of the many families that Morrison worked with. It was just by chance that Madelyn here was hospitalized, allowing me to find her records and trace them back to her birth."
Taking a moment to digest that, Scott and Jean remained silent as they followed him to the third floor where Madelyn was being kept. Jean could feel it drawing near in her mind. There were unmistakable psychic projections, the tell tale signs of another telepath. It made her even more nervous as they neared the door, but Scott remained by her side to support her.
"Here we are," said the detective, "The Pryors are still here in the waiting room and as far as I know, Madelyn is still in her bed. Are you ready?"
Taking deep breaths, Jean wasn't sure. But she didn't come this far just to turn back.
"I'm ready," she said, hiding her anxiety as she clutched her boyfriend's hand.
"Okay then," said Claremont, "Let's not keep them waiting."
Opening the door, Scott and Jean followed him into the waiting room. There, a middle aged couple was sitting in some chairs. They had been reading some magazines, waiting for word on their daughter. But when they saw Jean they stood up and looked back at her with shock.
"Detective Claremont?" said the woman as she stood up, "Is this...oh my God."
The older man and woman looked as though they had seen a ghost. Their eyes were wide with shock as they took in Jean's appearance. It made the young redhead a little uncomfortable as they took a step closer, not believing in what they were seeing.
'Amazing,' the man projected, 'She looks just like her.'
'The hair, the eyes, the face...they are twins!' sent the woman.
Jean couldn't filter their thoughts out as she grew a bit more uncomfortable, but Detective Claremont remained rational, affirming what they already knew was true.
"Mr. and Mrs. Pryor...this is Jean Grey and her boyfriend, Scott Summers," he told them, "I offered them a chance to come here and meet you and they accepted. Is Madelyn still awake?"
"I...yes, she's still up," said the man, not taking his eyes off of Jean, "The doctors still don't know what's causing her headaches, but she says she feels better. I'm just not sure what to do. And now this comes up and..."
However, the old man couldn't finish and they had a pretty good idea why. It was enough to learn that their daughter had been separated from her sister at birth, but learning she was also a mutant would make things plenty more difficult.
But being the leader of the X-men he was, Scott Summers took over.
"I...think we better have a talk," he told them, "I may be able to answer a few of your questions."
"Yes, good idea," said Detective Claremont, "In the meantime, why don't you come with me, Jean? Madelyn's been looking forward to meeting you."
Casting her boyfriend a nervous glance, she wasn't sure what to do. Sensing her distress, Scott lovingly encouraged her though their link as any supportive boyfriend should.
'It's okay Jean. You can do it.'
With his encouragement to guide her, Jean swallowed her anxiety and turned towards Detective Claremont.
"Okay. I'm ready."
Leaving Scott to handle the Pryors about Madelyn's mutant powers, Jean followed the middle aged detective down the hall. Her legs felt as though they had lead weights strapped to them, making each step more laborious than the last. Yet still, she pushed herself step by step, awaiting the coming moment when she would face her long lost sister.
Reaching the final door at the end of the hallway, Claremont took a step back before letting Jean do what she had to.
"I'll give you some privacy," he told her.
"Thank you," she said, managing a smile, "Thank you for everything, Detective Claremont."
"My pleasure, ma'am."
Taking a deep breath, Jean grasped the doorknob and opened the gateway towards a new world.
As soon as she stepped in, she was confronted with a small room with a single bed in the center. There was a TV mounted on the wall, a cabinet full of supplies, and some IVs and monitoring equipment scattered about. And lying in the bed was a figure that made Jean Grey's eyes widen with amazement. There she was, her long lost twin sister, facing her for the first time in 19 years.
"M-Madelyn Pryor?" said Jean, each word escaping with untold strain.
Looking back at the ominous figure before her, Madelyn's face turned to one of great shock. She didn't believe it at first, but there was no more denying it now.
It was like looking into a mirror. They looked exactly the same on every level. They had long flowing red hair, emerald green eyes, and a flawless feminine figure. It was something straight from their wildest dreams. Yet as they looked back at one another, they knew it was true. They were twins.
"Oh my God," said Madelyn, "It's you, isn't it? You're the one Detective Claremont told me about."
"Y-yes," said Jean anxiously, "My name is Jean Grey. And I guess...I'm your twin sister."
Sitting beside her bed, Jean and Madelyn stared in amazement. Neither of them knew what to say. Here they were, two sisters who were split up at birth only to have their paths cross again nearly two decades later. It was a profound moment for the both of them as they tried to let it sink in.
"Wow," said Madelyn, "This is...this is amazing!"
"I know. I didn't believe it at first, but...here we are," said Jean, a smile forming on her face.
"I didn't believe it either. I thought I was going to have another seizure after my parents told me."
"Long story," sighed Madelyn, "But come on! This is huge! I always knew I was adopted, but I never thought in a million years that I'd have a twin sister out there."
"Me neither. Nobody knew, not even my parents."
"Yeah...are they here, by the way?" she asked nervously.
"No," said Jean, shaking her head, "I came alone because I wanted to see for myself. I had to know whether or not it was true."
"Well now you know," grinned Madelyn.
"Yeah, I guess I do."
The two lost siblings were silent for a moment. It took a while for this feeling to sink in, but they were beginning to accept it. And now that they had gotten over the initial hump, it was actually kind of cool.
"So...where do we go from here?" asked Madelyn.
"I don't know," said Jean honestly, "What do twin sisters who have been separated for 19 years do after they meet?"
"Beats me," she shrugged, "Maybe after I get out of this place we could find out."
"Yeah, that's another thing," said Jean anxiously, "Uh...these seizures you told me about. I'm guessing they've been going on for quite a while now. Say over five years?"
Madelyn looked back at her new sibling with amazement. Twins or not, how could she know something like that? There were a million other thoughts going through her mind, but she already had a feeling that there was plenty more shock to come.
"Tell me, sis," said Jean, smiling as she spoke those words, "Do you know what a mutant is?"
Madelyn's face fell. She knew as well as the rest of the world what mutants were. And in the back of her mind, she knew what this was leading towards.
"I...I'm a mutant?" she said, clutching her sheets.
"I know a seizure disorder sounds better, but yes," said Jean, "I felt the same way when if found out. But it's not all bad."
As if to prove her point, Jean turned towards the table where a tray of food was resting and used her telekinesis to levitate it. Madelyn's eyes widened with amazement. Learning she had a twin was shocking enough, but learning she was a mutant was something else. But in seeing this, her perceptions changed somewhat. Such a feat was certainly not like the mutant abilities she had heard about.
"Wow. Can...can I do that too?"
"If we're really twins, I wouldn't be surprised," said Jean with a smile.
"But...what about my parents? What about school? If word gets out that I'm a mutant, I'll be..."
However, Jean was quick to cut her off. They had a lot to make up for after 19 years and if they were to start anew, what better time than the present?
"It'll be okay, Madelyn. I promise," said Jean, taking her sister's hand, "Let me tell you about a place called the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters..."
THE TWINS HAVE MET! STAY TUNED AND REVIEW!