the first memory she locked away, deep and dark in her mind. sinister wrote the rest of her into existence around it, grafting jean’s memories into her mind, layering in jean’s childhood as delicately as possible in her mind and weaving an entirely false life--one that would lead her to scott summers.
the first memory, the true first memory never came to her until she found herself bound by sinister, his cold fingers on her cheeks, and his taunting words in her ear. she recalled it then: not feeling anything at all, at first. unaware that she was an empty vessel, with no real thoughts or feelings of her own, existing at sinister’s whims.
and then there was fire: fire surrounding her, fire in her chest, a spark of being growing and growing inside of her. scott summers’ face flashing before her eyes, being filled with need and love for him. and knowing, for a brief moment, exactly who and what brought her to life, saying, “fire… life incarnate--now--forever--phoenix.”
and then everything dimmed--and she was back in sinister’s arms.
he laughed and laughed in her face, the memory tearing down everything she had ever known.
in the body she shares with molly patton now, madelyne pryor finds herself thinking of it as she lies in bed. she can feel warmth surging in her, can feel that spark of the phoenix inside of her body in a way she has only felt once before: when jean grey had taken it back and she had died in her arms.
it doesn’t feel exactly the same as it did then, almost malignant inside of her, aching to be free. no--it feels like it’s hotter, wilder inside of her chest. it actually feels as if the heat contained inside of her is trying to climb out of her body, making her sweat and pant, aching for-- for--
for what, exactly? she doesn’t know, her mind coming up blank as she wrestled with it.