The last thing on Molly's mind, when she got dressed in the back of the casino, was Madelyne Pryor. Molly hadn't thought of her maybe self in weeks, writing it off as a maybe one and done situation that had come at the price of her old job, but had brought in new changes. Maybe it had just been a singular instance of craziness, or at the very least, enough to simply but away and ignore.

As she tucked her shoes in her bag, pulled her hair back, pulled a sweater over her clothes, and wiped the makeup from her face, she was turned to other things: what to get once she was off of work, what to play on the ride home, and Halloween with friends. (Particularly if it meant helping Cate figure out a costume.)

The cacophony of other minds had become easier and easier to deal with. And it was probably best for her to not think too hard about the fact that Lainey, the woman she'd come to Boston for, possessed the same abilities. She didn't want to consider what that said, or the unease it gave her at times.

What Molly wanted most, as she stepped out of the casino and made her way to the carpark, was a fresh donut, a drink, and some sleep.

What she got instead, as she settled into her seat, was a pounding, visceral headache that arched and flamed in her head.

Her fingers fumbled with the keys as it crept up her skull, her eyes shutting with the swath of pain.

"No, no, no," panic rose with it; she remembered what she had read online, remembered last time. It always started like this, with a headache. "Please, no."

Her head sears with pain, and before she can properly jam her key into the ignition, it dissipates. She's left pressing her forehead against the wheel, gasping for breath. Her fingers clench and unclench on the wheel.

The drive home is silent, her fingers shaking on the wheel as she goes. Molly tries to remember what else to do, but nothing comes up. Not as the pain starts to slowly increase again, and she can feel her rising up with every pulse, every demand.

This time everything feels different. Despite the email from before, Molly could feel raw anger rising up, and with it power.

She grits her teeth as she slows at a light, grateful that the roads were empty, eyes focusing on the rearview mirror. "I thought you didn't want to make this painful. And you weren't going to be hostile."

You should stop being so self-centered, Madelyne's eyes stare back at her, red with animosity. I'm not angry at you. This is out of my control.

"Find that hard to believe," Molly's fingers spasm with a new wave of pain. Every part of her is trying to fight this off, but the pain sears down her forehead, and her body feels less and less in her control. Her foot lifts off the brake, the car rocking with it. "You're--- you want something."

Madelyne doesn't deny it. Her eyes only burn red in the mirror.

For once, Molly pushes back as hard as she can. "I'm not letting you take me over. Not unless--," Her teeth grit down in pain.

Madelyne, for her part, seems to edge closer, expression softening only fractionally. "You want a promise, out of me?"

"It's my body, too. I can make demands if I want," It's so dangerous for her to do this, to argue with someone like this, but she takes her chance. "Don't contact my family. Don't harm anyone I know. It's the least you can do for me."

Madelyne holds her gaze. Molly doesn't blink, nails digging into her steering wheel. Madelyne weighs her options silently for a long moment. As angry as she felt, as confused as she was... getting along with Molly was something she at least wanted to continue to do. Or, at least, attempt to do. Her agenda was her own, but her gut told her that they had more in common than what she could see now. And that connection gave her enough respect for Molly to say, "I agree to your terms."

And Molly's world goes dark.

It's Madelyne who takes over the car, the gas pedal moving on it's own, the gear shifting with a flick of her fingers. She tries to ignore the bit of guilt she feels at the last flickering panic and fear coming off of Molly before she took over. Even if what she had told her was true, at the moment, Molly's needs weren't her own.

Right now, as she took Molly's car to her apartment, Madelyne felt exactly like herself: vengeful, bitter, and entirely too alive. She remebered being murdered, rememberd being betrayed, remembered so goddamn much. More than what she wanted to have all at once, and so much anger and resentment that she could hardly stand it.

But it wasn't as if she wasn't familiar with this. Madelyne was on her own. Sshe was always stuck in a situation like this, always seemed that whenever she could get close to happy, it would be ripped right from beneath her feet. She was the Goblyn Queen, and she was more than just the clone of Jean Grey. She was so much more.

And at the moment, resettled into this new body, she wasn't ready to make nice. Not with the X-Men, not with Jean, not with Scott Summers, not anyone. She could adhere to her not-self's wishes and steer away from her personal life. But the rest?

Climbing out the car, she adjusted the coat, and with a deep breath, steeled herself. The cold nipped at her minimally as she flexed her powers, felt the crackle of magic beneath her finger tips. Flame circled itself around her fingers, and with a snap, the magic arced around her, warming her, confirming this new reality.

Madelyne was going to have herself a little fun. The universe owed it to her, after all this time.