Real Story

Summary: Natalie meets the rest of the Gen X kids and has a slight accident. Plus, Janine and Emma have a talk about what happened.

Note: Except for the Emma and Janine conversation, this is from Natalie's POV.

Disclaimer: *sighs* We both know that the only people I own in this story are Natalie and her mother.

Thanks to all the people who reviewed my stories! I love you guys!

******

Well, this wasn't turning out to be so bad after all. Ms. Frost and Jubilee seemed to be really welcoming and I relaxed a bit. I have to admit that when Mother and Daddy told me that they were sending me to a school for mutants I became a bit apprehensive.

Oh, it wasn't so much about it being a school for mutants that troubled me. After all, my parents are mutants themselves (not that Daddy ever told me he was one, I found out from Aunt Raven.). It was more about leaving my old school. Again.

I know I should be used to this by now; Daddy's work moves him around a lot and we've always moved around with him. So far I've been schooled in Tokyo, Texas, Barbados and London. Mother taught us to never settle down too much because if we do and we move again it'll be harder to let go.

The longest I've ever stayed in any one place was London. I guess I was hoping that maybe, this time...

"Earth to Natalie!"

"Huh?"

"You just zoned out on me."

I did? I shook my head to clear it of all the images of London. "I'm sorry; I guess I was just feeling a tad homesick."

Jubilee nodded quietly and gave me a sympathetic smile.

I sighed. "So, when am I going to meet the others?

She glanced down at her watch just as a bell sounded in the distance. "Right about now, I'd guess."

I smirked, then sighed again. Jubilee shook her head reassuringly and I saw warmth in her eyes.

"Don't worry, you'll fit right in."

I hoped she was right.

******

Emma sat down behind her desk as a bell sounded in the distance and gestured the older woman into one of the chairs opposite.

They stared at each other for what felt like forever until Janine sighed. "Look, Em, I know I should have tried to contact you or somethin' but-"

"But what? Janey, I thought you were dead. How could you just disappear like that?" The normally calm face of the blonde telepath was twisted into a mask of... anger? Fear?

"I didn't mean to disappear, honest." Janine sounded desperate. "I would never leave and not tell you. You're my friend. Since we first met at the Hellfire Club..."

Emma gave a sharp intake of breath. She remembered the first time they met clearly; she remembered her respect for the other woman; the more experienced dancer; the only one who felt as she did about the club's dress code...

Janine continued after that brief pause. "We've looked out for each other. I even helped you with those kids of yours."

A chill went down Emma's spine and she gave an involuntary shudder. The kids... the kids were gone... She shook off the feeling of despair that threatened to overcome her and spoke as if nothing was wrong. "So, why did you leave?

Janine didn't look at her. "I had a job to do. Shaw wanted someone... eliminated."

Emma snorted. "You've never taken a year to 'eliminate' someone, Janey. Actually, you've never taken longer than day. That's what made you one of the best assassins at our disposal. " She leaned forward, making sure her friend was looking straight into her eyes. "Why didn't you come back?"

Stung by the accusatory tone in Emma's voice, Janine blinked several times. "I did come back. On that night ... the Sentinels..." She paused, unsure of how to continue.

Emma felt the despair threaten to overcome her once again but this time she didn't shrug it off. She felt the blood start to drain from her face.

Janine glanced at her sharply. "Em, darlin', you ok?"

Emma nodded, mentally shaking herself back into the realm of the conscious. *What happened after...* she let her thoughts trail.

"When I found out about the kids... I just panicked. My first thought was that you'd been killed too. I tried calling out for you in my mind for days but I couldn't reach you."

"I was in a coma." Emma's voice was devoid of emotion. Janine noticed, but kept on talking.

"My second thought was that I could have died with you. I thought about my own kids and I rushed home as quickly as I possibly could." She looked at Emma. "I stopped workin' as an assassin and stayed in Manchester with Alex."

Emma managed a smile. "You're a stay-at-home mom?" Janine grimaced.

"Far from it. I'm a businesswoman. I own a perfume company called Le Fleur Noir."

It was all Emma could do to keep a straight face. "The Black Rose? Are you insane? Naming a perfume company after your alias isn't smart."

"I like livin' dangerously." The auburn haired woman sighed. "I've changed, Em. I try to help people now, not hurt them."

The former White Queen pondered over these words. "We've both changed, Janey." She gave a faint smile. "But we can discuss that later. Right now, I think we should find Natalie and explain exactly why she's here."

Hazel eyes sparkling, the Texan woman got to her feet. "Better late than never."

******

"Okay, everyone, this is Natalie, the Academy's newest student." Jubilee was saying. I gave a nervous little smile and forced myself to relax.

"Hello, everyone. Jubes has been telling me so much about all of you." There. I knew I could put on a calm voice.

"Why am I not surprised?" I turned my head in the direction of the southern voice and saw a pretty blonde girl shaking her head in Jubilee's direction. Paige Guthrie, I thought to myself as she held out her hand towards me.

Her eyes twinkled warmly as she shook my hand and smiled. I liked her smile. "Hi, Natalie; I'm Paige. Welcome to the Massechusetts Academy."

I smiled too; feeling more relaxed than I had a few seconds earlier. "Thanks, Paige. Now let me see if I've been really listening to what Jubilee's been saying." I held out my hand to the dark boy next to Paige. "Everett Thomas, I presume?"

He shook my hand and smiled. "What else did the blabbermouth over there tell you besides our names?"

"Who are you calling a blabbermouth?" Jubes asked, hands on hips.

"Who do you think?"

Jubes stuck out her tongue. I rolled my eyes and turned toward the only other girl in the hallway. An air of royalty seemed to cling to her like perfume. "Are they like this all the time?"

"Unfortunately." She met my eyes and seemed to be searching for something. I knew that Monet was a telepath, so I stared back until she gave her head a little shake and smiled at me. "I'm pleased to meet you, Natalie." She said, the French accent changing the words slightly.

"Likewise." I said, returning her smile. Jubilee had described her as aloof, but she seemed nice enough. Suddenly, I felt something or something holding my hand. Looking around in surprise I saw a grey young man lifting my hand to his lips.

"Hola, senorita y bienvenida." He said, a cocky grin on his face. I stifled an insane desire to giggle.

"Gracias, Senor Espinosa. So, you're the one Jubes over here couldn't stop talking about." I cast a sly look in Jubilee's direction. "I can see why."

Jubes blinked. "Hey, now..."

*Don't even try, kid,* I heard a voice in my head say. I was so startled I felt my irises glow and felt a familiar sensation.

"Oh no..."

A violet bolt of electricity flew out of my fingers and was absorbed into the wall where it sizzled. I watched helplessly as it traveled into the light fixtures and turned them off and off then on again... then sparks came out.

So much for being relaxed. That never, I repeat, never happens unless I'm tense. I sighed. I didn't want the lights to explode, did I? Time to take control.

I took a deep breath and concentrated, feeling the hairs on the back of my neck rise because of all the electricity in the air. Slowly, it all came pouring back into me. The lights remained off; the way they had been in the first place.

I felt my eyes return to normal and turned to study everyone. Their expressions were a mixture of surprise and awe but there was no fear, and for this I was grateful.

We stood silent for about one full minute before someone spoke. "Way to go, amigo," Angelo drawled in Jonathan's direction. That's one way to impress a girl."

Jonathan Starsmore. That's who the telepathic voice had belonged to. I studied the tall figure in all black who appeared to be telepathically telling Angelo exactly what he thought of that last comment. Jubes was right. He was cute. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but I did see Angelo frown.

Then he turned his eyes back in my direction. *Sorry, gel, didn't mean to startle you. My name's Jonathan Starsmore, although I guess the kid over there told you that. You can call me Jon.*

"Well, Jon, that's quite a cockney accent you've got. It's nice to know there's another Brit here." I gave him a small smile. "And you didn't really jump me. I'm just tense, that's all." He seemed to relax ever so slightly.

Jubes came over. "See? That wasn't so bad."

I stared at her. "I could have fried you all."

She waved a dismissive hand. "Ah, forget it. We've all slipped up. You're part of the gang now."

I gave Paige a look. "The way she says that makes me scared."

She shook her head. "Me too," she said.

But Jubilee was tugging my hand, leading me down the corridor. "Come on, you haven't met all of us yet," she said.

The rest of the gang followed us. Well, this could be interesting.

******

What's this? Natalie's mother used to work for the Hellfire Club? As an assassin? Isn't this getting interesting? I wonder what the next chapter will bring!

I'll get the next chapter posted as soon as possible, which might be at least a month from now. Bear with me, please.

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