AN: This story is the fourth round of short vignettes for some select characters during specific points in Volume 4. If you haven't read Volume 4 yet, I suggest you do because I'll be citing some of the events. Many are simple character musings that should fill in some of the blanks or add some extra depth to the X-men Supreme mythos. Think of these as one-shot specials similar to those that make it onto comic stands once in a while. As such, their contents are in continuity and I'll reference wherever and whenever these scenes take place. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own X-men or any of the characters. They are the property of Marvel and Disney. Please don't sue.
'These mean character thoughts or psychic communication.'
This indicates a shift to first person.
As always, I encourage everybody who reads this series to review. Feedback is the driving force that makes X-men Supreme great. I am grateful for the support I've received thus far and I encourage everyone to tell me what they think. Don't be shy! Please post your comments on the website or send me your feedback through the fanfiction website. Thank you and enjoy!
Betsy's Reflections (AN: Takes place shortly after issue 80)
Elizabeth Braddock closed her eyes and exhaled deeply through a thick layer of steam. She had been lingering in the shower for a good twenty minutes. She had long since finished washing her hair, applying conditioner, and doing her usual morning shower rituals. She had a busy day ahead of her and should have been back in her room, dressed, and on her way to class by now. The old Elizabeth would have been on task and focused, but she wasn't that same girl anymore. She was that girl plus this other girl who she didn't know yet was inescapably tied to her persona.
Eventually, her skin started pruning and she pulled herself together enough to turn off the shower and grab a towel. Her vision remained hazy through the steam as she roughly rubbed the towel over her naked skin, fighting off the strange feeling that this wasn't her body in the process. It was a feeling that hadn't left her since this mess began. The body of Elizabeth Braddock was no more, having been reduced to an unrecognizable heap of burned flesh. The body she was in now belonged to a young Japanese woman named Kwannon. That woman was dead now or at least she was supposed to be.
Once dry, Betsy wrapped the towel around her body and navigated through the thick steam towards the mirror. Using her hand, she wiped away the condensation to reveal a face that still looked like a stranger to her. She was Elizabeth Braddock in the body of Kwannon Tsurayaba. To say she was facing an identity crisis would be an understatement of epic proportions.
"My name is Elizabeth Braddock. My name is Elizabeth Braddock," she said distantly into the mirror.
Bloody hell, I sound like I belong in a padded cell. How many perfectly sane people have to remind themselves who they're looking at every time they come close to a mirror? I still don't know how sane I am. I don't even know if my mind is completely intact. I can still function normally. I can eat, sleep, think, and reason as well as any young 19-year-old college student…or a 22 year old soldier for White Cell. I'm not sure which applies more. Sure makes planning my birthday a real bitch.
This shouldn't be so damn hard! It's not like I switched bodies with a five-year-old boy or a 65-year-old woman. I switched bodies with a skilled Japanese woman with the fighting skills of a ninja and some nifty mutant powers on top of it. It's not an ugly body either. Kwannon kept in great shape. I could probably go back to my old modeling gigs no questions asked. Being a hot Asian girl still carries some unpleasant stereotypes I'd rather not encounter, but it could be a whole lot worse. So why can't I get over it? Why can't I accept that this is who I am now?
It's a lot easier said than done. I'm usually so good at gritting my teeth and moving forward with my life, but there's no motivational pep talk that prepares you for this. I'm looking at a girl in the mirror and it's not entirely me. I still feel like Betsy. I still act like her in most respects. But part of me still feels like Kwannon as well. Sometimes I have these thoughts and feelings that are completely alien to me. I wonder if maybe this is some lingering essence of a girl whose suppose to be dead. Maybe she isn't dead and a part of her is still locked in my mind, waiting for a chance to get out.
It better not set the stage for a turf war in this body. I'm not sure I have the energy for a battle like that. It's hard enough just being Betsy. I don't want to imagine how hard it would be going back and forth between two completely different minds. That's the kind of crazy that deserves to be locked up and not entrusted with the responsibilities of an X-man.
The young woman turned away from the mirror, working hard to shut out all those awkward feelings of being a mind trapped in an unfamiliar body. She busied herself by brushing her long purple hair. One of the only features that stayed consistent from her old body to her new body was her hair length. She and Kwannon liked to keep the same shoulder-length hair. Even though hers was purple, a side-effect of her psionic blade powers according to Professor Xavier, it still felt like the hair she always had. That one feature was a rare similarity that offered a tiny bit of stability in a situation that had so little to begin with.
I used to never have to worry about being overwhelmed like this. One of my strengths had always been a strong and focused mind. That's not just because of my telepathic talents either. That's been one of my most defining traits since I was a little girl growing up in another body.
I developed this and other talents throughout my early life in Essex, England. I came from a family that already valued a level head. My parents were both active in high level law enforcement and my older brother, Brian Braddock, acted like a cop most of the time so we were all well-versed in the law and order. My mother was a top barrister in Western Europe. She specialized in international courts weeding through the thick stacks of laws and regulations each country scribbled onto any old slip of paper. My father was a respected officer at Interpol who specialized in Asian crime syndicates. He was regarded as one of the top detectives in the agency and I always looked up to him for solving the mysteries that few others wanted to solve.
My father was a hero in a ways that didn't require superpowers or fancy costumes. He made a difference using only his mind. As a little girl I would watch these old crime movies with him and he would point out all the clues and connections before the main character had his first clue. I know it's easy to impress young children with damn near everything, but this left a hell of an impression. Instead of playing cops and robbers with my brother, I played detective.
It started off with puzzles. Boy did I drown hours on end with puzzles. From word searches to crossword puzzles, mazes, computer games, and rubix cubs I devoured every one I could get my hands on. My father taught me all the tricks of the trade. Every time I thought I was finished, he would encourage me to find the next step. There was always another step it seemed and sometimes it went beyond just solving the puzzle. He encouraged me to look at how I was solving it. What tools could I use to get the answer I was looking for? I didn't have much to work with besides my own brain. I didn't find out until years later that my brain had much more to offer.
My puzzle phase lasted until I was about eleven-years-old. My parents were worried that I was becoming too much of a recluse. By this time my brother was a teenager already training as a junior cadet in a British military academy. He was going to be a real soldier for the crown and he had plenty of people looking out for him. I didn't have anywhere near that kind of support. I had practically no friends and I didn't know too many kids that shared my interest. Every day after school I would go straight up to my room and work on puzzles. Socially, that was very healthy. Being the stubborn little bloke that I was, I didn't see much reason to put myself out there. It took a jolt of tragedy to get me out of my shell.
One day my mother returned from a trip to Hong Kong feeling ill. My father and I thought it was just jet lag or the flu. Then the vomiting and fainting started. Overnight she became pale as a ghost and weak as a 98-year-old cripple. Something was terribly wrong so my father rushed her to the hospital.
There she was diagnosed with this rare form of tropical flu. It was native only to Southeast Asia and potentially lethal. They assumed she got it from her extensive travels to that area. My father suspected something more sinister at work. My mother had been working on this case against a team of Asian crime lords with ties to these Yakuza clans in Japan. While she and my father were used to catching heat from these guys, they were always careful and well-prepared. That didn't mean they were untouchable. One rule of the criminal underworld is that no one is untouchable.
If my mother really was poisoned, there were no clues to follow. There was no evidence of foul play. Even someone as brilliant as my father couldn't figure it out. He had to watch helplessly as my mother suffered for nearly three weeks in a hospital bed before slipping into a coma and dying. For me and Brian, it was pretty bloody devastating. It still haunts me to this day.
That would make a lot of sense if it didn't feel so strange now because I'm in a body that she didn't give birth to. Does that still make her my mother? The hell if I know. What's even worse is this story of my life has to compete with the story of Kwannon's.
Betsy started brushing her hair a little rougher. Frustration kept finding ways to overwhelm her, even when she was trying to relax. Looking down at her purple hair, she once again clashed with the same inner conflict. She still thought of herself as Elizabeth Braddock, but Kwannon was now part of her identity. It wasn't something she could shake off. She had been trying endlessly and it was becoming increasingly apparent that there was nothing she could do to escape the truth. The story of Kwannon's life was now the story of her life as well.
She may be dead, but I still have a healthy dose of Kwannon's memories. I remember her being a little girl in this body. She was a lot like me in the sense that she was a daddy's girl. Her father, who also happened to be my godfather, was also in law enforcement. Matsu'o Tsurayaba was a legend within the Asian authorities. He had a reputation for hitting organized crime and hitting them hard. He was also a close friend of my father. They had been working together since before Brian and I were born so it wasn't too much a stretch to make him my godfather.
Now that puts me in an even more awkward position because I love for my uncle as any goddaughter would, but now that love is mixing with the genuine daughterly love that Kwannon had. She was a lot more animated about it as well. She didn't want to just solve crimes. She wanted to fight them. Her mother's death also caused a turning point for her. Just like my mother, she was a victim of the very crime syndicates her father was fighting against. Someone from an angry Yakuza clan literally executed her in front of her eyes. It's tragic and bloody annoying at the same time because I didn't even know the woman and I'm still getting worked up just thinking about her.
Kwannon and I both took the loss of our respective mothers and took our lives in a new direction. She started training with all the best trainers in Japan, most of which owed Matsu'o at least several dozen favors. She learned every style of fighting she could from kung fu to taekwondo and jujitsu. She conditioned herself body to be in top form against anybody who got in her way. When her powers manifested, she made each style her own. That's how she became the skilled little ninja she is…or was. Bloody hell, I've got to start getting my tenses right!
I actually remember all the training she went through. It was way more physically demanding than the training I got after my mother passed away. I went to this little private school to get a leg up on my studies. Spending days on end with puzzles hadn't made me a straight-A student. I needed something to give me an edge and the woman that ran this school was a friend of my mothers so she pulled some strings to get me a scholarship. What made this school important was that it had this junior criminology program that I quickly immersed myself into. That's where I wanted to focus my efforts. I wanted to be in law enforcement like my father.
Thanks to my father's influence, I excelled. By the time I was 17 I was certified to enter and analyze crime scenes, albeit on a limited basis. I could actually get first-hand experience with real conflict. Some of it was not for the weak of heart. It meant being in close proximity with some grotesque sights and various human entrails. It also meant getting close to real criminals, many of whom had no problem doing all sorts of disgusting things to a cute teenage girl. I refused to be afraid of them. I realized that if I was going to be in this business I had to be brave like my father and confront the people behind the crimes. It seems only fitting that doing so awaken my latent mutant powers.
It seemed like an ordinary enough case. My father thought it was perfectly safe to let me tag along. We went to his office at Interpol where they had this suspected money launderer from Spain. He wasn't all that imposing. He looked more like a shoe salesman than a businessman. There was some scant evidence that he was wiring money through fake business investments for the Yakuza Clans. None of it would hold up in court and it looked like he was going to have to be released. That didn't stop my father from having a little chat with him. He let me watch over him since the man seemed about as dangerous as a butter knife. I had been dealing with what I thought were just migraines for the past few days and I was trying to tough it out so I could gain some quality experience. I ended up gaining a lot more than that.
The interrogation was pretty uneventful. My father went through his routine, going through his list of questions and putting on his most intimidating demeanor. The bloke didn't even budge. Hell, he actually smiled a few times. He said all the right things in all the right ways. If he was hiding something, he was doing a damn good job. My father was getting frustrated. He had been a little ill himself lately. He was going through the last round of question when I started hearing these voices. At first I thought it was just a side-effect of my migraine, but when I started listening to the voices I realized something amazing. Those voices weren't voices. They were thoughts.
This bloke was such a tosser he was practically screaming with his mind that he was lying to the face of an Interpol agent. He got a sick thrill out of deceiving the people meant to catch him. He knew every trick in the book except how to guard his thoughts. I started hearing things like Yashida and Jack Lee Fund. Just as my father was about to let him go, I jumped in.
"This asshole is lying! He's near the top of the Yakuza's payroll!"
It was probably not the smartest thing to yell out loud. My father was just as surprised as the man. They looked at me like I had gone mental or something. The man laughed at me while my father tried to get me out of the room. Then I picked up on more thoughts. I heard these combinations of numbers and the name of a few banks. Before I was forced out, I blurted out the name Yashida and Fenris. That got a hell of a reaction from the man. He went from calm to full blown rage in less than five second.
I forget how many obscenities he spat out over the course of the next five minutes, but I'm pretty sure it would get him fined in America. He tried to come after me, thinking I was some sort of trap set by the Yakuza. It was flattering even if it was overwhelming. First I watched my father and a bunch of armed officers restrained him. Then I watched my father and his people check the information I heard. It was just what they needed. Sure enough the Jack Lee fund was a secret trust from the Yashida crime family that was run and managed by our distinguished guest. The numbers I got from his mind were the encrypted passkey. It was a huge if not ridiculously lucky break in the case.
While my father and his friends at Interpol were ecstatic, I was bloody confused. My father silently took me to the Interpol clinic where his private doctor ran a few tests. That's when I got my answer. I was a mutant and my powers involved telepathy. I probably shouldn't have been too surprised. I honestly didn't know what to do with this information, but my father saw the potential in it before I did.
He sat me down and told me that I had a special gift. Being able to read peoples' thoughts was a skill that could make me more than just an ordinary crime buff. It could make me an extra detective, capable of solving and preventing crime that would have otherwise gone unheeded. When I thought of it in this way the shock quickly wore off. Now I had an edge to really make a difference in the world. My father often lamented how he was limited to the tools he had available. Now I had something special to work with and I was going to put it to good use. It was probably the best piece of advice my father ever gave me. It was also the last.
A wave of sorrow washed over Betsy's inherent confusion. She had to stop brushing her hair so she could wipe the tears from her eyes. Even after going through the trauma of switching bodies, she still felt the same sadness whenever her father found his way into her thoughts. Losing her mother had been hard enough. Losing her father affected her in many different ways, some of which wouldn't become clearer until much later in life.
While I was struggling with my new powers, my father was struggling with a heart condition he had been keeping secret. This time there was no mystery or foul play from his many enemies. This was just a man's health catching up to him. About a month after my powers manifested, he checked himself into a hospital. Two weeks later he suffered a stroke and fell into a coma. Three days later, he died.
It was a difficult time for me in a lot of ways. I remember being with him during those last few moments and I distinctly recall a few stray thoughts he projected. He had few regrets in his life. He was proud of everything he accomplished. The only thing that he really struggled with was preventing crimes before they happened. He could solve all the murder mysteries in the world. That didn't mean those murders were undone. It was a painfully noble mindset for a man with a damn near impossible job. It left me more determined than ever to follow his example.
After my father was buried, I spent some time with my brother, Brian. I was less than shocked to find out he was a mutant too. His powers involved drawing this weird energy that gave him the power to project force and enhance his strength. I don't know the science behind it, but it explained why he was kicked out of the royal military and relegated to doing legal work. It wasn't his cup of tea, but it did give him time to teach me the ins and outs of being a mutant. He also gave me some good legal advice in that he said to keep my powers secret. The human/mutant conflict was becoming pretty mainstream at the time and the last thing I wanted to do was hurt my chances at a career in crime-fighting.
Once I got a handle on my telepathy, I resumed my studies. This is where my uncle Matsu'o Tsurayaba came in again. Since he and my father had been such close friends, he took it upon himself to look after me so that I had at least one parental figure in my life. I'm glad he was there because I needed him while I graduated from my cozy little private school and entered the criminology program at Essex University.
What I didn't know a the time was that Matsu'o Tsurayaba had another reason for spending time with me and Brian. He was feeling somewhat empty after his daughter, Kwannon, left to use her new fighting skills on a bigger stage. Her mutant powers had manifested a while back and unlike me, it didn't take a tragedy either. During some of the rediculously intense training she seemed have a hard-on for, her psionic blades manifested to help her defeat her trainers. There was no confusion on her part. She saw these powers as a means of becoming even stronger. However, they came at a price.
Kwannon's main goal was to join Japanese or Asian authorities. She had become motivated beyond just being an officer like her father. She wanted to be a full blown warrior. But being a mutant made that pretty much impossible. Pretty much every country in the world is bound by international law to not use mutants in their armed forces. That meant it didn't matter how skilled Kwannon was. No army would allow her to join.
This left her understandably pissed. Matsu'o Tsurayaba encouraged her to seek other career paths like becoming an officer or starting her own dojo. That lead to a string of arguments that ended with Kwannon storming out and joining this private security force called White Cell. Since they were private, they allowed and often embraced mutants into their ranks. Matsu'o was dead set against it, but Kwannon was a legal adult now. She could do whatever the hell she wanted and she wanted to be part of something where she could put her fighting skills to good use. She sure got plenty with White Cell and her father was left feeling pretty lousy.
It was a family drama I had no knowledge of nor cared to get caught up in. I never asked my uncle about why he was so reserved about the issue and he never talked about it. By all accounts I had no way of possibly knowing that this little father/daughter spat was going to affect me in the biggest, not to mention bizzare, kind of way.
Betsy stopped brushing her hair and leaned over the sink. Her frustration continued to fester. She tried splashing cold water on her face, rubbing her throbbing temples for a bit in the process. It was useless to get angry over something she had absolutely no control over. No matter which way she looked at it, she had no way of knowing that something like this was going to happen to her.
With water still dripping from her face, Betsy's gaze narrowed in on her reflection in the mirror. In it she still saw the face of Kwannon, not Elizabeth Braddock. It was hard to blame her because she had no control over this either. The conflict that led her mind to take over Kwannon's body was the result of a man they both trusted and some Yakuza thugs they didn't even know.
It all started coming together before Kwannon and I had the faintest idea of what was going on. While I was busy in college, she was off doing her job with White Cell. It was a dangerous job that brought her into some pretty rough war zones, but she thrived on it. She held her own even among those stronger and more experienced than her. I even have some faint memories of a few romantic flings. She had a much more exciting personal life than me. I only had a handful of love interests while I was in school and none of them were particularly serious. I don't know how serious Kwannon's flings were. I only know they came to an end when she was gravely injured on the job and left in a deep coma.
It happened during Magneto's crazy extinction plot with that killer asteroid of his. White Cell was commissioned to control riots in the cities and she had the misfortune of enduring severe head trauma in the field. By the time the conflict was over and she made it to a hospital, the damage had been done. Her brain was scarred and her mind was essentially gone. When Matsu'o Tsurayaba found out I'm pretty sure he was devastated. I remember because just up and left for Japan without giving me any reason. He also stopped returning my phone calls and emails. I didn't think anything of it. He was my godfather. I had no reason not to trust him.
So when he called me months later under the guise of helping him with a case, I didn't think much of it. Hell, I saw it as an opportunity to get some real-life experience in the arena of big time crime fighting. I had been doing pretty well in school and I had yet to really use my telepathy to solve a mystery. This seemed as good a time as any. What should have been a free trip to Japan quickly turned into a nightmare because what my dear uncle did that day completely messed my life up forever.
I get that the man loved his daughter. I get that parents will go to any length to save the life of their child. What I don't get is how a man as smart as Matsu'o Tsurayaba could be so bloody stupid in trusting the Yashida Yakuza Clan! This man spent a lifetime fighting these blokes. Now he turns to them for help? Just because his daughter is in a coma doesn't mean his fucking brain has to shut off.
Maybe I'm being a bit too harsh on the man, but he should have known better. There was no way Harada Yashida was going to give him what he wanted. That bloke was going to screw him over one way or another. By dragging me into this mess, he was going to make sure I got screwed over as well. He was willing to sacrifice his niece to save his daughter. That either makes him the world's greatest father or the world's worst uncle.
I didn't figure it out until it was too late. By the time I realized my uncle had taken advantage of my trust, I was abducted, gagged, and thrown into a bio tank for some bullocks Yakuza science experiment. Even though the X-men showed up with Deatstrike to stop these assholes, there was no way this mess was going to end well. I don't know the exact science behind what happened nor do I care to know. All I remember was feeling like my head was floating off my shoulders and then in an instant, it was shoved right back down only it did not land on the same body.
It was probably the most disorienting experience ever recorded. No drunk, drug addict, or schitzo could ever match what happens when you move from one body to another. I can't even put it into thoughts let alone words. All I can say was it left me dazed and confused on a whole new level. The strangest part is that when I awoke I didn't even know I was in a new body at first. I just knew something was off.
The first person I saw was Remy Lebeau of the X-men. While I was getting my head and body on straight, he and the X-men were taking care of the Yakuza. It was a good thing too because I was in no condition to be of any help. The only person I wanted to confront was my darling uncle/father. There were so many ways I could have told him to sod off for putting me and Kwannon through this, but the bloke had to complicate everything by being heroic at the last minute.
He turned on the Yashidas and helped save me. He also managed to mortally wound himself in the process. By the time I did reach him he was on his last breath. He reached out to me and to Kwannon, saying how sorry he was and how much he loved me…or us if I want to be technical. I wanted to hate the man. It should have been easy because he was my uncle and he betrayed my trust, not to mention my father's. But I guess some part of Kwannon lingered because I still felt the love she had for him and that made it bloody impossible to be very cold-hearted.
Whatever emotions I was feeling, I still held the man as he drew his last breath. I sensed in his thoughts how sad he was to have failed his niece and his daughter. I also sensed what drove him to do what he did and even now I find it hard to completely hate his guts. Even so, what he did has turned my life upside down, inside out, and eveything else in between. Everything from here on out is part of a rebuilding phase and much of that proces is taking place right here with the X-men.
Betsy closed her eyes and turned away from the mirror. There was no use getting upset over it anymore. What's done is done. Her old body was gone and she was stuck in this new body for the foreseeable future. She couldn't go back to her old life so she had to build a new one. Not only would she have to find a new way to accomplish her goals, she would have to contend with this conflicted identity. She was Elizabeth Braddocks mind in Kwannon Tsurayaba's body and was going to make the most of it.
In a ways she was lucky because her mind and Kwannon's body was just the kind of combination that fit into the X-men. Since arriving Professor Charles Xavier didn't just talk about straightening out her mind or learning how to use her new psionic blade powers. He talked about her taking an active role in the X-men. It was a different kind of life with a different set of goals. Yet in a weird way, a part of her embraced it and so did part of Kwannon.
I suppose I should feel a tad lucky. The Xavier Institute is probably the only place in the world where a girl whose mind got stuck in someone else's body would fit in. Charles Xavier is a candidate for sainthood in my book. I hate to think of where I would be if I didn't have his help. It was hard enough getting in touch with Brian, who I still haven't seen face-to-face since this mess went down. Moreover, this new home and this new body give me a chance to do something great with my life.
I still remember my father's biggest regrets. He wasn't haunted by the mysteries he didn't solve as much as he was the mysteries he didn't prevent. There's a lot more going on in this world than petty crime and mutants are at the center of it all. There are some pretty nasty blokes out there looking to start a war between humans and mutants and it doesn't take a detective to figure out that a war like that isn't going to have any winners. So with the mind of Elizabeth Braddock and the body of Kwannon Tsurayaba I'm going to do whatever it takes to stop that war.
I've already started working my way into the X-men way of life. I wake up, I train, I study, and I go on missions. I haven't faced my first real test yet, but it's only a matter of time. Along the way I'm still keeping up with my criminology studies. It stands to reason that the same blokes who commit crimes will be the blokes who cause wars. By being a detective and a telepath, I can stay a step ahead of them. Having Kwannon's ninja skills and psionic blades allow me to fight back if the mystery turns into a conflict. It's a perfect combination even if I haven't gotten the hang of it yet.
I'm still struggling to keep my own thoughts in line while filtering out the lingering thoughts of Kwannon. I know for a fact I still have some of her tastes. A year ago you couldn't get me to even look at sushi. Now I gobble the stuff down like it's chocolate. I also never cared for Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. Now I'm in the process of collecting every one of them. I also get the sense that Kwannon was a lot more reserved with her emotions. She only let them out when she really had to. That has never been my style and now I find myself holding back in ways I never used to…especially around Remy Lebeau.
But that's another conflict that's a good ten spots lower on my to-do list. Right now I need to focus on pulling myself together. I can't keep fighting this inner battle between Elizabeth and Kwannon. I have to be one person. Otherwise when my first real fight as an X-man comes along, I won't stand a chance.
Whatever lingering pieces of Kwannon I still have floating around, I need to cope with them. Whatever personal issues I'm dealing with, I need to lay them to rest. The person I see in the mirror can't keep being a stranger to me. This is who I am now. I'm not just a confused British girl in the body of an Asian ninja/soldier. I'm Psylocke, a member of the X-men and an active participant in the human/mutant conflict. My father and my uncle both told me I was destined for great things in my life. Well this is it. This is my new destiny. Body or no body, I'm going to see it through.
Betsy took deep, calming breaths. Her demeanor eased and her poise strengthened. Looking in the mirror was still a novel sensation. That novelty was sure to wear off sooner or later. She had to keep fighting if it was going to be sooner. She had a great many reasons to keep enduring.
Just as she was getting a hold of herself, there was a frantic knock on the door.
"Betsy! Did you drown in there or something?! It's been a half-hour and other people need to use this bathroom too!" yelled the impatient voice of Kitty Pryde.
Shaken from her daze, Betsy collected herself and gathered up her belongings. It was way too easy to lose track of time when wrestling with an identity crisis.
"Don't bother phasing yourself through in anger. I'm finished, luv," said Betsy.
"You better be! If I get an extra danger room session for being late I'm blaming you!"
Betsy rolled her eyes and prepared to leave. Before she stepped out, she took one last look at the mirror. The girl she saw was still unfamiliar, but she was quickly growing on her. She actually smiled for the first time at this exotic figure. There was so much potential for Elizabeth Braddock in this new life. So much of it was still a mystery. That could only play to her advantage because she loved a good mystery.
Up next: Piotr Rasputin