Title: Wait
Author: The Last European
Disclaimer: Marvel owns it all!
Comic: New X-Men #28
Spoilers: There's a character death in this ish that's touched upon.
Pairing/Characters: Phoebe, Mindee and Celeste Cuckoo (Three-In-One)
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 341
Summary: The Cuckoos are less than they once were.


"There used to be so many more of us," Mindee says.

"I know, Mindee," is the reply. "For now, just concentrate on finding Jay."

Mr. Summers' impatience would be obvious to anyone.

To Three-In-One it is like being bludgeoned.

They hate impatience; it is so terribly weak. Mr. Summers is often impatient. Three-In-One don't understand how Miss Frost can think such sticky thoughts about him. This is just one regard in which Miss Frost's judgment has become questionable. How can she not find it insufferably tiresome to be so affixed to someone who does not know how to wait? They would resent having to so intimately suffer a fool who does not know what it is to watch and bide.

Three-In-One have always known how to watch.

They've learnt to wait, too, since they became less than.

This is why Phoebe suggests that Jay Guthrie is dead. If they wait long enough, it will almost certainly be true. After all, Icarus is not like his brother.

No, not like his brother at all.

Someday, they will all be dust. They will all be dirt and ash and rot, just like Sarah and Callie and Brian and Laurie.

Like Esme. Like Sophie.

Then Colossus calls out, speaking to Celeste as though she is a telepathic intercom, and the others leave -- Mr. Summers with his fraying temper and his need to push; Sooraya's loud, loud anguish; the animal, whose thoughts are cluttered and crude, dirty and destructive. Without thanks, they leave Three-In-One as though they, connected to Cerebra, are no more than another piece of machinery.

Three-In-One have become accustomed to being used a tool.

They don't care. As they become less than, there is less to care about, too.

And they don't care about that, either.

"There used to be so many more," Mindee repeats without speaking.

"We're so much less than we were," Celeste replies the same way.

"Five." Phoebe rests her hand on Mindee's shoulder.

"Five-In-One," Three-In-One say.

Their mouths turn down at the corners.

Three-In-One watch.

They wait.