july, 2019

sinking into the pilot’s seat is incredible and strange.

molly has never powered a space ship before, but madelyne pryor has piloted an airplane time after time. she has jean’s memories, talents of piloting spaceships before.

this is something entirely different as she looks around her. she’s seen this place in movies before, on the big screen. had scrolled through photos before, seeing people on the rides emulating this ship before, seen kids playing with it in miniature.

it’s something entirely different, however, to be in the cockpit of the millenium falcon itself.

she feels awed and dwarfed and excited to touch the panels, to run her fingers over the buttons, the well worn levers. some of this is the fact of what it was, the falcon itself, but surprisingly, so much of it is madelyne, excited to be in one of the few spaces unmarred by everything else. of all the things that sinister had done to her, of all the things that could be thrown in her face, of all the painful little twists, being a pilot was never something that hurt her.

molly lets her take over with more sure hands, willing to understand her, to let her enjoy this. where molly has her zen moments behind the wheel, and had always been a speed demon, its utterly different for madelyne to be here, in this place.

“i don’t know what everything is, exactly,” madelyne says in the silence of the cockpit, yet her mouth is curved into a smile as she says it. her memories drift to being with carol and the starjammers, to countless flights to and from alaska, on those moments of take off and landing, of how much easier things seemed to feel in the air.

so? we can learn, molly replies.

the raw giddiness that comes from madelyne in that moment is startling. the smile in the reflection is enormous, and so unlike the madelyne molly is familiar with that it feels like so much more.

"then let's learn!" madelyne stands up, and walks from the cockpit and into the main interior. she'd been too focused on going to the cockpit that taking in the interior had been the last thing on their mind. molly feels more excited than she at the familiar walls, and as they wind down, into the familiar resting area with the holographic chess.

molly can feel madelyne's distinctive giddiness seep through their shared body. it's a different kind of pleasure that she's ever gotten from madelyne. it's almost-- childlike, but so much more complicated as madelyne starts to really rip her way through the ship. molly takes the hint, simply observing as madelyne went through compartment after compartment, pressing her hands into them, feeling how wide and tall they are.

at some point, molly shoots off a text after a brief moment, and allocates willowbee to taking care of lily. otherwise, it's not her day, it's madelyne's. she's the one who covers every offered schematic, who walks up and down the ship with a paper and pencil, writing things down, trying to understand each lever and button. she does this for hours on end, passing thoughts, sensations, and excitement for the ship to molly over and over.

there's so much about madelyne that molly knows, and so much that, at the end of the day, she does not. she's seen madelyne happy, excited, and content with lily. she's seen her patient and loving with gryffin, and she's seen her have a riotous fun with loki and brimming with mischievousness with carol and affectin to nora. she's never seen madelyne in her element before, learning the entire ship.

they come in and out of the ship over days. molly allows maddy to use their body to stay up late, looking over fan depictions of the falcon, watching the movies to see how they hit the control panels, taking guesses and attempting to map it out to what they knew.

and finally, while the city is in chaos, madelyne puts on aviators. she dons something comfortable, and takes a breath.

"here goes nothing."

instead of using telekinesis to turn it on, she uses her fingers. feels excitement crackle as she hears the engines turn on, as the falcon starts to float.

the hairs on her neck stand up.

she tries to get it into the air gently, easily. the ship has other ideas, climbing into the air quickly. molly can feel the adrenaline going through madelyne as she allows the ship to do what it wants, ascending into the air anything but slow or gentle. madelyne laughs, and with a glint in her eye, she decides to go full bore into the air, above the clouds.

even molly panics for a moment as the ship glides up, the engines roaring, and the feeling of being off the ground leaves her entirely. they're truly in the air streaking up higher, faster--

there's something that sounds like the exhaust backfiring. the lights shudder, the engines cut and it starts to drop.

"woah woah--!" molly panics, but madelyne doesn't.

her fingers fly over the controls. the drop is worse than a rollercoaster, and for a brief moment, molly wonders if this might be the stupidest, craziest way to die--

madelyne smacks the console, and the engines fire back on. molly can fear their ears pop, madelyne forcing the ship back in the air with a laugh.

molly tries to suggest flying low, and madelyne speaks instead, "oh, no. we're going to the stars. you're just along for the ride. so enjoy it!"

the ship hums under her, and as they accelerate, molly can't help but swallow down her trepidation. madelyne's earned this, this one part of her that was always and would always truly be hers. she deserves to enjoy it, and even if molly is terrified of nasa showing up on their door or being seen-- well. it's the millenium falcon. who could blame them for a joyride in space?