Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Hope you kids enjoy the Halloween festivities and R/R.
She can't sleep. It isn't because of the party that's still going on downstairs. It isn't because of the music or the candy-induced sugar buzz. Megan Gwynn would like to blame it on any of those things, really she would. Things would be so much simpler that way and what she needs right now is for things to make more sense and be simpler because they're really, really not simple and they really, really don't make sense. She'd like to believe that what she sees when she closes her eyes is nothing more than a rash of bad dreams due to gorging herself on too much Halloween candy or watching too many bad slasher movies. She would like to delude herself but Megan's getting too old to believe in some things. She's too old to believe that all her problems will magically vanish if she tries not to think about them.
Megan feels her eyes start to close again. She feels herself slip into that weird dream space but on this Halloween her dreams are anything but pleasant. She can still see his eyes. They burn with an otherworldly fire that haunts her now. Nobody walks out of Limbo without paying a price. Nobody kills Belasco without losing something in return. Demons haunt the dreams of Megan Gwynn, demons with burning eyes and razor-sharp fangs. Megan whimpers as she rolls over onto her stomach and buries her face into her pillow. It's worse than usual tonight. Megan understands the significance. Just because she's the proverbial social butterfly doesn't mean she's a ditz like most people might assume. Megan knows that there are ugly things that lurk in the dark and Halloween is when they all come out to play. For better or worse, Megan now finds herself tethered to all those dark, ugly things.
She can see his eyes again. They burn into her being, straight into the very depths of her soul, and she whimpers as she feels part of her ache. She's missing a piece of her soul. Truthfully, she's missing a lot more than that. Life isn't exactly full of rainbows and unicorns anymore. Megan can't just think happy thoughts and wish her problems away. She'd love nothing more than to do that right now but she knows it won't do anyone any good. She's a big girl now and she's too old to be innocent as if innocence ever did any of the students at Xavier's any good in the first place.
Megan catches herself nodding off again and each time she closes her eyes the image of Belasco and his demon hordes gets closer and closer to her. She can smell the foul stench of brimstone in the air and feel the heat from the flames. The sensory overload shocks her back into consciousness long enough for her to lay there and realize something very important. There's no way Megan Gwynn is going to sleep tonight. She realizes she might as well make the most of it and see if any of the other students are around or if they're still downstairs at the party.
Megan cautiously opens her door as if some demented lunatic with a knife might very well be lurking out in the hall. Given the fact that it's Halloween and that it's Xavier's, her fears are slightly justified. She creeps out into the hallway, intent on going back downstairs to find some company to help her through the night. She's only taken a few steps before she hears something that's part scream, part moan, and all muffled but still audible. She involuntarily shudders and feels her heart start to flutter uncontrollably, her wings unconsciously fluttering in time with it. Megan manages to work up the nerve to follow the sound to a door and knock softly.
"Uhm, hi," says Megan quietly as Cessily Kincaid opens the door, "I kinda heard . . . something in there and I, you know, just wanted to make sure you were okay because lots of stuff's been happening lately and . . . you know so that's the reason why . . ."
"You can't sleep either, huh?" asks Cessily in response, saying more with less words. Megan wishes she could do that. Sometimes her mouth gets moving and she doesn't know how to get it to stop.
"No, I can't," admits Megan and strangely finds that there are no more words for her to say. She chalks it up to being intimidated by the older kids. She might be officially on the team now but Megan knows she's still second-string. The others unnerve her a little because they've been through way more than she has. She's still very new to battle scars both physical and emotional.
"Me neither," replies Cessily as she motions for Megan to come in while she sits down on her bed, "That music's really annoying."
"Yeah, I never thought about that before," says Megan as she sits down with Cessily, "I mean it's cool when you're down there but not so much up here. I actually like this song though. I have the CD if you wanna . . ."
"Okay, first rule," explains Cessily, "I'm cool with talking but do you have to do so much of it?"
"Sorry," apologizes Megan timidly, "I just . . . silence makes me think." The two girls stare at each other as if looking into some weird mirror that only seems to reflect pain and tragedy.
"I know," says Cessily sympathetically.
"Did you see that schoolgirl costume Nori was wearing?" asks Megan, desperate for a change of subject before the silence makes her think any more about the ache in her that won't go away.
"Everyone saw it," assures Cessily with a grin, "David's lucky that it was Nori because any other girl would've gotten jumped already."
"Totally," agrees Megan, "So what was your first costume anyways? Mine was Snow White."
"Fairy princess," mumbles Cessily.
"Oh my God, you were probably the cutest thing ever!" gushes Megan, "You have to show me pics some time." Megan almost instantly regrets bringing it up because while she doesn't know Cessily in great detail she knows the older girl rarely talks about her family.
"Dad loved it," says Cessily absently, "He took lots of pictures." There's another awkward silence in which both girls start thinking about things both of them try to avoid thinking about. Megan is starting to understand Cessily more. She knows something bad happened to the older girl and Megan can relate to that because she and Cessily are both nice girls who have undergone very traumatic instances. It's the capricious nature that gets to her. Out of all the people to get a piece of their soul taken and forged into a weapon, why was Megan the one? Out of all the people to get kidnapped and tortured by the Facility, why was Cessily the one? Megan wouldn't have bothered with those questions before but now she can't stop wondering.
"Does it still hurt?" asks Megan in a low whisper.
"Yeah," replies Cessily, "You?"
"Yeah," confirms Megan before leaning forward and hugging Cessily. Cessily's not exactly used to being the shoulder to lean on. Lately, she feels like she's been doing too much of the opposite. It's at this point that Cessily realizes there are kids in this house younger than her who look up to her. When she was on the Hellions, Cessily listened to all the talks and speeches about family and how it always came first. Now she has a little sister who's crying and hugging her like she's the only thing worth holding on to.
"We'll get better," whispers Cessily soothingly as she runs her fingers through Megan's hair, the pink and black strands mixing together with such striking contrast.
"Promise?" asks Megan in between sobs.
"Promise," assures Cessily with a grin as Megan sits up and pulls away long enough to dry her eyes.
"Do you care if I . . ." begins Megan, "I mean I don't really wanna sleep alone so can I . . .?"
"Hop in," says Cessily with a smile as she scoots down under her covers and makes space for Megan, "Just watch it with the wings."
"Yeah, sorry," apologizes Megan as she tries to shift so her wings won't get in Cessily's way, "Thanks for this. I'm really tired."
"Me too," agrees Cessily. Megan yawns and snuggles up under Cessily's covers. She feels her eyes get heavy and instead of dread she feels warm and cozy. Megan Gwynn quietly drifts off to sleep and instead of dreaming about monsters and demons she dreams of happier, brighter things. Somehow, she knows that Cessily Kincaid is doing the same thing.