In the park, she feels like she’s being watched.

There’s still not a consensus of who, exactly, she is now -- Madelyne Pryor and Molly Patton both, awake at the same time. It isn’t like the beach back in December, where they thought as one person -- no, in the here and now, Molly Patton feels waves of nausea, is counting her steps as she walks, and keeps her hand in Adam’s hand.

Madelyne Pryor, however, is the one that can feel the hairs standing on the back of her neck, who feels distinctively that they are being watched every step of the way and who wants to go back home.

Molly ignores her, and they keep walking until it’s cool, and she can lean on Adam on the way back.

Madelyne doesn’t like it. There’s something foreboding, something honestly frightening prickling the edges of her senses that tells her that this is just the calm before the storm. When Molly eventually fades to sleep, Madelyne does not.

She keeps awake for as long as possible, feeling her magic settle in, opening up to her. It courses through her -- their body, inching along the back of her skull, twisting around the still flat abdomen, the core of it against her heart.

What she finds is restlessness, paranoia. The power wanting to pull her down, to overwhelm her.

It’s not entirely a surprise to feel this. The news of being pregnant had rattled her, pushed up so many old memories that she had rather not dwell on.

“Hush,” she whispers in the dark, pushing everything down, muffling the urge. “We’re safe here. We’re safe.”

Saying it outloud, that was a spell in and of itself.

She was safe. They were safe. They had to be.

Her dreams are not susceptible to spells or words of encouragement.

She finds herself at sixteen, curled up in a bathtub, shivering and shaking, the pain so overwhelming that screaming is beyond her. She’s dizzy, able to hear a storm outside, banging and rattling the windows, and tears running down her face. The smell of ammonia, blood, and something foul she can’t name fill her nose. The tub sides dig into her fingers as she pushes, knowing that she can’t stop, she can’t stop. The cry of a baby

pierces the air. She gasps, sobs, and presses her face against the kitchen tile. Her son is wailing, and she feels bone tired. No one is here: not Ororo, not Logan, not Xavier, not Scott. Madelyne is the only one here, cradling her son against her, the one human in a group of mutants. They have lives to save -- and she does not.

The only person who needs her in this moment is wailing against her breast: Nathan.

“Nathan, Nathan,” Madelyne sobs, fingers running through his sparse hair. His little hand strokes her cheek

his eyes so wide in his face. Except it isn’t in love, or awe. No, her son -- her little Scottie -- is afraid of her.

“Scottie?” She asks, her voice soft. “Scottie, what’s wrong?”

He looks beyond her: into the shadows. “I don’t like it, Mommy.” He whispers, urgent and afraid. “Mommy, it’s scaring me.”

Madelyne looks over her shoulder

and into the eyes of her mother. Her hand is inches away from the bookshelf, fearing her response.

“Why are you having second thoughts?” Karen’s voice is cool, tempered to a stranger’s ear. To Molly, however, it’s a warning sign. “You’re too young to keep it. You aren’t even on schedule to graduate anymore.”

On schedule. Her stomach turns. “I- I just read stuff,” Molly lies, “it makes me nervous about those other families.”What if they hurt him?”

Karen’s mouth twists in displeasure

as thunder and lightning strike. She tries not to hate Scott, tries her damndest to love him, to want him, to be with him. She tries so hard to be a good wife, a good mother.

But Scott is fighting Storm. Scott walked away from her, Scott wants so badly to be a leader, and not to be a father.

All for what? For people who would call him a mutie? For people who would gladly deny that he was of any help, who wouldn’t even say hello to him or open businesses to him or even appreciate their meaningless lives being saved.

Nathan cries in her arms

and her fingers caress her son’s hair, eyes focused forward, hatred coursing through her veins. She knows, she understands now exactly how Madea felt on the island. She knows why she would kill the children she so loved when the man who had set the sun in her world left.

Nathan cries and cries, and Maddy can almost taste the satisfaction when Scott sees him dead in her arms. To have this child he so wanted from her, the child they had done so much to make, cold

greets her fingers when she touches the pod. Her face replicated over and over and over and over. All of the version of hers sleeping, machines humming, and the knowledge, the reality sinking in.

Sinister smiles behind her. She is his creation. His perfect plan, fortuitous.


seeps into her again and again the more she thinks about it, the more that she contends with it. Her foot presses the gas pedal, the car glides forward, the engine roars.

She wanted her son. She wanted Teddy.

All she had wanted was Teddy, to be a mother.

And she didn’t have him. She never would have him ever again, as long as she lived.

The car engine roars. The sound drowns out everything

around her, leaving just herself in the dark. The tears roll down her cheeks without prompting, and she stays huddled in the dark, in the bushes wishing that things could be different, that she could unread what she knew now.

Her mother’s name, listed there. Her mother, claiming her son for her own. Giving him away to a family she’d never meet, to a place she’d never know.

Everything taken from her, everything she wanted.

Sirens wail. She knows that people -- that Adam, that Lainey, that Callie -- were looking for her. Molly doesn’t want to be found. She wants to nurse her grief, her rage fully.

The cold

seeps into her heavy limbs, looking up not at her face, but Jean Grey’s. It’s always been Jean Grey’s face -- always her body, her womb, her lover, her husband, her son. It’s always been about Jean Grey.

(it hasn’t it hasn’t she loves you doesn’t she you showed her yourself she loves you she loves you)

Jean’s fingers touch her skin; they are like a flame to her, the warmth, the life inside of her. She was beautiful, the goddess, and Madelyne Pryor was a joke, a broodmare anod thing else. Madelyne takes a rattling breath

and sobs into the pillow, waking up in Arthur’s arms, in bed, trying to regain her composure. Trying to stop the anger, the fury, the fear that eats and eats and eats at her. The memories, the full swath of it tearing inside of her, ripping open old wounds over and over again.

She tries to make it stop. She tries so hard to quell each and every emotion, but the more she thinks, the more afraid she gets. Afraid of a perfect plan coming to bloom in nine months, afraid of hands ripping her child from her arms, of betrayal over and over and over again.

Dreams, wakefulness, it doesn’t matter.

She looks at the mirror, and sees herself with blood red skin and horns arcing upwards and bright green eyes that glow sickly.

Goblins lurk on the edge of her vision, populate mirrors, whisper in her head over and over: goblyn queen, goblyn queen, no clone, no broodmare, rise, rise rise up, take it, rule, rule, rule over them.

Maddy wants them to stop -- she wants them to stop being right. She wants to stop it because she can feel herself getting closer and closer to the edge with every moment. Ignoring it, pushing it down -- she’s trying. Madelyne is trying, she wants to keep herself, she doesn’t want to give in, doesn’t, can’t let go again. The paranoia, the fear, the anger, she tries to fight it. Tries to insist that Sinister isn’t here, that whoever is keeping them here won’t target her, will leave her alone. There’s no plan, no scheme, no one to take her cild away

Arthur doesn’t calm her, Lainey doesn’t pick up the phone, and she can’t feel Jean anymore. She can only feel her own urge to destroy, her own wrath inside of her -- and worse yet, it’s not just her.

It’s Molly, too. All that untapped rage, all of that fury is there too now, mixing with hers, growing stronger and stronger, blending together more and more.

Her hands shake, her head pounds, and all it takes is a look at her phone, at the phone number displayed for her magic to start to spill out of her: Mom.

“Don’t -- don’t pick it up,” she hisses out. The sink rattles under her grip, the magic starting to seep out of her fingers. The phone rings and rings and rings.

It falls silent for all of five seconds.

Then the messages pour out:

I spoke to Matthew.

You’re pregnant again. When were you going to tell me, Margaret? I’m your MOTHER. I deserve to know.

Pick up the phone. We need to talk.

God, she tries. She tries so hard.

But she can’t fight it anymore.

All of it pushes out -- everything Molly has ever wanted to say to Karen, has wanted to punish her for; all the years of rage Madelyne has had rush up, all the half healed wounds tear open all at once.

Rage, power, spills out of her, and Apocalypse smiles, lending her enough power to truly show everyone who the Goblyn Queen truly had the potential to be..