the door slams. there's a thud as something hits the floor. gryffin is angry, furious at being told no.
madelyne pryor sinks to her knees on the couch of this hotel she has placed her children in. all of the staff has been replaced by demons, all of them loyal and ferocious to madelyne. her very body aches, and the need to contact scott summers' over the psychic connection they had was almost overwhelming. except she knows that if she does, it will only be sinister on the other end, or worse, a scott currently in pain.
weeks ago, scott being in pain would have been fun, great, and all around what he deserved. right now, the longer scott stayed missing, the greater the eventual threat was to their children. only one of them was equipped to fight sinister, one of them was a teenager who wanted to give sinister a right hook but had no idea of the scope of the danger, and the last was a baby who had no idea of the peril around her, who's simple little thoughts only had bursts of coherency and confusion.
her eyes shuts. there is so much for her-- for them, to do. to check in on kara, and to see about her psychic abilities. to check on ororo and to see if she had seen anything. to contemplate the idea of reaching out to emma frost, carol danvers, or even betsy braddock to make sure that none of them had run into sinister. and there were more, so much more.
all of whom maddy liked or tolerated in some form or fashion, all of whom she had perhaps changed her perception of or was close to.
all of whom she knew she would gladly turn into doddering, drooling idiots if sinisiter met them, if he found a way into their minds, into the fact that the clone he had so prized had borne two more children into this world. young children he could mold or if he could not mold them, could clone into eternity until he could make them into what he wanted.
pressure builds in her chest at the thought. even if she was jean grey's knock off, even if she was cruel sometimes, even if she was petty and mean, at her core, the one thing that had always truly been hers was her love of her children. even if she had ultimately failed nathan (and his efforts now were so heroic, it was so painful to know he had suffered, was suffering) in the long run, she couldn't bear to think of failing gryffin and lily now. to leave anything in their survival to mere chance. to know that a thought-- a single stray thought could tear them apart--
her hands covered her face. her breathing started to go ragged, and sternly, madelyne told herself: three minutes. just three minutes.
so that is what she takes. for three minutes, she weeps into her hands. she lets the fear, the paranoia grip her for three minutes. allows herself to sob in terror in a way she would rather die than let sinister see. let's her shoulders heave, her mouth opening to let out moans and sobs of terror, her fingers digging red crescents into her skin.
and when the three minutes was over, she pulls her hands from her face. so much of her wants to continue to sob, to curl into a ball in fear and hope that sinisiter left, that she would never see or hear from her again. madelyne is terrified, yet it's molly who wipes their tears from their face. she's the one who forces their hair into a ponytail, and stubbornly pushes their body from the couch.
there were afraid. paranoid of every stranger who had ever seen them, hateful for sinister's existence, and determined to live through this.
the time to cry had passed. three minutes was all they were going to take--now? now they were going to get to work to protect the family they had. even if they might have to lose some in the attempt.