Of course I had to go with him. I lost my virginity to him. But you knew that already, didn't you?

"You promised… "

I couldn't go with you because, in truth, I had been holding out for you. Saving myself for you. I was always there, behind you every step of the way, but you were too blind. Or maybe you truly didn't want me "that way" because I wasn't beautiful.

Like the night you were studying for your thesis. I stepped out of the bathroom in my true form, my natural (or perhaps unnatural) blue form and asked if you would date me. You dodged the question. You danced around it, doggedly giving me sad excuses for answers ("I'm incapable of thinking of you that way. I feel responsible for you…") without looking me in the eye. I fell asleep in your arms that night, and to console me- or maybe you meant it- you gave me telekinesis-induced dreams of me and you, holding hands on a country road as you told me that of course you would date me, and of course you wanted to marry me someday.

In the illusion, I asked you if you thought I was beautiful, and you smiled and told me, in that disarmingly charming accent of yours; "Of course."

Of course I knew it was you secretly trying to comfort me. But you played it out as a dream, indulging my fantasies.

You thought I didn't know, but I've always known the power you've held over me, both literally and figuratively. Even though you promised you'd never read my mind, of course I've always known that you had used your telepathy on me, on occasion.

I thought you were a burglar!

You're not… scared of me?

I always knew I couldn't be the only one who was… different.

You could read my mind but I couldn't read yours. It wasn't fair.

And then there was Hank McCoy.

Sweet, intelligent, handsome Hank McCoy. The prodigal boy genius with the adorable face, crooked smile, thick glasses, and mutated feet. We shared the seemingly uncommon mutant trait of having consistently apparent physical deformities. I couldn't help but grin when he glanced my way, shyly, demonstrating his ability.

"You're amazing," I breathed, as close to his face as I dared.

He's the one, I thought as we bonded over Twinkies and colas one night in the lab. He wanted to fix me. Fix us.

"You have no idea what I'd give to feel-"

"Normal."

With him, I thought I could forget my feelings for you at last. He wanted my blood to develop a serum to make me appear normal at all times. And I let him, leaning in for a kiss that was rudely interrupted by Erik Lehnsherr, who said something that caused a gear in my brain to start turning.

Something about me being perfect the way I am.

Suddenly, he was everywhere. Passing in the hallway. In the kitchen at midnight. In my room, using his power to lift the weight I was currently benching. I gasped.

"If you're using half your concentration to look normal, then you're only half paying attention to whatever else you're doing."

I transformed quickly and caught the weight when it fell to me. I gave him a skeptical look as I lowered the weight, slowly.

"Just pointing out something that could save your life. You want society to accept you, but you can't even accept yourself."

Of course I couldn't unhear what he told me. But I tried my damnedest not to take it to heart. When Hank McCoy came to my room in the middle of the night with two syringes and a cure, I expressed my doubt.

"Should we have to hide?"

But his belief was firm. I was only beautiful when I was normal. My eyes welled with tears and spilled over as he closed the door behind him.

Mutant and proud.

You didn't want me. Hank didn't want me. Who would?

I thought of one man.

A man who could fulfill my own happiness while simultaneously allowing me to get back at you, my foster brother, for all the years of longing and unrequited desire. My steps weighed down as if by lead as I walked through the manor to Erik's room, disrobing before calmly slipping into his bed and awaiting his return. I didn't have to wait long; he walked in and paused when he saw me, watching him seductively from the bed, naked under the coverlet, giving him my best attempt at bedroom eyes as he crossed the room. I had to test him.

I asked him if I was beautiful.

He told me he preferred the real me before asking me to leave, telling me jokingly to return in a few years.

I shifted, changing my appearance to have fuller hair, pouty lips, and more sultry eyes.

How about now?

I said I prefer the real you.

Disheartened by his games, I asked for my robe and he told me not to hide.

I transformed again, this time to my real form, and he kissed me.

He took me, and I let him. I wanted to sleep with him, partly because I was as attracted to him as he was to me, partly to feel loved for being myself, partly to relieve the stress from training, and mostly just to hurt you. I don't know what brought out this mean streak in me. But later I realized, that of course, it was you.

Erik said I was an exquisite creature. You only told me to put some clothes on as I stood, in my own bare flesh, in the doorway. I told you it never bothered you before. You bumbled. I was Mystique, finally, and you shifted uncomfortably in your seat as you told me about Hank's "cure."

I grin when I see Hank again. No; I grin wickedly when I see Beast for the first time. It brings me great pleasure to see him brought to my level. Whether that's up or down, I've yet to find out, but I know Magneto will be there to guide me every step of the way.

Erik is my lover and leader. You were neither to me.

So, of course I had to go with him, and of course I couldn't go with you.