Shelter from the Storm

By Amythyst ([email protected])

SUMMARY/TEASER:  Vignette.  Monet reflects on her relationship with the rest of Generation X.

DISCLAIMER:  Generation X and all related characters belong to Marvel.  This fic was written for entertainment purposes only; no money is being made from this story, and no copyright infringement is intended.

AUTHORíS NOTE:  This fic takes place in a lovely little world where that whole Monet-Penance fiasco never happened.  Also, this is one of several possible interpretations of the character.  If you disagree thatís fine, but please donít flame me if you have a different opinion.
______________________________________________________

I can hear them.

Even all the way up here in my room, I can still hear every little thing thatís going on in the rec room downstairs.  My teammates, the other members of Generation X, are watching a horror movie marathon on television.  Theyíve been down there for hours now. Every so often wild shrieks of laughter float up to me, and I can only imagine what sort of disaster area the room must resemble by now.  But I guess that's what happens when bad weather forces a group of
teen-agers to stay cooped up inside for an evening.

Not that I would know anything about that.

I sit perched in the window of my bedroom, listening to the heavy rain as it pounds against the shutters. A gust of wind spurs the trees into action below me, their limbs casting oddly shaped shadows on the ground as they dance in the moonlight.  I lift a hand and trace the droplets of water as they trickle down the outside of the window, and Iím comforted by my surroundings.  Itís chaos out there tonight - wild and fierce and unpredictable.

Unlike my room, where everything is calm and quiet.  I feel safe here; itís the one place where I can be and know that nothing will be able to hurt me.  I can just sit here and stare out from the window ledge, watching natureís drama play out before me while still feeling secure.

God, if that isnít a pathetic metaphor for my life, I donít know what is.

I hate being like this.  Iíve come to rely on this security so much that Iím unable to function outside of it.  Part of me wants to leave this protective cocoon Iíve made for myself, to go into the midst of all the chaos and not care about what could happen to me.  If I were to lift this window latch and fly up into the trees right now, I wouldnít be the least bit scared.  Physically Iím almost invincible, so thereís virtually no chance of my getting hurt.

Life doesnít always work that way, though.  People are nowhere near as forgiving as nature, and the pain they are capable of inflicting can be far worse.  Thatís why I canít go into the rec room to be with everyone else - I know the other kids wonít want me intruding on their fun, and it hurts too much to know that they might not want me around.

Hah.  Other kids.  Thatís a laugh.

Sometimes I feel like Iím a million years older then they are.  What was it Jono said that one time, ďsometimes you think like youíre forty-sixĒ?  I think thatís too kind an estimate.  One hundred and forty-six would have been more like it.

I want to be able to relate to everyone else, I really do, but itís hard when Iíve never had friends my own age.  Poppa always wanted me to be the very best at everything, so I ended up spending so much of my time with tutors.  And Mere, well, she thought that other children would be a bad influence on me.  Good little girls didnít run around and get dirty - they sat still and learned their lessons and said ďpleaseĒ and ďthank youĒ and never spoke unless an adult spoke to them
first.  I can remember only a few isolated instances when she allowed me to spend time with another child, and usually that was only for a few moments while she spoke to a friend.  Of course, I had my little sisters, but they were just babies - it wasnít the same as being with someone my own age.

I donít think itís possible for me to ever be a part of the group.  Thereís no way I could ever be friends with anyone my age - I never learned how.

The weird part is that any stranger who looked at me would think I was the most popular girl in my school. Theyíd probably say ďlook at her - sheís beautiful, rich, well-educated . . . sheís got everything she could ever want.Ē

The truth is that anyone who thought that about me wouldnít have the slightest idea what he or she was talking about.

A sudden flash of lightning illuminates the sky, drawing my attention back to the window.  For a split second I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the glass, and for the first time Iím unsure of what to think about the girl whoís staring back at me. Flawless skin, a long mane of shiny black hair, intelligent brown eyes, straight nose, perfect white teeth . . .

Perfect.

Why does that word continue to come up?

Itís not my fault that my powers affect me this way, and God knows I never had a choice in the matter. None of us ever do.  I canít help it if my powers allow me to fly or lift 50-ton weights or learn a whole new language in 15 minutes.  So why do I feel like everyone resents me so much for something thatís beyond my control?  They all have sympathy for Jono
and Angelo because of the problems theyíve had with their mutations, but theyíd probably laugh if I told them about the pain that I have to deal with.  Or maybe they wouldnít show any interest at all.

Invulnerable.  Thatís an even better word.

Thatís the word they use to describe me.  Itís pretty ironic when I think about it.  To them Iím the strongest and smartest member of Generation X, the girl the entire team should turn to whenever a tough situation comes up in battle because no physical harm can come to me.

Naturally they all think that itís absolutely impossible to hurt me.  Thatís pretty funny when you consider that Iím probably the one whoís hurting the most.

I keep telling myself that I donít want to be down there with them, that spending even a few moments with people who are that immature is a complete waste of time.  Those movies are stupid and predictable anyway.  And this way I wonít have to listen to Jubileeís nonstop chatter or witness the perpetual angst fest that is Jono and Paigeís love life.  Why would I want
to waste my evening with them when I can stay here and do whatever I want?

Maybe itís because Iím lonely.  And maybe itís because I know deep down that Iím lying to myself.  I want to be a part of their group just as much as they want me to stay away.

But I know thatís impossible.  Why would they want to be around me when I act so smug and superior all of the time?  Iíve said and done too many hurtful things in the past for them to extend any type of friendship.  I have no right to expect that they would do so, no right to even hope for it.  I just wish that I could explain to them that I acted that way because I was
scared - I thought for sure that they wouldnít like me, so I pushed them away before they had a chance to reject me first.

Now itís too late.  Unfortunately, I canít change the past.  And now Iím an outcast among outcasts, and I donít think that any of my teammates can begin to comprehend the loneliness I feel.

The rain is letting up a bit, and I can hear the others more clearly now.  Jubileeís shouting at Angelo for taking her seat when she went to the kitchen to get a drink.  Knowing Angelo, he probably just lit up a cigarette to annoy her further.  Everett, ever the peacemaker, is telling her she can have his seat in the chair . . . and from that thud I just heard it
sounds as though Jono flung a pillow at Everett for being such a pushover.  No doubt Paige is there, too, sitting silently and making a point of ignoring Jono. By now even Penance has probably made an appearance, if only to see what the commotion is about.

Everyone is down there having a good time together. Everyone except me.

If I only had one wish, just one wish; if my fairy godmother were to come into my room right now, ask me what I wanted most in the world and promise to give it to me no matter what it was, I would say I want to be ordinary.  I want to be down in that room with all of the other kids so that I could stop being the silent observer and become a part of their lives.

What a dream to have, to want to be just like everyone else.  But for me it would be the most wonderful gift I could ever hope to receive.

(*SIGH*)

I wonder if they know Iím sitting up here alone, staring out the window and watching the rain.

I wonder if they care.
 

THE END