Disclaimer: I don't own them, they are respectively property of Marvel and DC. I'm just using them for my own entertainment and not making any sort of profit from it.

Warnings: Femslash
Rating: PG-13

Author's note: I figured I'd post this on here. It's an old one that I did for the femslash message board and since I am looking to post more on here, I figured I'd get you guys up to date as well.

Enjoy

Vermillion

I lie alone in the bed that I had once shared with my husband, with Scott, in the boathouse that we once called home. But Scott is gone now, a victim of possession by a force which had driven him crazy with lust for destruction.

Oh, he'd managed to struggle free of that force with the aid of our family, the x-men, but the thoughts and feelings he'd encountered while joined with Apocalypse, those he was not free of. And so he'd left, to 'find' himself, and when I begged him to stay he'd refused. He pushed me away and told me that I couldn't understand what he was going through.

That ­excuse always brings a bitter laugh and sad smile to my lips. Scott always forgets that I know how he is feeling through our link, and he always forgets that he isn't the first to be possessed by a powerful entity. I was Phoenix, holding the power both to make life, and as Dark Phoenix to destroy it all. But Scott, he still thinks he has a monopoly on having felt the darker spectrum of human emotions.

I sigh and change positions, contemplating that, even after a month of this, I'm still not used to an empty bed. I know the other reason that Scott left, and why I'm not suffering the same nervous breakdown he is. I came to terms with my darker side a long time ago, and I know that everything I've thought and felt is perfectly natural. Scott couldn't cope with that, so he left.

Fidgeting again I reconsider my earlier assertion that I'm not suffering a nervous breakdown. Maybe I was wrong. I'm coping just fine with wielding the most destructive power in the universe, but I can't find a way to cope with some odd dreams. The Professor would be proud.

On reflection, it isn't just the dreams that are bothering me. In fact I wish it were, but no, it's the memories that the dreams are bringing back. Memories I know aren't mine, but memories that the Phoenix inside of me is insisting are true, insisting really happened.

I remember two realities colliding, ours and another. I remember two brothers who had finally found each other after an eternity, and declared that only one could survive… That each of the realities would have champions whose battles would decide the fate of their reality… And I remember at the end of things they merged us, all instead of destroying us.

I would suppose that I'm lucky not to remember the time I spent merged, I would be going crazier than I am now. Instead, the last thing I remember from that time is coming to, myself again, and watching another woman, another redhead; disappear in a glow of bright yellow light. Except 'I' don't remember any of it, not really. It's the Phoenix filling in the blanks. All I remember is an image of russet hair, piercing green eyes, and the smell of dahlias.

It's these that haunt my dreams. A lush green paradise, filled with nature's bounty and warmth. A woman, wrapped in finery woven from plants, an elegant green dress hugging an elegant pale figure, a spill of russet hair and those eyes. The smell is always fresh, always dahlias, and springtime.

At first the mystery woman was a figure on the horizon, a mirage almost, tantalizing in her brevity and the smell was faint, as if carried on a breeze. But since Scott left, I've been getting closer to her, night by night. Last night I was reaching out towards her when I woke up, she was close enough that I could see the smile on those glistening lips and as my hand brushed her arm I could feel the warmth. I was surprised by the longing I felt as I woke, not for Scott as it had been for the last month, but for my dream woman.

There have been other dreams as well, most of them only connecting to this as I have been able to see her properly. Dreams of plants, of fire running through my veins, and of a kiss that can kill. These dreams have only come since the time which my memories from the Phoenix refer to as 'the amalgamation'.

Tonight I have decided to find out what these dreams mean, to find out who my dream woman is and what will happen when I finally reach her. This is one of the most useful tricks a telepath learns, the ability to turn the focus inwards, to dream but to be in control of the dream.

I close my eyes and will sleep to take me, while focusing my telepathy inwards until finally, sleep comes. And then the dreams come to me, all of them at once, all of them forming a connective chain, almost like a sequence of memories. I can see at the end of the chain is the most recent dream, the one I want to finish and I head towards it, passing through the others just slowly enough to get glimpses.

I see many things, including poisonings and battles, friends and families, allies and enemies and a stern man all in black. With a start I realise that these are memories, memories that I must have shared when I was merged with my mystery woman. I know I was merged with her with a startling clarity, the Phoenix yet again filling some of the gaps for me.

Finally I reach the last dream, having gained an insight at last into my dream woman. I wonder if she still exists, if she has any memories left from our time together, but I push those thoughts away for now. Now the most important thing is to find out what will happen when I finish this dream. I need to know.

The scent of dahlias again, and my feet are on a carpet of grass, soft and almost velvety between my feet. I walk forwards, focus on my goal, the woman in front of me, the emerald glow of her eyes and vermilion of her lips, ignoring any distractions that could draw me off course.

I reach her sooner than I had expected, and she is close enough to touch once again. I raise a hand to touch her arm, and then she kisses me. This is what I had been waiting for; I know that now as our lips press together. It is a far sweeter tasting kiss than Scott's ever were, warm and soft and tasting like summertime.

Finally I am not alone, finally there is some one who understands, someone who has lived the darkness and survived.

But even as I am revelling in the sensations of belonging my mind is reminding me that this isn't real, that she isn't real and I'll wake up alone again, abandoned again. My breath catches in my throat and I find myself crying, the voice in my mind whispering 'she isn't real, I can't make her real' over and over again. And I feel my heart break, a bitter feeling building up inside of me and threatening to ruin this perfect moment.

"I can make her real," a scream transformed into a shriek, and a burning sense of power washes away the despair and the fear. I wrap my arms around her as the fire comes for us, leaving everything in its path untouched. This is the power of the Phoenix Force, of creation not destruction, and I am a willing vessel.

This kiss deepens as the world becomes nothing but flames, any trace of the dream burnt away by the searing passion of our kiss. This is life; this is creation and I Am Phoenix.

Slowly the flames die down and are gone, and breaking away from the kiss I realise that I am once again in the boat house… No, correction, we are in the boat house, standing in the middle of the bedroom, our arms around each other, naked.

What have I done? What has the Phoenix done? I look at the woman in my arms amazed.

The reality is far better than the dream. The smell of dahlias again, it seems to be coming off of her skin… but this time it is paired with the scent that defines a woman, something so warm and delicate that it defies description. And her body, I can feel it pressed against mine and I never want to let her go, the skin pale ivory tinged with viridian.

She opens her eyes and they are just as I dreamt them, just like mine when I look in the mirror, and above all they are not filled with fear, far from it. Instead they are filled with understanding, a loneliness no longer needed, and just a hint of surprise.

"You aren't affected by my skin," she says, voice soft and cultured, much like Ororo's but warmer. I shake my head and watch as she smiles. "It's nice not to poison everyone I touch," she mummers sounding, of all things, content.

"I'm Jean Grey," I know its silly, after all I've been dreaming about her for months, but I feel the need to introduce myself almost formally. "You aren't at all concerned by any of this?"

She shakes her head. "No. I've been dreaming about you for months, and the fire, it spoke to me. Told me what was happening." She smiles. "They call me Ivy," she whispers as she draws me in for another kiss, and I know that I won't ever be alone again, because she is real.