A/n: Hints to Uncanny x-Men past and current issues.


She sees it live on television.

The Avengers and the X-Men are fighting, and it's not something new. In her world- their world- it seems that every time so-called super-heroes meet for this or that reason, instead of teaming up, they end up fighting. And this time, there is no difference.

Or maybe there is-it's actually worse. She may not know the details, but she knows –analyzes, understands, gets the results, the data as clear as ever in her computer-like mind- what they are fighting for.

Children; and it's not like the Avengers wants to take them in (apparently, Pym has a theory: children with super-powers shouldn't be under the Almighty Avengers' guidance unless it's to control and stab a knife in their back when they show they can actually think with their own minds), but because they don't want them under Scott Summer's tutelage.

She closes her eyes. She can't understand it. Many Avengers went crazy in the past- Wanda did something horrible, she killed many of them, destroyed their world, their lives, recreated reality as she and her brother saw fit and then annihilated the mutant race, and yet… yet, every single Avenger is forgiven. Back in the fold in no time at all. Like they had been heroes all the time.

But not Scott Summers. Not Emma, Erik, Peter and Illyana. They forgave Namor- she spied on Hank's mind and saw the Illuminati, the prince of Atlantis among them- but not the others. Like it hadn't been the same thing. She isn't saying she likes the whole thing, because she doesn't. but she understands reality in a way they can't-never will. Atoms dance all around her, in an endless symphony. She sees everything. Connects every single dot. Gets the bigger picture. And she knows the truth: Scott Summers is no murder- and is as much as pain as the Avengers over Charles' death, if not more. The truth is, she knows he did under the influence-the possession- of the Phoenix. Even if something of him still remained, it was still… the touch of infinite, such an absolute power corrupts you, it transforms you in a way that you can't even recognize yourself. It's what happened with Scott, with the people of the Phoenix, the Five. She may not forgive-but she can understands -besides, Charles Xavier wasn't the saint people claims he was.

That's why she is here, right before this old military complex, instead that the Jean Grey School, or the Tower… or the mansion. As much as she hates to admit it, this is her place now. This is her people, not people who said who loved her, and instead of accepting her help- and help her out in return – talked her into rewriting her life, implanting false memories and erasing any trace of she used to be. She knows that they thought they did it for the best reason, but still, the consequences… she can't accept them.

(And she can't believe they didn't know the truth. That Stephen Strange, sorcerer supreme, didn't know what was wrong with her.)

"I have to say, this place looks exactly like what it is- a nightmare born to torture mutants." She sits at the metal table at the center of what she assumes is the control room- hard to say in this mess- with her legs crossed, looking like the lady she had always looked like, and never really been. But she is uptown Christine Stark, billionaire and genius extraordinaire, and she has been thought to behave just like that. And never really be herself. (Probably the reason behind all her bad decisions when it comes to relationships. Besides, right now she is pissed off with the world and in a bad mood.)

She throws a small box at Scott- not her favorite person in the world, but then again, he has been raised by Nathaniel Essex and then Charles Xavier – and then, she stands, her eyes focused on the Cerebra-like projection of the current status of the mutant race all around the world, new lights turning on every now and then, a bean of hope and a reminder that their darkest hour may be gone, soon forgotten. "By the way, I come bearing gifts. Ruby Quartz contacts with a micro-holographic projector integrated. Doesn't do a lot more than showing that your eyes are blue instead of bright red, and avoid that you incinerate yours truly, but they can come in handy. Don't want to look like the loser that walks in a party well past midnight with his sunglasses on. That would be so, oh, I think 2000…"

Summers doesn't know what to say, and he was still smiling, she thinks he would. For some unknown reason, Scott always liked-even trusted- her. she wonders because they share this unique connection, two souls that has been manipulated, and mind-cleaned, by Charles Xavier, so that they could remember only what the professor wanted and saw fit.

(No. Charles wasn't a saint. Definitely not.)

"Christine." Emma. As cold as ever. They have never been each other's person- and Chris I still a bit mad that Emma stole her color, black, while she went with Osborn, and Emma is mad as well with her, was Chris stole her costume design altering it with her signature black when she was with the Avengers. No, they don't like each other, but in the last few years, the got to understand each other- that are always going to put the mutant race, their children, before themselves, will always dedicate themselves to the future of their people- and by that, they reached a silent agreement. They can tolerate each other. They can live in the same space. Work together-if it's for the mutants' future.

"Emma, dear. Again stealing my colors, I see… and the trench coat, too. I have to say, I thought you had your own style…" she turns to Scott once again, but she can't help but glaze once in a while at the cyber-setting. "Oh, lord. I can't believe you survived until now. Who the hell was managing your servers, a talking gorilla? I can't believe you haven't been made yet, with the amount of energy you waste. You want to hide in plain sight? You don't shield yourself. You cover your tracks. You force your opponents to dismiss you. You build false bases of operations. You don't, and I say again, you don't waste that much energy on a single base." That is, unless you don't want to have a platoon of SHIELD agents knocking at your door. she adds telepathically, an afterthought she is quite happy, malignly satisfied, to notice that Emma doesn't hear as good as she used to. She may really be world's leading telepath now, just like Cap used to tell her. "You really need someone as good as me to manage your technology and your offshore accounts. You do offshore accounts, right? Because I seriously hope you're not running around robbing banks to finance your revolution."

"This isn't a revolution" Scott says, firm. Any trace of smile he could have shown, it's now gone. This is the man Charles hoped him to be, the leader, not the man who fell into the ground and is now eating mud and grass. It's what he can be- what she is sure one day will be again. "We just want to give our people the fighting second chance they deserve."

"Nice speech" she says, her eyes still focused on the lights, her hand lingering on the place where the Jean Grey School should be. Once upon a time, she thought that to be her place, but now, everything is different- she is different- and she isn't so sure she actually has a place on this world. "I like this better than Logan's "let's act like we can live in harmony just because we want to, pretend no one will ever come to our doors trying to kill us."

"SHIELD is making sentinels" Scott tells her, his eyes on the same spot. She wonders what he is thinking about. A sole front? Jean Grey? The past, maybe the future?

"One of the reasons I could never work with the Avengers ever again. They aren't about saving the world any longer, too much politics involved. No wonder, though, when you have a living flag as the chief of operations." She pauses, and looks at Scott. "Just for the record, I don't mind too much the man. He is a legend, a living symbol, that's ok. But he is trying to get involved a bit too much in things he shouldn't get involved with in the first place."

"Us?"

"Us" she answers him in the affirmative, her eyes again on the glowing lights. And then, Scott Summers smiles at her.

"I hope you aren't too rusty to hijack an helicarrier…"

"My, my… thought you would have never asked, Scottie…" and as she says so, an helicarrier is exactly where Illyana tele-transports them.

Ready to save a new mutant.