Categories > Comics > X-Men

New Year

by IWCT 1 Reviews

She knew the whole truth, of course, but she believed in partial lies, covering and uncovering different pieces of her at the proper points in time.

Category: X-Men - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst,Drama - Characters: Emma Frost - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2008/01/13 - Updated: 2008/01/13 - 1892 words - Complete

From IWCT: Well, a small bit of Emma introspection. I haven't ever written a Comics fic before. Dun know why, since I love X-Men. Wait, no, it's coming back to me, something to do with Scott, and unrealistic relationships that make me want to retch.

*

Emma Frost believed in lies. Not any specific lies, but the force of bent and twisted truth. It was all that was left, she knew, as the wind rustled her hair, and dried orange leaves danced past her. Lies were useful.

I am not affected by survivor’s guilt.

One of her favorites, and it kept her going through the toughest of times. Emma Frost turned away to look down the hill, telling herself her favorite lie on the crisp autumn day. She surrounded herself with the warmth of the lie like a fuzzy blanket. She could believe in lies.

Not all lies, of course. Like that one about God. Kurt could believe that one. Not her. If people like her father existed before there were even serious super villains there couldn’t be a benevolent All Father looking down, and holding his children together through hope. Sam could believe that. Sooroya could believe it. She had better lies.

I am just your teacher. You mean nothing to me.

The wind whipped her blond hair more fiercely. Hell, she was a lie. Hair from a bottle, and body from surgery. Her lips were her own, though, twisting in a smug smile. Her frozen blue eyes were her own, colder than the New England wind that was tumbling through the drifts of leaves like happy children.

And what a lie that was. Children were the largest percent of people living in abject poverty today. More children were killed in the crossfire between supers, humanity, and mutants than adults were.

Emma Frost didn’t believe in that lie. Anymore than the lie that children were innocent and sweet. Children were idealists. They wanted to change the world. And they could never do that. No matter how hard Scott and the others tried. Children were not innocent. Manuel, Haroun, Jennifer, Marie-Ange, Beef, James, Sharon, Bevatron. No, children were not innocent. Not even Angelica. But they believed in innocence, and that was a darling lie.

Her darling truth, that she hid from herself most of the time, was that she believed in friendship. Not that she would ever, ever tell anyone else. Not even Robert (A living Peter Pan, who made her wish that she was good at sewing) or Hank (her equal intellectually, but emotionally her inferior). Not Sean (Damn that drunkard). Not Ororo (not that the weather witch would believe her). She believed in those bonds of friendship. Not that she would ever let them know. And that was the lie she believed in:

I am stronger without anyone.

But she did not believe in love. It was a truth. At least, she did not believe in love the way it was exchanged between Scott and Jean (not that it was any more, she’d seen to that). She secretly believed in the love of friendship. The love of parental figures (not parents, never parents). The love between siblings (except for Adrienne, but that was because her sister had been a crazed bitch). She believed in those, because she could feel them. But she could not believe in love between two people so complete that minds could bond, and heal together. That was her most often repeated lie:

I love you, Scott.

It was a complete lie, of course, because she could only really love herself in the way Scott was seeking love. After all, the kind of bond he so desperately wanted was one that could only be shared among equals. She’d never met her equal. She met inferiors (and occasionally superiors, but she would never admit that). She often wondered why she bothered with the lie. It wasn’t like her to continue a game once she had gained her objective (she had felled the red queen, and possessed the red king. White had triumphed; it should have been time to move on).

Sometimes she wondered if the game was being played with her as pawn, rather than queen. Or if the game was really a fairy tale, rather than chess. Something blocked those thoughts quickly enough, and something else screamed inside her head that none of this was right. But that didn’t matter, because she believed in twisting truth, and the game was fun to play. She was addicted.

Emma Frost was a super hero. She was a survivor. And that meant like everyone else who tried to change the world, she had her own set of addictions to distract her when she was too tired to forget. Her addictions were simply lies, of course. She was a telepath, and it was fun to mess with other people’s realities, and warp their truths when she didn’t want to think about children starving for affection from others (had Cessily’s parents ever hugged the girl?), or children locked in nightmare scenarios (that mutant child rapist they’d stopped the other week had been keeping a boy in his /cellar/), or children who had lost their idealism far, far too young (she had never asked Marie-Ange what it was like to be almost certain of how her life would turn out).

Remy had once said in cruder terms, that she mind fucked with everyone around her until they felt as bad as she did. That was a truth and a lie. She’d psi-blasted him for it. She tried to play with adults, especially X-Men, because they were so optimistic it often made her want to scream. She would kill anyone who did that to her students.

But that was a lie, too. Because her success rate at keeping people from harming her students was zero. For that matter, her success rate at keeping anyone she cared about from harm was zero. She couldn’t lie to herself about that. She just tried not to think about it. The wounds were so deep, and so often cut into her that she could ignore and hide them.

She sat down, ignoring the way the drying grass and earth of the hillside were going to make her pristeen coat damp and dirty. Emma leaned back against the cool headstone, looking up at the blue, blue sky.

“So, it’s been another year. I’m still an X-Man, and I still don’t know why. I really should quit. The school is wonderful, of course, but it’s like smoking, it gets into your lungs and sickens you. Well, no, I’m lying. I’ve not gotten better about doing that, I’m afraid.”

She sighed, and closed her eyes. “I lost another batch of students, by the way. That’s what, the fourth generation? Fifth? I haven’t gotten any better at that, either. I have gotten better about ignoring the pain, though. I know, I know, it’s psychologically bad for me, but so is dressing up in spandex and asking people to hate and attack me.”

Leaves blew past, and the sun streamed down coldly. Her favorite kind of weather. “I miss you, you know. Well, obviously, you can’t, since you’re dead, and never even heard of the X-Men, so no coming back for you. If only there really was an afterlife of some sort. I probably wouldn’t end up in your part of it, but it’d be nice to think of you actually being happy the way you deserved, for a change.

“Let’s see, what else is important? Jean isn’t back yet. Not terribly important, I suppose. Oh, and Rachel hasn’t killed me yet. Impressive, considering how dangerous she is. Robert is having his usual problems. Henry is Henry, and is still trying to beat me in chess. Ororo got married. Given typical X-Marriages, and Ororo’s own popularity with strong men, her husband will be dead in three years, at most.”

She breathed out. Some things she couldn’t admit here. Others she could never admit anywhere else. It was all part of the great lie that Emma Frost wrapped around herself. One of the many things she could never forgive Jean for was nearly piercing that protective lie. For nearly exposing, at the wrong time, the carefully concealed thoughts, memories and feelings. She knew the whole truth, of course, but she believed in partial lies, covering and uncovering different pieces of her at the proper points in time.

“I guess that’s it for this year. I miss you. I know, I told you already. But, I can’t talk to any one like this. My students are my students and they do not, cannot have their teachers treating them like little adults. Robert does not have the emotional maturity to say the right things back. Sean is probably dead or too drunk to know what day of the week it is, let alone the year. Henry is a scientist, well-educated in literature, but he isn’t creative like you were. Of course, I can talk to the air, and pretend that it’s really your soul out there, somewhere, listening to your little sister. But that’s another lie, and I’m all the weaker for wanting to believe it.”

She rose, and tried to brush off her white coat, despite all the past evidence that said dirt would only smear. Her cell phone vibrated, and she picked it up. She knew who it would be. She hated what was left of her family with a passion that made Magneto’s obsession with the mutant cause look like a childhood hobby. But once a year Cordelia could make the effort to be tolerable. The last of the Frosts.

It was a short phone call. Cordelia’s breezy: “How ya doin’? Still heroing around?”

“I teach English, mentor young psychics, and try to bang how not to get killed into students’ minds, Cordelia,” Emma always replied coldly.

“And pack in a large amount of vigilante style justice on the side,” Cordelia could grin audibly, somehow. “Well, promised not to see ya around. Next year, then. Keep your head above water.”

And the call ended. Emma looked at the grave, and sighed. “I don’t think I’ll ever find Dante, again, Christian, but I’ll keep trying. I promise.”

The yearly visit had only one rule: Always end on a truth. Emma walked back down the hill, ignoring the cold breeze, and the fresh scent of fall. There was the faint taste of sea in the background, which she tried to forget. It wasn’t easy to think of the distance between Massachusetts and New York.

The further she got from the graveside the more lies she would wrap around herself.

I love you, Scott.
I am stronger without anyone.
I am just your teacher. You mean nothing to me.
I am not affected by survivor’s guilt.
I am not my father’s daughter.
I am not jealous of Jean Grey.
I am going to leave the X-Men.

She wondered when I am going to fix things had been added to that list of precious lies. Or, perhaps they were only half truths.
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