The Invisible Lie

by Indigo

DISCLAIMER: Property of Marvel Comics. Used for entertainment purposes only. Not to be reproduced for profit.

PERMISSIONS: Neither Pop-Up nor MST.

FEEDBACK: [email protected] -- no flames.

TIMELINE: Sometime after the final issue of Search for Cyclops.

You don't live millennia without learning a thing or two about surviving.

This is a truth the rest of the X-Men haven't figured out yet. They're kids, you see. Compared to him. Compared to me. They haven't even lived a human lifespan yet, let alone multiple ones. Yeah, yeah, they're lucky with the whole bounce-back thing. X-Men have this great tendency to not stay dead. But it's still not the same as living centuries of time yourself.

You develop an understanding of people. Of human nature. Of how to fool people. How to trick them. How to hide in plain sight.

This is what Scott --

--Apocalypse --


To Jeannie.

*Nobody* does something like that to Jeannie and lives. Especially not now. Not after she'd been the only one to hold onto the hope. Not after she led us all over the world trying to find him. Without the rapport to follow like a star lighting her way home. With nothing but love and intuition to guide her.

She found him.

And it was the invisible lie.

He looked like Scott. He could act like Scott. He did a damn good impression of Scott. Enough to make me question my own senses.

But mannerisms don't lie. And neither does my nose.

Jeannie will probably never believe me.

No one will likely ever forgive me, even if the truth does come out.

Easy to rationalize. The little psycho with the berserker streak and the swiss-cheese mind. No matter I've fought for the dream since I learned of it. No matter I've fought back against being brainwashed and brain twisted and mind warped and mind wiped more times than I could count. And I guess that makes me suspect.

They know what I've survived and come through.

I should've thought it through further. I may be a good little X-Man who follows the dream...

...but Scott Summers was the first. The first student. The first X-Man.

The backbone of the dream, even to Charles.

It *was* Apocalypse.

It *was*.

The scent was wrong.

Or am I just rationalizing my anger at what he did to me?

Am I just looking for an easy out to vent my rage at his having made me his Death?

Hah. I should not be standing here, looking at my hands, thinking what Lady MacBeth thought.

This blood'll wash off. It always does.

But I've betrayed them all. They'll never believe it was anything but Scott. Even if I tell them I could smell Apocalypse.

But Jean... she'll get to live. She won't have that monster holding her and going through the motions of loving her until he got good and ready to make his move to subdue her or kill her.

There is that.

Small consolation.