I am Jean-Paul

By Green

Rating: PG-13 or G, depending on how shocked you are by the word 'nymphomaniac'

Pairing: None (but I do want to write one eventually)

Disclaimer: Northstar isn't mine, but Marvel certainly doesn't seem to want him much…

Warnings: A gay man is like an ordinary person - can't deal? Get some help * now *

Notes: He's not gay, he's just a fairy……grrrr, for those of you not in the know that refers to the truly * awful * Alpha Flight issue in which Northstar's problems (which obviously included AIDS and being largely in the closet) were all explained by - ta da! - he's got an elf mother and must now go through the sparkly door to fairyland….

…I kid you not…

What could have been a great moment in comic history turned into something memorable only for the lack of skill, tact or good-thinking with which it was done. Of course he did return and come out later, only to be swiftly removed again in case he was offending too many people. The worst part is that that's about as good as it gets for mainstream superhero comics…

I'm sorry about the soapbox, people, but this really, * really * gets me. Anyway, none of the above has much to do with the 'story', which is basically an attempt to find Northstar's voice with a view to future writing…


I am Jean-Paul

I am Jean-Paul. All that I am is contained in that phrase. For all that they would use other labels and categories on me I am Jean-Paul Beaubier, and that is my final answer.

I am Jean-Paul and I don't want to be here.

I am Jean-Paul and I wish I were still a championship skier. I don't want to save lives, or protect my country (and I've definitely had enough of the latter). I never wanted to be a hero, although, let's face it, my physique is more suited to these ridiculous costumes than most…

I am Jean-Paul, I've lived my whole life in Canada, and I'm of French extraction, obviously. I have one sibling, my twin sister Aurora, although maybe that should be two sisters, because her alias Jeanne-Marie is a completely separate persona. I could kill every one of those nuns for the hell they put her through, for the heartless way they screwed up her mind. Funny thing is, it does bring us closer together… She, Aurora, is, quite frankly, a man-eater; the adjective nymphomaniac would not be over-extreme. She's kept strings of men dancing around her all the time I've known her, men she doesn't even like. Then, as Jeanne-Marie, as her non-superhero persona, she loathes the sins of the flesh and swears eternal celibacy. For me, it's the other way around. Northstar has to be perfect for the press, for the government, for the public. Northstar cannot have a sex-life unless it is like the 'acceptable' Walton-style relationship of Reed and Susan Richards.

But * I * am Jean-Paul, I like men, and I can make them mad without even touching them, with a look across a room. And that's all I can do. All I'm allowed to do by the many and various authority figures who think that what I think is unpleasant. And, yes, when I think of them the scenarios do get quite nasty. How dare they order me around? I react to authority almost as badly as Wolverine, as Logan does. He could see me for what I was at once; he could smell on me things I thought I'd showered away. He could always tell from my heartbeat what my reactions were to other men in Lycra. He knew I was turned on by him, heck, he knew I was desperate. He didn't bully me, or tease me, or threaten me, or even come onto me, just let me know that he * knew *. I could never figure him out. I wondered sometimes if hecould figure out himself. I was very glad when he left to join the X-men.

I am Jean-Paul and I don't need anyone's sympathy about it. I've had the odd helper, some friends, * Raymonde *, but never anyone special. I've seen what happens to you if you do, believe me; I do not want that. I mean, who does not get lonely some nights? But lonely can be dealt with if it's just the vague depression of solitude, it can't when you see a face before you, screaming or pleading or fading away, however you left them but still leaving you night after night, the agony of the mind, and the pain of the body. I do not want to depend on someone; I do not want to be left behind.

I am Jean-Paul and when I want to come first in a race, I do. Before my powers arrived, skiing was the whole world for me. Still is. I withdrew from competitions in case I unwittingly cheated, and then, when I revealed my mutancy to the world, I was banned from the slopes, as though I must naturally be going to take advantage. But I still want to ski alone, to soar down the mountain with that edge of danger and uncertainty. To glide and swoop and conquer each mountain, alone in the cold and the snow and the silence. If I cannot have the people I want, I want no people around at all.

I am Jean-Paul, but I never told him that, the man who told me he loved me. I do not think I loved him, but I had to leave regardless. We had three days in the sunshine and the spring and then we vanished once more into the torrents of faces, seeing each other's no more. I cannot remember the name he gave anyway.

I am Jean-Paul, I am a * man *. I want to live, to love, to win prestige and to go to a home in the evening. I am not a freak because I am a mutant or for any other reason. I am not at the bottom of some imaginary pecking order simply because I'm different even to the different people. Among other gay men, I'm a mutant, among mutants, I'm gay.

I am * Jean-Paul * and they can stick the rest.