there are options at her fingertips.

there is this: telling redd about jenny, and who she is on these shifts now. that she is jean grey-summers, who threatens everything she and maddy have worked for all these years. she could be honest with him about how scared she is, how threatened just knowing who she is makes her. she could let all of it out, and tell him that even though she surely shot sinister into the depths of hell where he belonged, there was still a fear circling her hear even now that at the end of the day, it didn't take machinations from sinister to tear apart everything she had all at once because of old bonds, old love, and the fact that at the end of the day, she came from jean. jean always seemed to win, always seemed to be lurking no matter what she could. she could beat scott to the punch, pack all of her things, erase the minds of everyone who knew them, and run. let jean have the easy victory that she felt would happen even if she fought her hardest. she would lose again and again, as expected of her.

that choice is easy. it is destructive.

there is also this: keeping her mouth shut. basking in the first word of lily, having dinner with scott on the patio together. tucking gryffin in, holding him close. getting photos of all of them together, keeping her hands enclosed around the family here and now. sending nora and her father messages before bed, closing her eyes, happy to have them all. pushing her fears away, focusing on the future in front of her. to turn backwards, to rip it all apart, to tell anyone her fear, felt as if it was giving up the most essential part of herself. putting jean away, putting her fear away, trusting in everyone else to actually care about her wasn't the easiest choice. it was the hardest, the one left to chance.

she makes it anyway. takes that option, tries to move forward.

there is this: the tangle of memories that have fallen into her lap now, pulled from victor creed's mind, tumbling one by one. a council of mutants, a proverbial paradise that all mutants were owed to now. the dream of charles xavier, in full bloom. in it, victor creed, however, being punished, pushed into an inky blackness. completely aware of time passing, of life around him. unable to scream, unable to be free. the fury washing over him, and now more malignant than ever after everything.

there is also this: to talk him down, to tell him to forget it, that this is a new world.

except that there is a problem with that. jean lashed out at her, blamed her, and maddy had done the same. tore into each other like they always did, like they do on instinct. scott apologized to her, because she had never forgot, and would never forget what had been done to her. there was no room in her heart for glossing over what changed her irrevocably, that still was changing her day by day. there was betsy who still felt angry with her for what she had done; and maddy herself had no issue with putting betsy back into her place as she saw fit--even as she believed betsy deserved a chance to avenge herself, no matter how stupid it had been for her to try.

she does not reach for a peaceful, sweet tongued way with his memories at her fingertips. no. not with a yawning darkness and a fire for revenge.

she chooses this: to say that victor creed is owned his revenge, even if it might endanger others. that anyone is owed revenge when they have been wronged, and if he feels that he has to do this? then she is behind him.

acuite