"Evi?" I open my eyes to see Sara knelt at the side of our bed looking extremely sorry for herself. "How much did you let me drink last night?"
"Don't blame me!" I giggle, sitting up to face her. "Once you started, we couldn't stop you!"
"Oh god!" She buries her face in her hands. "What did I do?""
"You showed a definite soft spot for Warren!" She looks at me with a blank expression. "The cute, blonde rich kid?"
"Oh! Him!" She sounds relieved. "Oh god! What about Marcus? Did I-"
"No!" I laugh. "No. Nothing went on outside of spin the bottle."
"Oh, wow. I remember that!" She smirks at what I can only imagine is a warped and fuzzy memory.
"You feeling alright? You don't look too good!" I giggle.
"Hey!" She protests.
"Kidding!" I cut in. "I just mean, do you need anything?"
"You got any pain killers? This headache is murder." She rubs her forehead and pouts slightly.
"Top drawer in the nightstand on Scott's side." I instruct casually. "Don't wake him up!"
"Okay, okay! Thanks." She stands slowly and makes her way around the bed.
I look back to the boy beside me. I don't think I've ever met a more beautiful guy, even if half of his face is always covered by ruby quartz. I run my fingers through his soft, brown hair and smile slightly when he mumbles something in his sleep.
"Woah!" Sara speaks up, grabbing my attention. "What's this?"
I am about to tell her to quiet down when I notice what she's holding - Scott's visor.
"Nothing!" I say quickly. "It's just-"
"It's what I wear instead of my glasses when I work out. For my eye condition." Scott cuts in casually. I jump at his voice. When did he wake up?
"Oh. Makes sense." Sara shrugs, putting the visor gently back in the drawer. "It's weird, I'm sure I've seen that thing somewhere else."
Of course you have, I think to myself, when the X-Men are all over the news is hard not to notice their leader's defining accessory.
"Yeah, I guess you must've just seen him wearing it." I suggest casually.
"I guess, it's just-" She stops. Her mouth falls open and a dazed expression consumes her features. "Oh my gosh."
"What?" I ask desperately, hoping she hasn't figured it out. But it is plainly obvious that she has.
"He- He's-" She stutters as if the words have been stolen from her lips. Her eyes are locked straight ahead and her chest rises and falls heavily. I can almost see everything falling into place in her mind. She stands slowly.
"No." She starts, snapping out of her daze and turning her attention to Scott. "No, no, no! You! You're- You're a-"
"Sara." I rush over to her. "Sara, calm down."
"He's- He's a- A mutant!" She stutters, finally producing more than confused babble.
"Stop. It's okay." I take hold of her shoulders and look her in the eye.
"No! Mutants are dangerous, Evelyn!" She pants, backing away.
"No, we're not like that! We don't-"
"We?" She cuts me off. Oh no. "You too?"
"Oh my God. You- You're the one everyone's scared off, aren't you?" She backs away more. "No! Tell me it's not true! Not you!"
"Sara, you have to understand, I couldn't-"
"It all makes sense now. At prom, it wasn't the lights, it was just you! And then h-he saw that you were a freak like him and that's why you got close so quickly!" She sounds angry now.
"Sara..." My voice is weak. Freak? She really thinks that? Scott appears beside me.
"Please, Sara. She's still your best friend." He wraps his arm around my waist.
"No! I don't know who you are anymore! I can't be friends with a- a dangerous criminal!" I can hear the fear and anger growing in her voice.
"Please!" I beg, my breath beginning to waver.
"That's what this place is, isn't it? You're all freaks here! The others... They're like you, aren't they?" She looks disgusted. "Oh god! I kissed a mutant!"
I wonder temporarily why that is the thing she chooses to prioritize.
"Sara, you can't tell anyone. Please." I can hear the slight worry in his tone. He's scared.
"Stay away from me!" She yells and runs from the room.
"Sara! Don't go!" I shout reaching out to follow her. Scott pulls me into his arms. I feel my tears begin to fall. "No, I have to explain! I have to make her see!"
"Evelyn," He sighs, pulling me to his chest. I sob into his shirt. "Shhh. It's okay. She's just in shock."
"Sh-she called us fr-freaks! She h-hates m-me!" I stutter through the tears. "What if sh-she t-tells someone? W-what if my m-mum f-finds out?"
"Shhhh... She may be angry, but she's not stupid. And she definitely doesn't hate you." His kisses my hair and hugs me tighter.
"I've m-messed everything u-up! I sh-should n-never have brought h-her here!"
"It's not your fault." He whispers reassuringly.
"What the hell just happened?" Warren asks, entering the room. "I just asked her how she was and she shoved me against the wall and told me to get away from her. My wings are killing me now!"
"She knows." Scott replies simply.
"What? How?" He sounds confused. "Evi, are you okay?"
"She found my visor." Scott sounds perfectly calm, showing his leadership skills. "Will you look after her for a second? I have to talk to the professor."
"I-I'm fine." I protest.
"Sure," Warren agrees, ignoring me. "I can do that."
"Thanks," I feel Scott release me and immediately miss his warmth. Next, I notice Warren's hand slip into mine.
"Come sit down." He whispers, guiding me to the bed. I sit as commanded.
"She's my best friend... And I've lost her." I whisper once the sobs have receded.
"No, you haven't." He wraps his arm around my shoulders awkwardly. "I know how you feel. And, I know it seems bad now, but it'll be over soon. I promise."
"Really?" I blink up at him through the tears.
"Yeah. With the support of Scott and the rest of us and a few of Bobby's bad puns, you'll get through it. And she'll come back." He squeezes me and smiles.
"You said you know how I feel." I say, my curiosity getting the best of me. "What did you mean?"
"Oh," He clears his throat, his voice suggesting he didn't expect the question. "My dad... He wasn't too happy about my mutation. He didn't want a son who was a monster."
"Warren, you're not a monster." I force a smile. "You're an angel. You're our angel."
"And so are you." He whispers. "You just need to see that."
"I can set my hair on fire. That's sort of a devilish quality." I joke.
"But you have a good heart. Just ask Scott. We can all see it." He rests his head on mine.
"I wouldn't be so sure." I mumble, my mind drifting to thoughts of John.
"Stop putting yourself down, Evelyn." He whispers, I can hear the tiredness in his voice. "You're still here, aren't you? You're still an X-Man, after everything."
"Not completely." I reply. "Not like you and the others."
"You have to put up with Scott all the time! That makes you more of an X-Man than any of us!" We both laugh slightly. "How do you do it? What's your trick?"
"My trick is that I love him." I reply, smiling to myself.
"Oh. I might have to try that one next time he's ordering us around in training!" He jokes.
"Warren!" I can't help but laugh, despite everything that's going on.
"You feeling better now?" He asks sweetly. Unfortunately, the question reminds me of the events that got me here and the pain blooms in my chest again.
"Yeah." I sigh. "Thanks, Warren. You're a really good friend. I'm sorry for how I've acted in the past, when Scott and I fell out and stuff. I feel horrible for using you like that, you didn't deserve it. And I'm sorry for, you know, almost murdering you."
He laughs. "It's fine, Evi. I trust you. Plus, I have no problem with a pretty mutant kissing me whenever she wants to!"
"Scott's a pretty mutant." I suggest, giggling.
"No. We are never mentioning last night ever again. That was one time, during a game. It doesn't count." He says firmly, but I can feel him laughing.
"Wait. You kissed my boyfriend. Shouldn't I hate you right now?" I joke.
"Ha. Ha. Hilarious." He says sarcastically. The door opens and Scott enters. "Speak of the devil."
"What did the professor say?" I quiz Scott, sitting up straight quickly due to my heightened interest and accidentally head butting Warren in the process.
"He says he can sort it and he'll be back tomorrow morning, but from now on, no friends over." Scott warns sitting down beside me. I am now sandwiched between two beautiful boys.
"I know, I'm sorry." I let my head fall.
"Thanks for looking after her, Warren." Scott says in a slightly curt dismissal.
"Oh yeah." Warren quickly removes his arm from around my shoulders and rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. "No problem. I'll see you guys later." He stands and heads for the door.
"Warren." I call out. He stops and looks back at me. "You'll never be a monster."
"Thanks." He smiles sweetly and leaves.
"What was that all about?" Scott asks once the door is shut.
"We were just talking about family problems." I hug him tightly. "I'm really sorry for this morning."
"It's not your fault. Just be more careful who you invite round, yeah?" He kisses my forehead.
"Yeah." I reply simply. I notice something sparkle on his hand. "You're wearing my ring?"
"Of course." He whispers.
"It's going to be okay, isn't it?" I sigh. It's difficult thinking how much has changed so quickly.
"The professor will sort this out. And then everything will be fine." He hugs me a little tighter. "I promise."