april, 2019

it's been ages since molly has entered the red room, since she's stared at madelyne pryor's sharper features like this. the red room has changed since the last time she was here: the curtains are different, the bed seems softer, and the light, wherever it is, seems warmer.

molly wants to pull in all of the details -- but she intrinsically knows that this isn't a meeting that is idle. things have happened in rapid fashion, in ways that molly and madelyne haven't anticipated lately.

it's been a long, long time since they've talked, alone, together in this sacred space. it's been a long time since molly has focused on madelyne's true face, since she has reached out to grasp her hand.

molly opens her mouth, eager to talk about constantine or london and loki together or how beautifully lily and gryffin were--

"you left me," madelyne says, her voice cold as iron, and her gaze piercing. "both of you left me here--what were you thinking? what were you doing?"

the words leave molly frozen in her spot, curled beside madelyne on the bed. even though neither of them are technically physical here, it feels like ice sliding down her spine, confusion and shame flailing in her belly. "i-- i--," she looks away from madelyne for a moment, wishing that the floor could literally open and swallow her rather than explain what her thought process was.

"i know what you thought," madelyne interrupts her, tone still accusing and soft, despite how sharp the betrayal is. "we share everything, remember? i want to know why you thought that was acceptable, molly. why you let her take you like that!" madelyne reaches out with sharp fingers, forcing molly to look her in the face, to make her eyes focus on the despair there, the sadness. "we agreed to let the phoenix live inside of us -- together. not apart. we said-- we agreed--"

molly's fingers fly up to grasp madelyne's own, thankful that she didn't truly feel the pain of her nails. "i know! fuck, i know maddy! it was-- the picture--" and even as she says it, it's no use. the link between them, this shared space shifts into something else: the chaos of caring for children, the exhaustion she'd been feeling, the stress of it all. how weighed down she felt, how fearful she was, the stress from it all.

and too, what comes to her are madelyne's own feelings: the abandonment she felt when scott walked out on her, how hard it had been to care for nathan in those early days, how she had woken up in tears from nightmares, had lived on coffee day after day, had held the hand of her parents, how she had finally changed the locks with a wrenching in her chest. molly understands, then, what she's done.