Disclaimer: I do not own The Gifted. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Lorna Dane watched from the shadows as her friends slowly got up, collected themselves, and then finally left, all the while ignoring the annoying voices in her head telling her she needed to go. She knew she should go, but she just couldn't, not until she knew her friends were okay. Besides, the voices in her head were not her own, and she was in no mood to be told what to do by the Cuckoos, or Frosts, or whatever those triplets wanted to call themselves. Hell, part of her wanted to stay and get caught just to spite them. And because maybe she deserved it after what she'd just done, Lorna unable to stop her eyes from wandering to the flaming wreckage which was all that was left of the plane she had destroyed.

Suddenly a familiar voice called out, "Regret is natural, but beneath you. We both know you did what you had to do."

"I know that." Lorna snapped without bothering to turn around.

The familiar voice, which was much closer now, said, "Not yet. Not truly. But you will."

Finally turning around Lorna glared, "Are you questioning my commitment? After this!"

The blonde smiled softly, "No, but what you did, it wasn't easy. And it's only natural it would take a toll on you. But it will get easier, and the fact that you did it, proves that I was right about you."

"What about?" Lorna huffed.

Again the blonde just smiled, "You're a Queen."

Unsure how to take that Lorna just blushed and grumbled, "Erm, so which are you?"

Looking hurt the blonde softly asked, "You can't tell?"

"Esme?" Lorna guessed after a few long seconds, and then when the blonde grinned she quickly shut her down, "Don't look so happy. It was just one of you, instead of two, so I made an educated guess."

Undeterred by the attempt Esme teased, "Awww, that's cute, but the whole tough girl act won't work with me. Telepath, remember? I can tell when you're lying."

"Because that's not annoying." Lorna quipped, before sighing, "Look, do you want to wait around for Sentinel Services, or do you want to get out of here?"

Esme grinned, "My sisters are bringing the car around now."

"Great." Lorna said with no enthusiasm, following Esme out of the shadows before stopping her, "Wait, before I go anywhere with you, you have to promise me my friends won't get hurt."

Initially Esme opened her mouth to agree to that term as believably as she could, but instead pointed out, "You know that's an up to them thing, right? I mean, I don't want to hurt them, but if they get in the Hellfire Club's way..."

"What?" Lorna pushed, her eyes and hands glowing green.

"I can promise you that they wouldn't be killed. That's the best I can do, and you know it." Esme said pleadingly.

There was a long silence, and then Lorna grumbled, "I suppose that will do."

"Good." Esme smiled, and then again when a familiar black van came around the corner, "Our ride's here."

"One more thing." Lorna added quickly, again her eyes and hands glowing green as she stepped menacingly towards Esme, "Betray me, and I'll kill you myself."

There was a brief silence, then Esme laughed, "You don't get it, do you?"

"Get what?" Lorna grumbled.

"You're who I've been looking for." Esme explained as she guided Lorna into the car, "Those old farts funding the Hellfire Club, they think I want to be the Queen, but I don't. It's too much work. And I'm not exactly a leader of men. But you, you're royalty. And I'm not just talking about your father. Mutants would follow you just for that, or because you have his powers, but more importantly, you have his inner strength. You can command a room, if you let yourself. And deep down, you're willing to do what's necessary. I always knew you were, and you proved me right. Because of it mutants will flock to you, begging you to lead them, and with their help you could make a better world for all of us. Mutants, and humans. If you want. It's up to you."

For a few long seconds Lorna just stared at the other woman, then glared, "And what do you get out of this?"

"The honour of watching you change the world, like the proud Queen maker I am." Esme grinned, "And to be your right-hand woman."

"Oh, is that all?" Lorna mocked, "And what makes you think that I would trust you, let alone put you in that position?"

Esme smirked, flipped her hair and with a grin designed to make her new Queen uneasy told her, "I can be very persuasive."

That much was pretty clear, although Lorna didn't want to tell Esme that, so she just folded her arms and refused to talk again for the rest of the ride back to the Hellfire Club mansion. Unfortunately Esme didn't seem to be at all put off by this, and from the faraway look on her face she was probably talking to her sisters the entire ride. Not that Lorna really cared. No, she was too busy hating herself and second-guessing her decision, and when they got back to the mansion she just wanted to curl up in her bed and go to sleep, or more likely spend a few more hours in her own head while breaking everything metal around her.