'I know, I know, when I compliment her she won't believe me, and it's so, it's so sad to see that she don't see what I see.'-Bruno Mars.

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I was normal once.

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There was a pathway that led from my house in Mississippi to my Grandma's house, four blocks away. I was the only one who even really knew it existed-Nobody else cared enough to explore our small web of a town. I was seven when I first found it, and I visited my Grandma Rosie every day after that. She'd dress me in flowy dresses and have me play with her adopted daughter, Primrose, who was five. We'd play with her new dolls and I'd pretend to be a girl who found love in the unlikeliest of places and married and lived happily ever after.

We'd put on shows for Grandma Rosie, who'd clap and laugh and smile, and feed us her famous lemon cakes afterwards, and thank us with wide happy eyes. 'Yah light up my life, you two,' She'd say, her voice cracking every time as she patted us both on the head and walked me halfway home. She and Mama and Papa weren't on talking terms, so she couldn't go any further. I was worried she might stress and have a stroke, so i never made her do so.

On a Sunday, I walked to Grandma's with a picnic basket full of fresh vegetables that Aunt Sophie had grown, and given to me, knowing I visited Grandma. Grandma laughed a happy laugh when she saw them, and called out, 'Prim! Come and see, sweetheart!'

Primrose came running, her blonde curls bobbing around her tanned face. I was thirteen, and she was eleven. She dug through the vegetables until she found the tomatoes, and then she giggled and ran to the kitchen to slice it up. We had Tomato sandwiches for lunch. Prim had been talking to her friends from school about kids, and she told me if she ever had a baby, she'd name it Alice. Grandma asked me what I would name my first kid. I frowned, my eyebrows knitting together in thought, and my green eyes narrowing. And then I said, with my light-hearted smile, 'Sarafina. 'Cause it's real pretty, and Mama said that if yah name someone somethin', that's how they turn out. Ah want a pretty baby.' Grandma laughed out loud and said I was better off naming it 'Smart-Fierce-brave' in that case, which I didn't really understand much at the time.

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My first boyfriend told me I was pretty. I told him that Marie aint a pretty name, so i sure aint neither. He grinned and said names don't matter. I just frowned at him and shook my head, walking away from him. He found me the next day, and told me that if names really do matter, my name should be 'Most amazin' girl in the world'. I told him I didn't appreciate bein' lied to. He laughed and asked me on a date. I said yes.

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I wasn't normal anymore, accordin' to all of Mississippi, when Cody ended up in hospital after I kissed him with my poison lips.

"Yah know, Marie," Prim would say softly, "I don' care that yoah a mutant. Yoah still muh niece."

I rolled my eyes at her, and said snappily, "Yoah younger than me, Prim."

But she'd smile because she saw the side of my lips tug upwards anyway, and we'd talk for hours more.

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It was a Thursday when Mama and Papa couldn't take it anymore, and kicked me out.

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Logan was the best thing that had happened to me since Mississippi, and I clung to him, 'cause he was my hero. But he had another lady, and I didn't stand in the way of that, even though it was so, so wrong.

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Bobby broke up with me when he found out I was gonna take the cure for him. He may have been an asshole, but...He didn't want me sacrificing anything for him, and told me about him and Kit. I told him I already knew. And he told me I was insane.

What did I say? I just smiled crookedly, almost crazily, and said, 'It's in the name, aint it?'

Because Marie's just normal enough to be psychotic.

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Logan and Storm got married, in the end. After Scott and Jean died, Logan looked more lost than i'd ever seen him- And I couldn't do nothin' either, 'cause he loved me too much to drag me down with him. He was a real gentleman, no matter what he bets folks think of him.

And then Ororo cornered him and gave him a real talkin' to, and he snapped out of his funk and realized what was best for him was right under his nose. Ororo Munro, the sweetest, bossiest, funniest person ever. And I wasn't jealous, because in a way, Logan was still mine. The fun, dad part of Logan was mine. And would be forever, too.

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At the wedding, I tripped over a Cajun who had one too many to drink, and he stumbled over his words before he said, ''M Remy. Who're y'?'

And I smiled and said. 'Marie.'

He held the tip of his bottle to his lips, and then frowned, contemplating what to say, and then he said something that shook my world, if only for a second. 'Marie's...Marie's normal.'

'Marie's insane.' I corrected, scowling. He shook his head, his eyes full of laughter.

'Non. Marie's almos' insane, bu' she's still got dat...dat Normality.'

I blinked at him, and then smiled cynically. 'She's also got poison skin.' I said bluntly.

'What a way to go,' he mused.

I walked away, laughing.

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He wasn't drunk the next time I met him. Ororo insisted on introducin' us all to her best friends, and took us all in the blackbird to New Orleans, and boy was i glad to be close to home. I'd been to Mardi Gras plenty of times, and was real excited.

Logan gave me a meaningful look when i bounded of the Blackbird after we landed, and I pouted and crossed my arms, until he sighed an gave me the go ahead. I wandered around for a while, before 'Ro called us all to LeBeau Bayou, and we were introduced to Jean-Luc, a sleazebag who just happened to have a shocking sense of humour. Remy was his son. Well, one of them, anyway. He squinted at me, and then chose to keep his mouth shut.

'Hey, Remy.' I said, when everyone else broke up to talk to Remy's other relatives, Henri, his brother, and Merci, his brother's wife.

'Bonjour.' He said, kissing my hand. He looked concerned, and I picked up on it.

'What's wrong wit' yah?'

"Oh, not'in', Chere.'

'Remy's sad.' I realized, softly.

He blinked and then seemed to remember that night, and breathed a sigh of relief.

'Desole, Remy couldn' remember.' He explained, lookin' slightly embarrassed, but still relieved.

'Didja think ah was here tah arrest yah or somethin'?' I asked curiously, laughing when he looked away and mumbled,

'Or somet'in.'

'Ohh. Ah get it.'

'Can't help it if de femmes love Remy.'

I punched his arm. 'Ah don't.'

'Y' will. Dey all do.'

I rolled my eyes. 'Ha ha, Cajun.'

''S true!' He cried indignantly.

I grinned and walked away.

'It is!' He called after me, offended.

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Our relationship is twisted and odd and is made of wire and battered wood, but it's a relationship nonetheless, and he doesn't give a crap about my mutation, and he understands my obsession with names, and nods along when I tell him i hate Tabitha, and grins when I tell him Emma's a real hussy, and he beams when I tell him I'm mastering my mutation.

And he doesn't want kids, but that doesn't matter, after all. We could always get a dog.

And then he'll be so used to a dog, that a baby couldn't be all that different, right?

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He faints when I tell him i'm pregnant. When he comes to, he tells me that this is the silliest thing he's ever heard and he's gon' call Logan. He comes to his senses about two seconds before Logan picks up.

We search the house up and down and left and right for somewhere to put a kid, until we find the old guest room. It's painted blue and has green stripes in the doorway, and he stares at it in disgust.

'It's blue. Y' know what dis means?'

I offer up a grin and say, 'The room's havin' a boy?'

He rolls his eyes at me, 'Non. It means it aint multi-sex.'

'There aint nothin' wrong with blue. Mah room back home was blue.'

So the room stays blue.

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They ask what name to put on the birth certificate. I stop myself from sayin' Sarafina.

Remy watches, almost as sweaty as I am, and says, 'Y'r choice, Chere.'

And I say the name I've wanted to say since I got news that Grandma died.

'Rosie.'

And this one time, Name's don't matter. Rosie's fragile. Rosie's weak, but beautiful.

But our Rosie's strong willed and lovable and always has mud on her face, and has the devil's eyes, but in our eyes, she's just as beautiful as fragile Rosie.

And suddenly, we're normal. Me an' Remy and Rosie, we're all...Normal.

Because we each still have that shred of Normality to hold onto. It's what keeps us goin'.

That hope of Normality.

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Okay...this is my first X-men fic, So criticism is expected :)

Reviews are much loved :3

Love, Amy