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 3: Homecoming
The next day, Madelyn Pryor, the twin sister of Jean Grey, was set to be released from the hospital. Thanks to some mental blocks, her headaches stopped and she was deemed healthy enough to go home. But after learning of the Xavier Institute, both Madelyn and her parents agreed that it would be the best place for her.
It was a lot for Madelyn to take in, learning that she was a mutant and had a long lost twin sister. But as it sunk in, she grew to accept it. And now that she was a mutant, her life would never be the same. She knew the kind of stigma mutants faced and it was going to be a hard time adjusting to the idea.
But with Jean eager to show her new sister the way, she was confident that she could do this. It meant making some major changes in her life, but they could only hope it was for the better in the long run.
Outside the hospital, Madelyn was giving her parents one last hug goodbye as she stood with her sister and waited for her ride. Tears were in her eyes as she embraced the family who had taken her in, even if her origins were pure lies.
"Thanks Mom. Thanks Dad," she said, her voice strained with emotion, "I love you both."
"We love you too, sweetie," said Mrs. Pryor, "Lies or not, you're still our daughter. Nothing will ever change that."
"I know. I just...this is all happening so fast."
"Which is why we're going to be there for you every step of the way," said Mr. Pryor, hugging his daughter lovingly, "The Xavier Institute can help you. Your sister can help you. And we're going to do the same."
"But still, switching colleges, moving to a boarding school, and leaving so many of my friends behind..."
"Try not to think of it as leaving behind," said Jean in a comforting tone, "Yeah, you'll be moving, but not forever. Your home is still here. And besides, you'll still have family by your side to help, so don't think you'll go through it alone."
Casting her twin a warm smile, Madelyn wiped away her tears and stood strong.
"Thanks Jean. You know how to make a sister feel welcome."
It was still odd calling each other sisters, but they were getting used to the idea. And the more they said it, the more it grew on them.
"Leave all the formalities to us, my dear," said Mr. Pryor, "We'll pack your stuff, load your car, and transfer you to NYU so you can finish college while residing at the institute."
"Thank you, Daddy," she said, rubbing her temples again, "This whole mess is stressful enough. And these headaches aren't helping."
"Well don't worry," assured Jean, "I've dealt with the same issues and if Professor Xavier can help me, then he can certainly help you."
"Guess I'll have to take your word for it," said Madelyn, managing a grin.
Just then, the front doors opened and Detective Claremont stepped out. He still looked as indifferent as ever, but he was the one responsible for revealing everything to them. And for both Jean and Madelyn, that meant a lot.
"Looks like I've got everything I need," he told the twin girls, "Thanks to you, Dr. Morrison's days are numbered. He's got a lot to answer for and you can rest assured he'll pay dearly for his crimes."
Smiling at the elder man's determination, Madelyn threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.
"Thank you, Detective Claremont," she said with a sob, "Thanks for everything."
Shocked by this show of emotion, the usually apathetic investigator returned the gesture, hugging her back.
"Just doing my job, ma'am."
"And we can never thank you enough," said Jean, hugging him as well and giving him a kiss on the cheek as a token of her thanks.
With one last goodbye, the twin redheads were ready. And as they stood on the threshold of a new beginning, Scott Summers rode up to the curb in his shining red car, ready to take them home.
"You ready, ladies?" said Scott with a smile.
"Ready Slim," grinned Jean.
Having only heard about this boy, Madelyn's eyes quickly widened with intrigue as a strange grin fell upon her face.
"Wow...THAT'S Scott Summers?" she said to her sister, "As in, the boyfriend you told me about?"
"The very same," said Jean proudly.
Looking back at the handsome, well built young man waiting for them in the stylish, red car, Madelyn couldn't help but smile.
"You never told me he was such a hottie."
"Well I..." stammered Jean, blushing the same color as her hair.
"Please tell me there are other men like him at the institute."
"You'll just have to see for yourself, Madelyn," shrugged Jean as they approached the car.
"Hey, call me Maddie," she told her, "Everybody does."
"Okay then...Maddie," said Jean with a smile.
Hopping into Scott's car, the twin redheads strapped themselves in for the ride. Scott still bore an amazed look on his face as he took in the sight before him. He couldn't believe how similar they looked. If he didn't share a link with Jean, he probably wouldn't have been able to tell them apart.
It was amazing to think that Jean had a long lost twin sister, but as he saw them smile, he had plenty of reason to be hopeful.
"Alright girls, make yourselves comfortable," said Scott as he adjusted his mirrors, "We've got a long ways to go."
"Fine by me," shrugged Jean, "Gives us plenty of time to chat and go over some stuff about the institute."
"Speaking of which, I called the Professor and filled him in on the situation," said Scott, "But I told him not to tell the others just yet."
"Yeah, I can't wait to see the look on their faces when we come in with my long lost twin sister."
"No kidding," said Scott, laughing at the possibilities, "Speaking of which, we may have to find a way to tell you two apart."
"Oh we'll worry about that later, pretty boy," said Madelyn playfully, "Let's just get to this institute you two are so passionate about. It must be really something."
"You have no idea," said Jean with a grin.
And with one final wave goodbye to the Pryors and Detective Claremont, they were off. The institute awaited them and their friends back home were in for a hell of a revelation.
Later that day, the trio arrived back at the mansion just after lunch. And as they had expected, Professor Xavier had gathered everybody in the living room to greet their newest arrival. However, he didn't tell them the exact details. He left that for Jean.
Nobody expected much. Since Apocalypse, they had their share of new students. Most notably was Remy and Piotr, who came to the X-men together. After Magneto's return, they were left with a decision to go with either him or Xavier. Remy was in exile from New Orleans and Piotr needed money for his family, so naturally they chose Xavier and they hadn't looked back.
The institute was active enough, but few suspected anything as radical as a long lost twin sister. Yet that didn't stop speculation.
"Boy this is, like, sudden," said Kitty, sitting next to Rogue and Jubilee in the den, "I don't remember the Professor meeting with anybody recently."
"Around here, things can change that quickly," shrugged Jubilee, "But hey, a new face never hurts."
"Can't be any worse than some sweet talkin' Cajun who can't keep his eyes to himself," scorned Rogue, who was sitting next to Remy.
"Aw, come on cherÃ¨. Ain't like you've been mindin' the attention," grinned the raging Cajun.
Rogue didn't respond, but she couldn't fight off her blush, leaving the others with plenty to giggle about.
"Swish Remy," said Bobby.
"Shut it, popsicle," scorned Rogue.
The playful chatter continued as they all waited for the Professor. Thankfully, they didn't have to wait too long as he entered with Scott and Jean behind him, ready to break the shocking news that had already left such an impact.
Jean looked nervous, clinging to Scott's hand for strength. But with a reassuring smile, she was ready to see this through.
"I see you've found them, Charles," said Ororo upon seeing Scott and Jean, "Where were you two yesterday? I was beginning to worry."
"Yeah, did you go to Vegas and get hitched or something?" joked Tabitha.
Scott shot the younger teen an irritated glare, but Jean stepped in before 4 AM Danger Room sessions could be issued.
"No, Tabitha. It wasn't like that," she said with a sigh, "It's...a long story. But in the end it yielded a new student for the institute and that's why we're here."
"Well whoop de do," said Ray, looking as bored as the rest of the New Mutants, "So what's the story this time? Another one of Magneto's boys want to join?"
"Please tell me it's not Pyro," groaned Amara, "The guy wouldn't stop hitting on me last time we met."
"No, Amara. I assure you, it's nobody from the Brotherhood or the Acolytes," said Xavier, "Our latest addition comes from Boston. Her mutant powers have been manifesting over the past few years slowly and steadily, but now that they've fully formed her family has agreed that this is the best place for her."
It didn't seem like much of a story and Xavier was clearly leaving out a lot of details. But he knew he couldn't just reveal something so shocking. It had to come gradually. However, this was not lost on some of the residents.
"That all, Chuck?" said Logan suspiciously.
"Yes, well there is something rather special about this new recruit," said Xavier.
"Special?" said Hank curiously, "How so, Charles?"
Turning to Jean, Xavier cast her a strange look. The others knew they were discussing something psychically. And whatever it was, it was clearly something very complicated. Jean kept grasping Scott's hand, drawing what strength she could from his warmth. And after a brief moment, Xavier nodded and took a deep breath.
"I'll let Jean take it from here," he said, wheeling himself back, "I think it would be better if she explained it."
"Thanks Professor," said Jean, stepping forth with an anxious poise, "This new student is very unique in many ways and I'm not just talking about her mutation. You see, yesterday when Scott and I left, we did so for a reason. And that reason had to do with something that well...has changed a lot of things for me."
"Why do Ah get the feelin' she's stalling," muttered Rogue.
"Probably because she is, cherÃ¨," whispered Remy.
"But vhy?" asked Kurt.
Jean hesitated briefly as she turned to Scott, signaling him to bring her in. She didn't know how they were going to react to this, but there was no going back now.
"I could stand here for hours explaining this whole mess, but I think its best I show you," she went on, turning towards the darkened entrance next to the fireplace, "Okay Scott, let's introduce her."
And when Scott emerged from the shadows with the institute's newest resident in hand, the whole room fell deathly silent as shock fell over all those present. Jaws fell to the ground, gasps echoed through the room, and some even rubbed their eyes, thinking this had to be a trick.
Jean was still anxious, but the looks on their faces were nothing short of priceless as she smiled and took the hand of their newest teammate.
"Guys, this is Madelyn Pryor. She's a telepath, a telekinetic, and my long lost twin sister who I just met yesterday."
"Um...hi," said Madelyn awkwardly.
Nobody believed what they were seeing. It was something straight from their wildest dreams. They looked exactly alike in every way. From their elegant red hair to their voluptuous frame, they were so similar that it had to be a trick. But no matter how many times they adjusted their eyes, the image didn't fade.
For Madelyn, it was a strange feeling. Everybody was looking at her as if she was an alien. And standing next to her twin sister, she could hardly blame them. But awkward or not, it was quite a humorous sight. She, Jean, Scott, and Xavier had to try hard to stop themselves from laughing. The looks on their faces were just priceless.
"Merde..." said Remy, his eyes darting between Jean and Madelyn, "Is anybody else here as freaked out as Remy right now?"
"You're in good company, comrade," said Piotr.
"Wait! Hold up a minute!" exclaimed Logan, approaching the twin redheads suspiciously, "Since when did you have a twin sister, Jeannie?!"
"Since I found out we were separated at birth," said Jean awkwardly.
"Separated at birth?" said Hank, his scientific mind struggling to process this, "But how..."
"Like she said," interjected Scott, "It's a long story."
Everybody was reeling. Jean Grey and Madelyn Pryor, two identical twins that were separated at birth and reunited after nearly two decades. Looking back at the twin redheads, it was amazing even by their standards.
"Dude...hot redheaded twins," said Bobby, his mouth hanging open with shock.
"Just great," muttered Rogue, "As if one Ms Valedictorian ain't bad enough."
"Dude...hot redheaded twins."
"Like, this is SO cool!" said Kitty as she got up to greet their newest recruit.
"Dude...hot redheaded twins!"
"Man, how does Scott keep getting so lucky?" made Roberto.
"Dude...hot redheaded twins!"
"Beats me," shrugged Sam, "But this is really something."
"Dude...hot redheaded twins!"
"No kidding," said Kurt, "First Apocalypse, now zhis? I'm more inclined to find Apocalypse more believable."
"BOBBY!" yelled Logan.
That silenced the bewildered youth and earned him an elbow to the ribs from Jubilee, his long time love interest. Madelyn had to cover her mouth to keep herself from breaking out in laughter and she could tell that Scott and Jean were struggling as well. They had warned her that everybody would be shocked, but she had no idea it would be like this.
"Are you guys always this welcoming?" asked Madelyn.
"Well normally it isn't this hilarious!" said Scott, nearly keeling over in laughter.
"Oh what I wouldn't give for a camera," mused Jean.
As a firestorm of questions erupted, Xavier stepped in. He too struggled to hold back his laughter and be serious, but with the kinds of looks the others were giving, that was next to impossible. Yet still, he maintained his demeanor.
"Yes, I know this requires a great deal of explanation," said Xavier.
"Ya got that right, Chuck," said Logan, still trying to get over this revelation, "Just what the hell happened? How in the hell is Jeannie born with a twin she doesn't even know about?"
Taking a deep breath, Xavier turned back to the bewildered twins. This was definitely going to take a while and it may be less complicated if he gave them the full story.
"Jean, why don't you show Madelyn to her room?" he told her kindly, "Scott and I will stay and handle this."
"Sure thing, Professor," said Jean with a smile, "Come on, Maddie. I'll show you around. Good luck you guys."
"Yeah, we'll be needing it," muttered Scott.
Leaving them to battle the firestorm, Jean took her sister's hand and led her out of the chaos and into the silence of the dormitories. Once they were clear, they could no longer contain their laughter. Even if it took 19 years for them to meet, the looks on their faces alone was worth it.
"Oh my God!" said Jean, grasping her sides with laughter, "Now THAT'S an experience I'm not going to forget anytime soon!"
"I know! Did you see the looks on their faces?" exclaimed Maddie, "I swear I could sense some of their reactions too!"
"Yeah, isn't telepathy sweet?"
"You know for the first time, I'm beginning to see it has its advantages."
"Oh trust me, there are plenty more," said Jean, getting a hold of herself, "You just have to take the good with the bad."
"No kidding. Although I could have done without some of the bizarre images I got from some of the boys," said Madelyn with an awkward look.
"Well you get used to that," assured Jean, "But enough dwelling over obsessive male fantasies. Come on, I'll show you your room."
Leading her twin sister up the stairs, Jean felt like Kitty on a sugar rush. She had never been so excited before. How often did one get to show her long lost twin sister around anyhow? They had a lot to catch up on, but now that Madelyn was staying at the institute, they had plenty of time to do so.
Thankfully, the institute had expanded since it was rebuilt. They had more rooms now since the resident population had grown. And since Remy and Piotr joined, they were putting them to good use. But for Madelyn, Jean wanted her to stay close, so she chose a room on the same wing as her and Scott.
"You're lucky, sis," she said, passing Scott's room, "We've been looking to fill these empty rooms for a while now. Ever since that whole sentinel deal, the Professor's been preparing for a larger mutant population."
"Yeah, I remember that," mused Maddie, "Everybody at school was freaking out that day. I didn't see it, of course. Although it does make sense now because I remember getting some odd looks here and there."
"Probably because they thought you were me," surmised Jean.
"You know, we really are going to have to do something about that," she grinned, "I mean we really are hard to tell apart."
"Well I was thinking about cutting my hair a bit," said Maddie, looking at her long red hair, "But then again, we wouldn't be able to mess with everybody if I did."
"Good point," grinned Jean.
After a final turn, Jean led her new sibling into an empty room near the end of the hall. It was empty and bland, but if Madelyn was anything like her she'd add her own unique touch soon enough.
"Here we are," said Jean, flipping on the light, "It's not much now, but once your folks send your things here, feel free to do a little remodeling."
"Oh you know I will," she said, sitting on her bed, "But it's nice though. Pretty big for a room in a boarding house."
"Yeah, the Professor likes to make his students comfortable. It helps when you deal with the mess mutants go through."
"I'll bet," mused Madelyn, "I don't know how you manage it."
"To tell you the truth, neither do I," said Jean sheepishly, "But if I can do it, so can you. Just remember that you'll have plenty of help along the way."
That earned her a warm smile from her long lost sister. Getting up off the bed, Madelyn did something that Jean didn't expect. She hugged her. And if she wasn't mistaken, there were hints of tears forming in her eyes.
"Thank you, Jean," she said, embracing her sister, "Thank you for everything you've done for me."
Jean, feeling a little overwhelmed at first, soon returned the gesture, hugging her back and smiling at the feeling of reconnecting with a part of her that had once been lost.
"Hey...what are twin sisters for?"
The twin redheads let out another laugh, having never felt this light before. It was as if a piece of them that had been missing since they were born was finally in place. It was quite a feeling and both redheads were bent on exploring it.
"Come on! I'll show you my room," said Jean, taking her sister's hand and leading her out.
"Oh this I've gotta see," she said, following along.
Jean's room wasn't far and Madelyn was definitely curious. Since they were twins, it would be interesting to see how much more they had in common. But as they entered, Madelyn was in for another surprise as she took in her sister's living space.
"If you ever need anything, you'll usually find me here," said Jean as she flipped on the lights.
"Wow..." said Madelyn, her eyes widening as she looked around.
"It's not THAT nice," laughed Jean, "I've been meaning to clean it up for weeks."
"No, it's not that. It's just...this looks insanely similar to my room back in Boston."
"You're kidding," said Jean, another bewildered look forming on her face.
"We're both psychic and we're identical twins, Jean. How in the hell can I lie without you knowing?"
Jean laughed at that. It did sound logical when she thought about it. Being psychic was convincing enough, but being twins added a whole new dimension to this relationship they had. And as Madelyn walking around her room, the amazed look on her face didn't fade as she took in this surreal experience.
"I like your taste in color schemes," said Madelyn, running her hands over the wallpaper, the patterns of which were exactly like the ones in her room, "Nice CD collection too. I see you also have a thing for Linkin Park, Nickelback, and Stained."
"Don't tell me you're surprised," said Jean, folding her arms in an amused gesture.
"Never said I was."
Just then, Madelyn's eyes fell upon some of the pictures Jean had strewn along her dresser. One in particular that stood out was an image of her in a graduation gown with her mother, father, and sister sanding proudly beside her.
Picking it up, Madelyn's demeanor shifted as a conflicted feeling came over her. It was strange to think that these were the people that gave her life, but she didn't think of them as her parents. The Pryors had raised her. They were the ones she called mom and dad. But these people, who by all accounts looked every bit as loving, were a part of her whether she liked it or not.
"You're family seems nice," she said, her tone growing distant.
Sensing this, Jean sat next to her on the bed as they both looked at the picture.
"They are," she said, taking her hand, "I'm sure they'd love to meet you one day."
"So would I, but...one step at a time, okay?"
Smiling at her twin, Jean nodded in understanding.
"Okay. I'm sorry."
"Don't be," said Madelyn as she put the picture back, "It's just...it still hasn't sunk in, you know? You're parents are my parents. They birthed me, but they didn't raise me. The Pryors were so nice to me and I just can't stop thinking of them as family even though we're not related."
"They're still family to you in every way that matters," said Jean in a comforting tone, "I know that's not something you can just up and forget. And believe me, I would never ask you to. They're still your mom and dad. Even blood can't change that. It'll just take some...adjusting."
"Yeah, tell me about it," sighed Madelyn.
A brief silence fell over the two girls as they mused over their situation. It was clear that nothing was ever going to be the same again. But as sisters, they were going to help each other every step of the way.
Then, Madelyn's eye fell on another interesting picture. And this one brought a renewed smiled to her face.
"Aww...what's this?" she said as she picked it up.
"That's my prom photo with Scott," said Jean proudly, "Probably the most magical night of my life."
"I'll bet," she mused as she looked at the smiling couple, "You two really seem close."
"We are," affirmed Jean, "Scott and I have been together forever. I'm very lucky to have him. I met him when I was a scared, insecure twelve-year-old. And since then we've developed a really strong bond."
"Then I take it things are pretty serious," surmised her twin.
"Oh yes. Very much so," said Jean with a smile, "Scott's the only man for me. We've been head over heels for each other for a long time. He's a man I can really see myself with down the road. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think of marriage, kids, and the whole package at times."
"Well at least you've got a couple of bridesmaids for when the big day comes," said Madelyn playfully.
"I'll remember that," replied Jean, fighting off her blush.
Looking back at the many other pictures she had with Scott, Madelyn couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy. She and Scott looked so happy together. She could already tell from what she saw on the ride back that they were close. It made her yearn to feel that love in her life as well.
"You're lucky, Jean. You have such a great guy who clearly loves you to death."
"You're right. I am lucky," said Jean happily, "I just wished we had come together sooner. Emotions are just so hard to work out. Especially when you feel something so deep for another person."
"I can only imagine," sighed Madelyn, "My luck with men hasn't been all that great. I was usually too busy with grades or sports to have time for a relationship."
"Same here. Let me guess...soccer?"
"Star captain of my team!" she said proudly, "But I bet you knew that already."
"Didn't doubt it for a second," grinned Jean.
"Too bad being a star athlete seems to attract a lot of jerks," she muttered.
"Tell me about it," said Jean, laying back on her bed, "Before I hooked up with Scott, I had the misfortune of dating a real jerk who I only thought was so wonderful because he was the star quarterback of the football team."
"No way!" exclaimed Madelyn, laying down beside her, "I fell for the same guy! Only he was a star running back."
"And a star jerk I'll bet."
"You know it, sis!"
The twin redheads let out another round of laughter as they laid back on Jean's bed, amazed at how much their lives had changed over the past 24 hours. It felt like a dream of sorts, but it was happening. This was real.
"We're nuts, you know that?" mused Madelyn.
"Yeah, being separated at birth will do that to you," sighed Jean.
"And now I've got these mutant powers to deal with too."
"Don't worry, the Professor and I will help you with them every step of the way."
"Thanks. I'm sure I'll need it," said Madelyn, "But I'm game if you are."
"I knew you would," said Jean with a reassuring smile, "Besides, we've got a lot to catch up on."
"That we do," agreed Madelyn, "I may not know much about reconnecting with a long lost sibling, but I'm really happy to have you in my life, Jean."
"Same here, Maddie," said Jean with a look of sisterly affection, "I don't know how to go about this either, but I'm sure we'll make it through together."
It was amazing to think that yesterday they had no idea that they had a twin sister. Yet here they were, standing face to face after 19 years of separation. Clearly, they had a lot to catch up on. And with Maddie's mutant powers thrown into the mix, their lives were sure to be interesting from here on out.
Smiling at one another warmly, the twin redheads stood on the threshold of a new beginning. Where it went from here was anybody's guess.
THE TWIN GREYS ARE REUNITED! STAY TUNED AND REVIEW!!!