Author's note: This was written for my dear friend, Kami (livingdeadgirl), who has written tons of fic for me, and had a birthday coming up, and adores Jean Grey in all areas of X-Men. I'd been planning this for a while, and with news of approaching b-day, I was finally able to get it done. It's set to be a two - four part ficlet series, all based on the song by Creed, "One Last Breath" (I'm not a huge fan of Creed, but I like that song.). I'm not a huge fan of Jean Grey, nor do I know anything about her in the comics, but I tried hard to keep her IC as far as movie Jean goes. And now I have Kami's approval for it, and insistence to upload it here, so here it is. Please review, hope you enjoy. BTW, reviews are like drugs, but without the damaging effects. I am an addict.

Disclaimer: I do not own, please do not sue. Savvy?



She felt as though she was being suffocated. Drowning in the sea of faces and accusations, stifled by the oppressive attitudes, clawing and grasping and trying to gasp in air. She couldn't get it in though. She couldn't breath, and she couldn't get away.

Jean Grey hated politicians. No, she hated politics. She hated the stands and grudges so many politicians had, but she didn't hate them. At least, she tried not to.

Though for Senator Kelly, she could make an exception very easily. She wanted to, she wanted to hate him so badly.

But what good would hate do for her now? She would be just as biased and bigoted as he was acting, as he was, right now and always had been. Always would be, she knew. She couldn't, wouldn't stoop to his level. Especially with the professor there, watching her, trying to give her strength silently and secretly.

He wouldn't talk to her though, wouldn't tell her what to say. This was her show, and she was giving the worst performance ever.

The saddest thing was, it wasn't a performance.

She, unlike many politicians and other people in general, was not lying as she made her stand. Everything she spoke was true, everything she claimed to believe in she did. But she was fumbling, like a child trying to argue her point - a point she knew to be true and would never back down on - to adults that saw it so differently and merely scoffed at the young thing and her naïve faith.

Jean wanted to bolt. She wanted to go back to the safety of the school, that sanctuary the professor had given their kind. It was her haven, filled with her friends and her loved ones, a place where she felt safe and secure.

Unlike how she felt here. Here, she wanted to flee or to just lose her temper and yell out to these people the truth as bluntly as a two by four to the head. Here, she wanted to show them how cruel they were being, and how hypocritical their mindset was.

To be fair, she knew not everyone in the room agreed with Senator Kelly. But they were silent, while he never let her explain things, merely talked to her as he would an ignorant child, his tone condescending and mocking. He wouldn't let her speak because he knew she wasn't as foolish and unprepared as he made her seem.

That thought gave Jean some small comfort. But hardly enough to make up for the failure her speech had become.

Why can't you see how vicious you really are? Why can't you see the hatred in your actions and the malicious intent in this law?

Jean Grey glanced up to where the professor had been. She tensed, worried and frightened.

He wasn't there anymore.

Part of her wanted to panic, but she calmed it down forcefully and looked around, trying to fin him. She reached out with her mind and found him, talking to someone just outside this overcrowded theater like room. She calmed more and pulled her mind back before she could intrude. But she wanted him back in there. She needed his strength.

She hated herself for it. She was ready, she didn't need to hold his hand like a three year old with her father, scared to ride her tricycle all on her own. She was ready to face things on her own.

Jean Grey looked around at the faces as they stared at her with discarding glances, many cheering for this mutant registration. She closed her eyes and almost visibly sagged as she struggled to breathe. She couldn't breathe. She was drowning, the waves of cheers disorienting her and deafening her, and then she felt something burn, briefly, a spark but white hot nonetheless.

And then, before it could grow and spread like wildfire, before it could cause any damage, it was gone, and she was left defenseless.

Blinking back fear and confusion, Jean stepped away from the podium. Her speech was over, failed and unheard by the ears her words fell upon. She would face her defeat with dignity though. She wouldn't fail again. She was past that now.

She was ready. She didn't need to be held. She merely wanted it.