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Jean Grey looks down at the unconscious girl on the bed, makes sure the IV is in properly, the heart monitor works accordingly. The girl had already been like this for almost four hours. The doctor takes a shaky breath, trying to keep herself composed, but her vision still blurs with tears.

Hawthorne, that's what she called herself, what Logan said she called herself. Dark circles hang under her eyes like bruises, as if she hadn't had a proper sleep in weeks. The girl is suffering from severe exhaustion and malnutrition. Her face is hollow, and a small scar, a thin line, runs across her left cheek. When Jean had changed the girl out of her old clothes and into a PJ pant and black shirt, she could see how her collar bones stuck out. Jean had seen her fair share of kids coming from abusive families because of their mutations, but this… This is monstrous.

Scars litter Hawthorne's torso. Some are precise, small and controlled. Some are from burns. There are about four bullet marks, one of them just to the right of her heart. Of those four, only two made it out the other side. There are at least two over each of her sides that match the marks of a bone breaking through the skin. The scars vary in age, the oldest being years old, the most recent just a few months. The one that stands out the most is a long, jagged line that goes down her side. As if someone had stuck a serrated knife in her side and just pulled down, twisting once it reached just above her hip. It's still a little pink.

One arm has four white lines right above her elbow, as if an animal had taken a swipe at her, and the skin on both wrists are darker, as if she had been tied, or handcuffed, and tried to get away. Her left thumb is just slightly crooked, barely noticeable, suggesting a break or dislocation, and that she had succeeded in that escape. The skin of her knuckles is rougher, calloused almost, like she had been in too many fights.

Jean steps away, quickly wiping away a run away tear after seeing the white line that went from the girl's elbow down to her wrist. Logan had said that this girl doesn't remember a lot, and she prays, oh how she prays, that however she got these scars is gone too.

But the scars aren't all that mark the girl's body. On the back of her neck is a tattoo in bold, black ink.

IV

There's a knock on the door. Jean looks up as Ororo and Logan walk in. Both wear concerned expressions; the Canadian's less visible. It's there though, in his eyes. He speaks first.

"How's the kid?" he asks gruffly, glancing down at her. Something flashes in his eyes, and Jean knows he's seen the little scars on her arms. The telepath takes a breath before answering.

"Exhaustion and malnutrition. She should be fine though, she's just sleeping now." Ororo narrows her eyes, catching on that something was left out.

"Jean?" she presses softly. "What else is wrong?" Jean shakes her head, her eyes threatening to spill tears. Logan frowns at that, and Ororo just steps up and puts a hand on her friend's arm. "Show me then," she says. Jean nods once. Almost immediately, the one called Storm gasps, and draws back from the telepath.

"What?" Logan demands. Jean sighs, and repeats the action. Logan is silent for a second. Then his eyes go dark, he jaw clenches, and he looks like he wants to kill someone. "Who would do that to a kid?" he growls, low and mean. Jean just shakes her head.

"I don't know."


"Was all that really necessary?"

Ginger offers a small smile as she sets down her stethoscope on a small table next to the bed I'm stuck sitting one. "Very necessary," she says. "I need to know if there's anything wrong with you."

I scoff. "Lady, there's plenty wrong with me."

She freezes a bit at that, only to brush it off with another smile. I wasn't supposed to catch it, but I did. I decide to ignore it and glance around the room. My hair is still damp from the shower I demanded to have before subjecting to that stupid check up. I'm not going to lie; it was probably the most beautiful shower I have ever taken. Getting that gross smoky bar feel off is the best feeling in the world.

"Soo," I start nonchalantly. "You a Creep too?" Ginger looks up at me in a sort of shock. "Um, mutant," I add. Creeps. Who had called mutants Creeps? Must have been someone I was around a lot, if I picked it up like that.

"Oh. Yes, I'm a mutant too," she says, her eyes on my, checking for a reaction. I just nod.

"That's cool." Man, this room is bugging me out. "What's your super power?"

She smiles and looks across the room and I follow her gaze to a small table. I frown and start to say something clever—because I'm a clever girl—when the damn thing starts hovering. Like, holy hell, there's a poltergeist, someone get the fucking salt and call the Winchesters.

"Ah. Right then. That's…" I gasp. "Can you make yourself fly?"

Ginger laughs at that and sets down the table. "If you call it flying."

"That's cool." I grin. "Cooler than Claws. And his poison is cool." I pause. "So, am I done with this nonchalansense?" I demand, kicking out my feet, barely missing Ginger. She shoots me a look and I decide it's best for my health that I stop. Before she can answer me, a new voice cuts in.

"Actually, I was hoping to ask you some question, Hawthorne." Glancing over at the door, I see the bald dude rolling in. Something X. I give a small smirk.

"Sure, you can ask, but there's no promises I'll have all the answers." I tap my temple with an index finger. "Dunno if Claws told you, but this thing is kinda broken."

X just offers a warm smile as the chair moves forward. "Yes, Logan has told me of your predicament, but I think I may be able to help you, even if it is just a little."

I kinda just stare at him for a second. What's with these dudes and help help help? It's unnatural. Unnerving. But in the end I just shrug. "You can try, man."

X nods once. "Very well then. Hawthorne, Jean has told me about your…" he hesitates. "Scars. Do you remember how you got them?"

"Scars? Oh, right, those," I laugh at myself. "I have no idea. Woke up a while back and this one," I lift up my shirt a bit and point to the newest one on my side, "was still hurting like a bi—"

"Language, Boots!" I look up and see Claws stalk in, his eyes stern until they fall on my side. "Damn." He says it softly. Ginger looks away. I pull down my shirt and shrug.

"Haven't been into many fights since I woke, and the ones that I am in, the other tards barely even touch me," I tell them. "Who knows where these come from." I grin. "Maybe I'm a ninja."

X gives an amused smile at that. "And when was it that you woke?"

"Eh. 'Bout two months ago?" I crinkle my nose. "Woke outside some small Kansas town. All I had was my bag, a change of clothes, and a hell of a lotta money. No clue where it came from. Not that I'm complaining about having it." I frown. "Dude, where's my bag?" I demand, glaring at Claws. He just nods across the room. Oh. There it is. On the floor. By my boots. Cool. I nod once and go on. "Anywho, been hitching rides and walking around ever since."

"You didn't try to find out who you were?" Jean asks. I shake my head.

"Something told me that would've been a bad idea," I say quietly. Then louder, "'Sides, not like anyone would have been able to do anything." Ginger opens her mouth to argue, but I cut her off. "Say I go to some cops. Then what? They put me in some sort of home; make me a ward of the state. And what about when people find out about my power? You know how screwed I'd be? The place I first woke at made it very clear they don't like Creeps."

Ginger doesn't say anything at that and Claws looks mildly annoyed. X just nods. "I see." Then his eyes light up like he's about to change the subject to something lighter. "Hawthorne, I don't think I've had a chance to see your power. Logan told me, but if you don't mind, I'd love to see it in person."

I grin. "All you had to do was ask," I tell him, brining up a hand a bit, palm up. It doesn't take much concentration before the particles in the air harden, and a small translucent green marble forms in my hand. It grows in size, and pretty soon it's almost too big for my hand. "I can make pretty much anything I want," I say simply, looking down at my creation before bringing up my other hand and trapping the ball between hands. When I show it off again, it's a small statue of a turtle. I smile at it for a second before brushing my hands. The turtle is reduced to small glittery specs as they dissolve. "Specialty's weapons though," I say simply.

A bat forms in my hand. I look at it for a second before it transforms. Thinner, just slightly curved. Bladed. I look up at them as I let it flow apart.

"Come on zombie apocalypse," I deadpan.

"Fascinating," X says quietly, his eyes bright. I shrug.

"It's alright. Keeps me alive," I mutter. I look at him. "So, you gonna look in this messed up head and try to figure out why I'm all janked?" I pause. "Or did you already try?"

X shook his head. "I wouldn't do so without your permission, Hawthorne."

"Oh. Right then." I crinkle my nose. "Um, go ahead then, if you wanna try."

X smiles, then brings his hand up to his temple. After a second, my head gets fuzzy. I blink, trying to shake off the feeling when a soft sort of calm comes over me. I don't like it. I don't like it at all.

A pain, sharp and hot. "Shit!" I snap, my hand going to my head. The pain almost immediately disappears, but still. That fucking hurt!

X opens his eyes, dropping his hand. "My apologies, Hawthorne," he says after taking a shaky breath. Ginger goes up to him.

"Professor?"

"Not to worry, Jean," he says reassuringly. His voice still sounds strained a bit. I frown, Claws doing the same. He must have heard it too. "It seems to me that there's a block on your mind, Hawthorne," he explains.

"Block? What kinda block?" I demand. "Like, I put it up?"

"No, not you," he says. "Someone else." He looks up at me. "It will take some time to break down. Perhaps you should get some food and we will try again at a later time."

He's hiding something. I can see it in his eyes. Can see how he thinks it's for my best interest. He offers a small smile.

"Fine," I mutter, jumping off the bed.

"Logan, would you take her please?" The unspoken I'll-Fill-You-In-Later hangs in his words. Claws nods once.

"Sure, Chuck." He looks down at me. "Come on, Boots. Time you meet the rest of the brats here."

I smirk as I follow him out the door. "I'm sure I'll fit right in."


Professor Xavier takes another breath and rubs his face with his hand. Jean looks down at him, her eyes filled with worry.

"What is it, Professor?" she asks. "What's wrong?"

"It's the block, Jean," he tells her. "It worries me. Someone put it there on purpose." Jean frowns.

"Why would anyone do that?" she demands, anger lacing her voice. Not anger towards the Professor, but the thought that someone would do that. "Who would do that?" Xavier could only shake his head.

"Whoever it was, he made it very clear that he didn't want Hawthorne to remember her past. This wall on her mind is very strong, and dangerous." He looks up at Jean. "If we try to tear it down with force, or all at once, it could kill her, destroy her mind. Whoever did it knew what he was doing."

Jean frowns. "Then what can we do? How can we help her?"

"Our best bet is to take it slow," Xavier advises. "Once we have her in classes, we can set up sessions with her and try to work around the wall. Hypnotism, maybe." He shakes his head and looks at the girl's bag and boots. His mind wanders to the scar she had shown off.

"Do you think that'll work?"

"I'm not sure," Xavier answers honestly. "The real question is, Jean, whether we'd be doing her a favor or more damage by giving back her memories."


OOOooo. The plot thickens. So, A/N, I guess. I want you all to know I'm kind of a slow writer, but school is almost over (Only four more days!) and I'm hoping to be able to finish this story before it starts up again. Who knows. My goal is to get a chapter out to you guys at least once every two weeks. We'll see.

Stay shway, bro-chachos.