Author: Charlotte
Title: Crying on the inside
Distribution: Want. Take. Have. But let me know, so I know where it ends up.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Marvel's.
Classification: Much Angst, connotations of stuff that I don't want to mention for sake of the story. But there is other people mooking and being slashy and stuff, but since the main focus of the story is seriously dark Angst, these don't really impinge on the story.
Summary: Bobby Angsts. And thinks bad stuff. And Angsts. And then Angsts some more.
Feedback: to theonoe@glencorse.plus.com
Notes: This is the first fic I have finished in ages. Over a year at least. There is Much dark Angst and it hasn't been beta'd yet, but I really wanted to get it out before I forgot about it. I think it's ok, spelling and grammar are both good, but then, I do study English so I'd hope they were. It's also pretty short. Oh, and if people tell me they like it, I'll write the other stories in this timeline. This story actually comes somewhere in the middle, but it works as a standalone. But, for ease of reading, Gen X moved in with the X-men when their mansion got totalled. Nate Grey moved in to get a better feel for his family after spending so long alone (both post #75 cull) and Gambit and Courier are mooking around the world and generally carrying on as they were in Gambit.

Crying on the Inside
by Charlotte

As I sit here, I'm crying. You'd never know to look at me, since technically, I'm sat on a sofa with Jubilee, introducing her and Nate Grey to the wonders of Blackadder, Red Dwarf and Absolutely Fabulous, with the assistance of Betsy, Jono and Kitty. I'm laughing my head off in all the right places, and providing a running commentary with Jono. To look at me, you would never know that I'm a bigger angst pit than the Summers tribe, Mr Starsmore and a random selection of 10 other X-men put together, but that's because I'm better at hiding it than them. And to look at me, you would see no reason to think that I'm suicidally depressed. I'm 23, intelligent, attractive, and athletic. I've travelled the world around, and I've saved the lives of more people than I could count, even if you don't include the ones from different galaxies. I stand up and fight for what I believe in, with my friends that I've known since I was 14. All this should really add up to a pretty positive self-image. But no, I am such a Black Pit of Angst; I should be the third Summers brother. And I can hide it all from Betsy, Jean and The Prof.

I've been thinking about it for a while now, when I feel numb enough to deal with it, and I think I've realised, or at least rationalised why I feel like this. It, I think, comes from, to start off with, being the baby of the first team. I hadn't got much control or knowledge of my powers, and I had to fight to keep up. While Warren was flitting around being suave and sophisticated, Hank was getting his first Nobel award, Scott was being team-leader and official "oh- my-god, -I-can-never-ask-out-Jean-even-though-it's-painfully-obvious- to-just-about-everyone-how-much-we-love-each-other-oh-I-know-I'll- fall-in-this-handy-black-pit-of-despair-and-angst-about-asking-her- out-for-another-ten-years-and-several-ressurections-before-I-grow- balls-and-ask-her-out-even-though-she's-a-telepath-and-probably-knew- before-I-did" class A dickhead and negative black hole of angst and Jean was doing the same, but from the other side, I was getting better and better at hiding myself behind jokes. I was the one in the background, occasionally making a witty comment and saving lives, occasionally without property damage too. So I was class clown and baby to the first team, even though the age gap between Scotty and me was only 4 years. Then the next lot joined. And somehow I was relegated again. On and on this went, Every time someone new joined, my place as bottom-of-the-ladder, -only-here-`cause-we-feel-sorry-for- him-and-sometimes-need-ice-cubes-or-someone-to-keep-the-food-cold- when-the-villain-of-the-month-has-destroyed-the-generators was reinforced. Thing is, I'm actually pretty powerful. I have always known that. I have known for a long time that I could invoke the next ice age; make the world into a snowball. That's why I never pushed myself. Phoenix is the full extent of Jean's powers. When Emma Frost mind-raped me, that wasn't the full extent of mine. That was just another step, one I didn't want to take. Next time, perhaps, I'll go further. I could survive in an Ice Age. Perhaps I'll create one.

It'd be fun, all pristine and white, nothing but glaciers for miles, Ice covering the planet. And I could do it. The only people who could stop me live in this house. I could freeze them to death as they slept. Freeze the blood in their veins so they just died right there. Magneto makes this big show out of how he controls even the very iron in our blood. Well, the human body is 8 pints water and perhaps a few grams, including fillings, metal. I could do so much more damage.

With barely a thought, I could kill. I should have gone evil. So many more opportunities for me to use my powers, because "X-men don't kill" (except planets (Jean), anyone she touches (Rogue), Marrow (Storm), anyone he feels like (Wolverine), Morlocks (Gambit) or anyone who happens to be in the vicinity when we tangle with evil-of- the-week). Ice is pretty destructive stuff, in a combat situation. And I never get to be creatively violent.

So I think that's part of it. My best friends constantly undervalue me. I've saved their lives more often than I care to remember, and I'm still just Bobby, team clown and most junior member, even though I was the second X-man. Even Jubilee has a higher position on this team than I do. Another part of it could be the fact that I'm the most normal of the X-men, and therefore I have to make it up by doing something like this. I know it's irrational. Knowing that doesn't help.

And the third and final part? The third and final part is so huge, that I DO NOT THINK ABOUT IT. Ever. When I was growing up, it wasn't the looming threat of mutants that was the problem, (even though the mutant `threat' was tiny back then and Graydon Creed was barely a twinkle in his parent's eyes) it was THEM. My father was never a particularly pleasant man to people who went against the grain, but they took the biscuit. Some days, I got the impression that my father would rather sit down for dinner with a fully armed Sinister, Onslaught and Magneto and all their flunkies and henchmen than one of THEM. So when I turned out to be one of them, when I finally admitted it to myself, you can imagine what it did to my already fragile, inferiority-complex ridden psyche. It's a wonder I'm still breathing.

And I know that all my panic about being one of them is completely unfounded. I'm good friends with several of them. Take, for example, the pair in this room. They are both a great laugh, when they're not being twin black holes of despair (that's happening less too, especially since they came out together. Jean loves it. She practically melts every time she sees them. I suppose that, since Jean likes it, then it must be good. And if Jean likes it and it's good, then it must be ok for me to be it too? No. At any given second I can come up with any number of reasons why it's not ok for me to be it. Even when the pair on the sofa are looking so cute and in love that Jubilee is complaining of sugarshock and even Betsy smiles, it's still not ok for me to be happy like that. Even when Rictor and Shatterstar mook their way through an entire battle and Gambit gets an ear bashing from Courier and still smiles, it's not ok for me to be one of them. I just can't. As much as I think it'd be good for me, I can't admit it. Maybe in the future, I'll be able to come to terms with the fact that I am one of them, but right now, I think I'm gonna stock up on long sleeved t-shirts.

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