Generation X: First Contact, part 5

Disclaimer: Everybody but Glenn, Dawn, and her family are Marvel's. *Yawn* does anybody else get tired of all these disclaimers?

Author's Note: Hello, it's me again. Hope you're enjoying this stuff, cause I just love screwing with plots. Write me, kay? I'd love to hear what you think of this (even if I AM just writing it because I'm a kid and have nothing better to do) Once again, if you ARE going to e-mail me use my screen name Tapestry, cause my dad uses this too. Have a nice read.

Pearly Gates and Revolving Doors

I was rudely awakened by Glenn, who was shaking me vigorously, shouting, "Dawn, Dawn, wake up! Please!" he turned to Sean accusingly. "What did yer do t' her?!"

"S'okay, Glenn," I muttered, shoving him away. "I... I'm all right." I glanced at my hands; they were still lavender, and my voice still had that double quality to it. "I think," I added. "What happened to me?"

"Possession," Monet informed me coolly. "A little thing, really."


I could tell it was going to be one of those days.

"You heard me," Monet said in a tone that made me want to throttle her. "The tree was falling, so you did what came naturally; you used your power to save yourself by calling upon someone who could help you: Blink."


"No, not Blink as in eye, Blink as in Clarice," Monet told me. "She was a mutant with the power of spatial displacement who sacrificed herself to save us. Her power consumed her, and she died, but you have somehow managed to contact her. Search yourself. Find her. Lead her out."

This sounded so weird I figured it had to be good advice. I concentrated, scouring my mind for something strange, and discovered the source of my current power. Clarice Ferguson, my age. She was timid, but braver then most when the need arose.

:Clarice?: I called mentally.

:i'm here,: she answered softly.

:Can you come out? The others... I think they want to talk with you, especially Mr. Cassidy.: That was no lie, I could sense the other's emotions, and in truth they were half hoping I was the reincarnation of Clarice. I extended my astral form's hand and she took it. I led her back to the light from which I had come from.

When I snapped out of my trance Clarice was standing beside me, translucent but most definetly not my imagination. I glanced at my hands and discovered them no longer purple.

"Clarice!" Paige cried as she ran up to the tiny girl. She hugged the semi-tangible specter and as hugged her in return.

"oh paige," Clarice said, "are you all right? I saw you fall into the water..."

"We're all okay, chica," Angelo said with a smile. "You saved us ALL."

"angelo!" she exclaimed. "i'm so glad you're all safe!" Then Clarice saw Sean, who seemed frozen in place. "thank you, mr. cassidy," she smiled.

"What for?" he asked, taken aback. "I let ye die!"

"but you could have just left me," she countered. "instead you stayed and waited till the end. it was my powers that killed me, it wasn't your fault. don't ever think it was." She embraced him too, and--to my utter amazement--Sean began to cry.

"I should have been able t' save ye!" he cried. "But I couldna, just like I failed Thunderbird!"

I had no idea who Thunderbird was, but I took him to be someone who had dies while Sean was present. The poor guy seemed more wracked with guilt then anyone should ever have to be.

"i've talked with him," Clarice told him. "he doesn't blame you. he said you were the only one who he even came close to respecting. he said he was glad to have died a warrior in battle then as a coward in his bed." She looked around. "i've got to go now, but call me when you need to. oh, and one more thing. mr. proudstar said to tell his brother that he misses him, and even though he never showed how much he cared for him in life he's watching over him, and he's proud." She smiled and faded out silently, leaving us in a stunned silence. Finally I broke it, though not very eloquently.

"I did THAT?" I blurted out, amazed.

"It appears so," Sean said.

"Congratulations," Mondo applauded, "You're a medium!"

I looked at him and fainted for the second time that day.

By the time I woke up again it was lunch time. I was in my room, and Glenn was sitting next to my bed in a chair.

"Are you going to STAY awake this time?" he asked, smirking.

"I don't know," I told him honestly. "If anymore stupid powers show up I might not."

Glenn rolled his eyes and I punched him lightly in the shoulder. "So," he said, "Do you want some lunch?"

"Are you kidding?" I asked. "I'm starving!"

As we started to go down to the kitchen I realized I was in normal clothes again. "I'm almost afraid to ask, but... um, how did I get back into my clothes?"

Glenn actually blushed. "I, ah, I didn' 'ave anythin' t' do with it if that's wot yuir askin'," he said, his accent emerging. "Paige an' M did it. WITHOUT an audience, I might add."

I breathed a sigh of relief. I would have died if any of the boys had... well, you get the idea.

When we arrived at the kitchen I still felt a little weak. YOU should try and let some dead girl possess your body AND keep her on this plane of existence long enough for her to deliver someone else's message. And I can tell you, it's exhausting. Not that Clarice is at fault--I can't think of a sweeter person--but it felt like I had just run a marathon.

The first thing I noticed when we got there was that everyone was just a little bit tense. Not that I could blame them. I mean, how many people would truly be comfortable in the same room with someone who could summon the dead? Not me. Of course, it's something I've gotta live with, so I don't have much choice, do I? There was an awkward silence until Everett spoke up, bless him.

"Do you want a hotdog or a hamburger?" he asked, offering two plates, each with one of the offered items.

"Hamburger, please," I said automatically. He gave me the plate along with a Pepsi and I lodged myself in between Jubilee and Mondo. :Thanks,: I sent, and favored him with a smile. He nodded slightly and gave me a goofy grin. I sensed a brief flash of jealousy from Glenn, but he quickly squelched it as he served himself a hotdog. Glenn and I were developing a link of some kind, maybe because we had known each other for so long. I was starting to sense his thoughts as naturally as I did my own, so I could hear' him muttering British profanity in the back of his mind (I still don't know what 'bugger' or 'pillock' mean, and I probably don't want to.)

We chatted idly for about an hour or so before Sean called me up to the headmaster's office. He was sitting in a leather armchair. Looking friendly rather then formidable, as the headmaster at the other school had. However, my telepathy informed me that he was a little worried, and since I didn't want to dig around in his mind I asked the moment I shut the door.

"What's wrong?"

"Ms. Frost just called," he told me. I frowned, trying to remember who that was. Oh yeah, the other teacher. "Why?" I asked. "Is that a problem?"

"Yes and no," Sean replied. "She approved o' ye an' Glenn joinin' us, but she said we were to inform yuir parents. Immediatly."

I groaned. This was what I had been dreading from the moment my powers manifested. I KNEW they would flip over the hair, but I couldn't even IMAGINE how they'd act when I told them what I was. In other words, I was in it. DEEP.

I decided I might as well come clean with my parents now rather then put it off till later. "I'll call them," I sighed.

Sean nodded silently and handed me the phone. I dialed the number and waited anxiously for someone to answer.

Mom picked it up on the third ring and said, "Mrs. Embers speaking, how may I help you?"

"Mom?" I said faintly. "It's me."

"DAWN?" she exclaimed. Even from Massachusetts I could feel a wash of relief from her; being related must count for a lot with telepaths. "Where are you, honey? We've been so frantic these past few days when we heard you'd run away from the school..!"

Run away? Well, I suppose you could have put it that way. Of course, they HAD been planning to kill me, so I had figured it was the right thing to do.

"I'm okay, Mom," I assured her. "Look, I'm in Massachusetts and--"

"You're WHERE? How in heaven's name did you get to Massachusetts?!"


"Your father and I have been looking for you for days--"

"Yeah, but--"

"And what with your cousin's death we--"

"Wait, I need to--what did you say?"

"William died two days ago, dear," Mom said sadly.

"Oh, not Will!" I cried in despair. Will was the only relative who had actually liked me, even though he was seven years older then I. "What happened to him?"

"We're not sure," my mother said. "He was fine until a few weeks ago, then he got very sick without warning. The doctors never even found out what was wrong with him."

I fell into a chair, devastated. "Oh. Oh God," was all I could say.

"It's all right, dear," Mom soothed. "So long as YOU'RE safe."

That snapped me out of it. I could mourn for my cousin later, NOW I had to tell my parents the truth.

"Mom, I've gotta tell you something," I said. "I... there's no easy way to say this, so I'm going to be blunt. I'm a mutant, Mom. THAT'S why I'm in Massachusetts. They have a school here that can... help me." I figured I'd better not tell her HOW I had found the school until she accepted what I'd just told her.

"...You're a... a..." Mom stammered.

"Yep. A telepathic medium."

"This isn't a..."

"Nope, no joke. I wish it was."

"...Your father will NOT like this," she said at last. I sighed with relief. She was taking it MUCH better then I'd expected. One down, one to go. "You'd better put him on now, I'd like to get this over with."

Mom went to get him and my pulse quickened and I began to hyperventilate. I tried taking deep breaths, but it didn't work too well because when Dad finally picked up the phone I sounded like I'd run a marathon.

"Dawn..?" Dad said in almost a whisper. "Is that you, baby?"

"Yeah, it's me, Dad." Amazingly enough, my voice wasn't shaking at all. "Dad, look, I'm... I'm a mutant."

"What? Dawn, this isn't funny."

"It's not supposed to be, this is serious."

"But... but... but..."

This wasn't going very well. I mean, the poor guy was actually in shock. Oh well, might as well spill it all.

"I'm at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Massachusetts. They're going to help me hone my powers."

"But... but how did you..?"

Well, at least he'd stopped saying 'but'.

"Glenn brought me. He's a mutant too."

"That English kid? He's a..."

"Mutant? Yep. He flew us both over here."

"But he's so... so normal..."

"Well, most of the time, but he IS a mutant. Like me."

"But why didn't you..."

"Tell you? Dad, YOU HELPED FOUND THE FOH! What was I supposed to say? Hey Dad, I've just manifested two or three mutant powers but don't worry, the only way you can tell I'm not human is the streak in my hair (which now happens to be blue by the way) so you don't have to worry about any of your mutaphoebic friends finding out'? Tell me, Daddy Dearest, what do you think of me now? Are you gonna disown me, or are you gonna give up your belief that all mutants are homicidal maniacs?"

He was silent for what seemed like an eternity. Then, at last, he said, "You... you will let us visit, won't you..? just to let us see what kind of school it is..?"

"I'm going to-- WHAT?" This was NOT the kind of reaction I'd expected of him. "You... you're not angry?"

"Dawn, I can't be angry at you. You're my daughter, I know YOU'RE no monster, and that you can't help how you were born. I... I guess it's time for me to give mutants a chance."

"Oh. Oh Daddy, thank you!" I cried. "Oh thank you so much! Can you come visit?"

"I suppose so..."

"Good. I'll put Mr. Cassidy on the phone and he can tell you how to get here." I handed the phone to Sean, who took it in stride.

"Hello Mr. Embers," he said warmly. "Me name is Sean Cassidy, headmaster at Xavier's. Yuir daughter is free t' stay here as long as she likes."

After that things began to get technical, so I made my exit. Once I was safely out of earshot I shouted, "YES!" Then I did a really stupid little dance in the hallway before I calmed down enough to think straight. I couldn't BELIEVE that my dad had actually accepted the fact that I was a mutant. Not only that, but he had allowed me to stay at the Academy! I actually skipped all the way back to my dorm room. I must have looked like such a dip, dancing in the halls like that, but hey, I was happy!

Of course, after the initial elation of the conversation I had had with Dad, the news Mom had given me registered. My cousin Will was dead. Will, the one who had beaten up the school bully when I'd come home with a black eye. Will, who had driven me to the hospital when I had broken my arm (don't ask, you DON'T want to know) despite the fact he'd only had a learner's permit and gotten THAT revoked. Will, the only real friend I'd had until Glenn came along. It hit me so suddenly it felt like I'd been slapped in the face. I curled up on my bed and cried.

After about half an hour I ran out of tears. I felt like being alone for a while, so I crept through the halls and up onto the roof. It was raining (of course) but I didn't feel like going back inside and getting a raincoat, and besides, I didn't have one anyway. I perched myself on the roof and stared into the clouds, feeling depressed.

:Hey kiddo, what's the matter?: a voice in my mind asked.

I nearly fell off the roof.

"W-W-W-W..." I stammered.

:Yeah, it's me, Will.:

"B-b-b-but how..?"

:Your power, remember? I'm dead, so you can call me when you need me. And you did, too. Not consciously, of course, but your subconscious did. You wanted to see me again, so here I am.:

"Oh, Will!" I cried in delight, realizing he wasn't really dead.

:Glad you approve.: I could feel him in my mind, using that cute, lopy grin he usually wore. :Can I tell you something?:


:Well, it doesn't matter too much now, y'know, with me being dead and all, but it was a pretty big secret when I was alive.: He hesitated marginally. :I was--am--a mutant. Would you like to know what my power was?:

"You were..?" I was in shock. Now I knew what my dad had felt like when I'd told HIM. It had never even crossed my mind that WILL could have been a mutant. "What could you do?"

:Step off the roof.:


:Do it.:

I did it. It was a LOOONG drop, but I trusted my cousin. That is, until he said, :I never really got a chance to do this in real life, but I figure it'll work now.:

"YOU WHAT?!?!?!?" I screamed. "YOU'VE NEVER TRIED THIS BEFORE!?!?!?!?!"

Now you've got to remember all this was going on while I was about to have a close encounter with the sidewalk, so I was just a TAD irrational at the time.

:Sssshhhhh!: he sent. :I'm concentrating.: I felt something happening, like I was being doused in warm water. Suddenly a wind stirred up and broke my fall, and then carried me higher into the air. It was the most fantastic feeling, just soaring through the wind and rain like a bird. Now, I've got a confession to make. Ever since I was a little kid I'd always longed to fly, and I loved heights. Every chance I got I would climb a tree or a cliff or something like that (and had a few scars to prove it, too.) This was the first time I'd ever even thought about doing it on my own, and it was wonderful.

"Will, it's.." I started to say.

:Fantastic? Yeah, I know. Too bad I never got the chance to do it when I was alive. My powers are elemental, see? I can control most things--well, anything of or made of the earth, anyhow--but I never dared tell anyone, because of your dad being with the FOH and all. But I did practice a little when no one was looking and managed to get a fair amount of control over it.: He paused, then added, :So, how do you like it?:

For a reply the clouds broke and a brilliant rainbow appeared as the sun bathing us both in it's warm, comforting light.

TEASER: Next chapter Emma enters the picture and gets a little more then she bargained for from a mind probe when Will decides to... intervene. See ya soon.

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