looking for heaven, found the devil in me

"who are you?" she asks, foolish and confused. she can't help it: the last thing she remembered was leaving her apartment on a sunny day, and now she was back, hair tousled, coming to herself in the middle of rummaging through her purse with no idea what had happened in between and in the mirror, something strange.

her reflection is off. this woman carries something inside her that is angrier, that is darker than she. there is something about her that feels similar, but not quite correct. "who are you?" she parrots back, voice razor sharp.

she wants to retort, but her head is tearing at the seams. every motion feels heavy, every syllable itching to come out of her mouth weighed down.

it occurs to her that she cannot recall her name, only the shade of her hair.

there's snow outside and she isn't sure why. it fits just enough with the headache, with the slide of reality to and fro as names bubble up: remy, nathan, jean, scott, ororo--

she forces her eyes shut and pushes back at the other in her head. she pushes with as much strength as she can muster, sweat pouring down her face as she does. even that feels off; she can feel something else beneath, pushing with her.

the other woman, the not her does not back down. she pushes back just as hard, jostling for control as if she has done this all over her life. as if it's all her life ever has been: a fight for dominance, for control that never quite came right.

her head throbs in pain, and she can hear something shatter. the sound makes her ears ring and her stomach tighten in discomfort. she tries to latch onto something, anything to make it easier, and comes up with nothing but the pain in her head tripling.

(how did she get home? how did she get home?)

"get out, get out," the words feel useless as she says them, as she tries to remember. her fingers claw into the carpet, panting, needing to get ahold of herself, of everything.

"you may not like me," the other woman says, the sound not so sharp as before, "but i will not her you. us."

"us?" she shakes. "how can-- i can't trust you. i don't know who you are."

she's so tired. she wants to give up. the other woman presses forward, like phantom arms wrapping themselves around her body. she shuts her eyes, and gives up. her head hurts too much to fight, her body too overwhelmed.

in her place, madelyne pryor pushes down whatever guilt she may feel for this girl. her hand pushes at the sweat on her forehead, focusing on the smashed phone on the ground, feet away.

the girl-- no, molly was quiet again now. there was only madelyne now, in this unfamiliar apartment. her hand came to her throat as she breathed, wondering about what she should do next as the snow fell outside, windows frosted over.

whatever this world, whatever this place was, it was more than she bargained for if the body she had been forced into could take over again. gingerly, she stretched out with her power to grasp the phone again, forcing it to turn back on, screen cracked and all. while she could promise (truthfully) that she would not harm the girl's body, she couldn't say the same for her things.

all it took was one stroke for the phone to work for her, messages flashing, news alerts on the screen. madelyne frowned, contemplating the screen. there were too many strange factors here at work, too many pieces to assess.

the headache though, persistent and sharp, was the only clue she had. and, well. she would start there and maybe she could find out what was going on and assess things from there. after the previous morning, it was the least she could do.

and when she got answers, solid answers, she could move forward and perhaps, be free.