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Adjustment Chapter 1: Little Marionette

Fandom: New X-Men
Author: fbdarkangel
Character/Pairing: Julian/X-23
Summary: This is part of a prequel series to False Alarm
Rating: PG-13 (for now)
Disclaimer: No, I don't own X-Men! Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go cry in a corner!

X-23 was running through the snow looking for HER. She called her name. She sniffed the air but couldn’t smell the snow flakes falling on her nose. X-23 screamed in frustration then she heard CRUNCH. She turned to see Dr. Sarah Kinney, cuts and bruises all over her body. Sarah collapsed on the snowy ground and Laura ran to aid her mother.

“Doctor Kinney?” she shouted as she tried to bandage the wounds.

However with each attempt to stop the bleeding, the loss of blood increased. Sarah coughed out her blood as she opened her mouth to speak.

“L-Laura,” she sputtered.

“Do not speak,” Laura ordered. “You need your strength. You need-”

But she was stopped when Sarah placed her hands on her own.

“My little marionette,” she smiled. “It’s time to be a real life girl. No matter what happens, I will always love yo-”

Sarah gasped for more air then her eyes were no longer filled with pain or with any other emotion. She just laid limply in X-23’s arms. Laura shook Sarah’s body, trying to bring her back to life.

“Doctor Kinney, please don’t do this,” she pleaded, feeling the tears crawling down her cheeks. “Doctor?... Mother?... Mommy, please don’t leave me.”

Then her ears perked up as a pair of small feet was coming from behind. She turned, drawing out her adamantium claws from both knuckles, only to see a thirteen year old girl, with the same claws, hair, and eyes. Covered in blood, the little girl smiled.

“Where’s your Blue Fairy, now?” she teased.

“NOOOO!” Laura shrieked as she sat up straight from her bed.

Sooraya jumped out of bed and ran to her roommate.

“What’s wrong, Laura?” she asked. “Are you hurt?”

“No,” Laura gulped. “It was a hallucination. A dream.”

Before Sooraya tried to console Laura, the door bursted open with a loud bang. The girls turned to see Logan marching followed by Cyclops and Emma Frost.

“What the hell is going on?” demanded Logan.

“Laura just had nightmare, Mr. Logan,” Sooraya explained.

“And she didn’t hurt you any way,” Emma inquired, her eyes turning crystal white.

“What?” Sooraya gaped but Emma’s crystal gaze was turning towards Laura.

“Get out of her mind, Frost,” Logan growled.

“Or what?” Emma challenged.

“Enough!” Scott raised his voice. “Since there is no immediate danger we can now go to bed. Alright?”

The two other instructors remained silent until Emma gave in.

“Fine,” she said. She left the room, followed by Cyclops, who gave a smile of encouragement to the two girls and Logan, who remained silent.

After a good long while, Sooraya decided to break the silence.

“Are you sure you are all right?” she asked.

Laura nodded, not looking at her roommate.

“Go back to sleep,” she muttered.

Sooraya hesitated but then decided it was best to leave Laura to her thoughts. She said good night then turned the lights out. Once she was sure Dust was truly asleep, Laura tiptoed to her closet and pulled out her green duffle bag. She unzipped it and took out her mother’s copy of Pinocchio and the locket her cousin gave her. She opened the locket to see her mother’s face looking back at her with the same green eyes and Laura had to control herself from crying again.

How do I do it, Mother?
She thought. How do I become a real life girl?

Sarah’s picture remained silent. Laura took a deep breath before putting her possessions back in the duffel bag and returning it to her closet. She walked to her bathroom, closed the door, and clenched her right fist.


She closed her eyes and let her claws run deep through her skin, feeling warm blood flowing down.

(long awkward pause) This is usually the part where people start reviewing! ;P