The boy studied himself in the mirror. The blonde hair given to him by his father, the blue eyes, the toned physique - the teen was the perfect heir to the Worthington business. Looking at himself now, with the huge, brown trench coat covering his body, he could not see any reason why he didn't deserve to share his father's name. But of course, there was something about Warren that his father would never accept.
It's strange really, isn't it? How such a tiny thing, like DNA, can make suggest a big difference in our lives? Warren felt that he knew that better than anyone right now. His mutated X-gene had altered the course of his life in more ways than he could ever imagine. But there was only one thing that hurt the boy more than anything about his mutation - his father.
Keeping his eyes locked on his reflection, he shrugged the trench coat from his shoulders, allowing it to fall to the floor. He turned and watched his reflection perform the same actions over his shoulder. And they finally revealed themselves - his beautiful, white wings. The boy turned away from his reflection in disgust - this is not how a wealthy businessman is supposed to look, his father had made that clear. Ironically, despite his angelic appearance, Warren felt like a demon.
Warren had cried the day he first noticed what the growths on his back were becoming - when he noticed what he was becoming. As a young boy, he still knew his father's view on these 'mutants' that the media were presenting as monsters. He had wondered to himself if he was a monster. Unfortunately, his father gave him the answer to that question - yes.
As the boy grew, so did his beautiful mutation. He started to dream of using his wings in a positive way, but his father crushed those dreams, forcing him to cover himself and never show his true form. To the outside world, young Warren's life was simple - the wealthy son of one of the most renowned businessmen in New York City, and heir to the entirety of Worthington Industries. But the boy and his father shared the truth of Warren's life.
Why wouldn't he let Warren make the best of himself? Or wasn't his best good enough? Why couldn't he accept the mutant boy that was his son? Warren had spent hours searching for the answer to these questions with no luck.
And then the day came when Warren could no longer hide himself. His wings had grown too large to be concealed now. People were asking questions. And how could the mutant's father explain the strange choice of clothing without disclosing his son's true nature? He was ashamed of the boy he had raised.
Warren looked back into the mirror again, his father's words echoing in his mind.
"What are you?" He had asked, at Warren's first confession at the tender age of ten. And later, he had blamed the boy for his mutation.
"You can't let this happen to yourself. Stop it!" He'd say. And, of course, Warren would plaster on a strong smile and feel the self-hatred bloom in his chest.
When the boy's wings were almost fully matured, he learnt to fly. He would practice at night, away from his father's judging eyes. But then came the night when he built up enough courage to disclose his spectacular ability to his daddy. He was shaking more than he had ever been that evening, and with good reason.
"No, Warren!" His father had yelled. "Don't try to make this a positive thing! Being this... Thing that you are, this is never going to be something you can be proud of!"
The words brought had tears to the boy's eyes. He weakly told his father that he thought the man would be impressed, but the only response he received was a curt dismissal to his bedroom.
But the final words running through Warren's mind as he studied his quivering lower lip in the mirror were the most recent and most hurtful. Just hours ago, the boy had been so peaceful. He had learnt to conceal his true beauty, and he thought that maybe, just maybe, his father was finally proud of him. But no.
"We need to talk," It had began, as the man directed his son to a seat in his office in such a cold manner, that Warren's heart sunk immediately.
"This..." His father waved his hand around rudely in Warren's direction. "Problem, you have. I can't handle it anymore. I can't hide it for you much longer."
The boy had begged his father, told him that he could change. But the man wouldn't listen. Despite his son's pleas, he proceeded to disown the mutant and explain that the boy of just eighteen would have to find his own way in life, with no more assistance or communication from his family.
"I can't have a monster for a son."
"Monsters don't cry." The boy thought to himself. Monster. As he looked into the mirror now, that's all Warren saw of himself. He let a single tear roll down his cheek, before his true emotions presented themselves. He slammed his fist hard against the motel vanity unit. He screamed, his anger finally being released - anger that had been hidden inside of him for so many years. He broke into a flood of sobs. His dad had always told him to be strong; emotions were yet another thing that the Worthington boy had been taught to conceal. He fell back against the bathroom wall and slid to the floor. His feathers felt soft against his skin.
"How could he leave me alone? I'm his son!" The boy's thoughts ran in circles. "Why did I have to be like this? I didn't ask to be this way!"
His eyes were red, his hair mussed from his hands tugging at it through the frustration he felt. He sat there, alone, for hours. On the dirty floor of a motel bathroom, his wings pushed uncomfortably against the cracked wall. He let himself slowly die inside as he relived the events of the past ten years.
He stood slowly and stumbled back to face the mirror. Although, he now carried nothing of his previous life but his father's name and part of his messed up DNA, he felt a strong connection to who he had been, even if he could never be that boy again. And finally, Warren Worthington saw who he really was. As he glanced into to the mirror Warren recited the words he never thought he could...
"Mutant and proud."