Challenge #2: Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

Anger Management

Sometimes I worry about the anger that lives inside me. Usually it's buried pretty deep, and I can control it. But sometimes...sometimes it rises up and I do something I regret later. I've always had a temper, and sometimes it's mixed with just a little more impulsiveness than is healthy. And then I do something that I know is not a good idea, even though it seems like it at the time.

"I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that phase"

Right now I'm thinking of the time I punched that guy at school. The mutant hater. I didn't even think about doing it - he made me so angry, and before I knew it he was on the floor, and I felt a little better. Then his buddies got involved, and I felt a lot better by the time that was over.

"And when you're out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch"

I regretted it later. Not because of what I did, but because of what it said about me. (And because I then got stuck in anger management counseling.) All the years of training, all that effort to control my powers, and I couldn't even hold it together when some dumb frat boy made some anti-mutant remarks. As if it was the first time I had ever heard anything like that.

"You really think you're in control"

Sometimes I wonder if we are going about this the wrong way. Trying to help people, to make them see that we aren't so different from them, and that all mutants aren't the same. Hey guys, mutant =/= bad. There's a very small part of me that thinks we should just live our lives and use our powers to defend ourselves when necessary. It's that small angry part that whispers, "They will always hate you."

"My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done"

But then what? Where would this world be if those who were able to didn't stand up and defend it?

I always wanted to be a hero. And now I know I've seen too much to back down, to stand aside and just let things happen, if there's something I can do.

"I just knew too much"

But that still doesn't stop that little voice. Maybe I'm crazy.

"Maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy

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Muse: Kitty Pryde
Fandom: X-Men
Word Count: 342

Challenge #1: Raining in Baltimore by the Counting Crows

Homesick for a Normal Life

I needed a nap like nobody's business. I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed to sleep for a week, but I was still wearing my uniform. Considering that it was covered in dust from the building that had collapsed around me, I opted for a quick shower first, in my personal bathroom - a perk of being a teacher at Xavier's, as opposed to a student. Wrapped in my soft old robe, I returned to my room and went to my dresser. After a moment of rummaging in my pajama drawer, my hands stilled as I caught sight of a familiar piece of red fabric.

Slowly removing the over-sized T-shirt, I held it up. It had a picture of skyscrapers and the words, "Chicago: It Blows." And despite the fact that I was home, in the place I knew I belonged, I felt a rush of homesickness as strong as the gusts in the Windy City.

Did it always have to come back to what had been lost or left behind? Life would be so much easier if we could just forget things sometimes.

Illinois, the home I had spent the first thirteen years of my life in, was in me. I'd tried to go back, to go to college like a normal girl genius. It hadn't worked.

So here I was at Xavier's, this time as faculty. I knew it was the right move, that I was meant to be here, but at times like this I couldn't help but mourn for what was, and what could have been.

Thinking of the friends I'd made at the university, I wondered what they were doing now, if they ever wondered about me. Sometimes we e-mailed each other, kept up to date on big things. But it was the little things I was missing, so many little things. I glanced at the cell phone charging on my nightstand. It would be easy to pick up the phone and scroll through, to find a number and hit send. And then what? What would I say? "Hey, I fought a big Godzilla-looking monster today. What did you do?"

Close friendship is sharing the little things that make up your day. And I couldn't do that with them.

So I sat on my bed tracing my fingertip over the image on a T-shirt, and said goodbye to normal relationships with normal people.

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Muse: Kitty Pryde
Fandom: X-Men
Word Count: 400
Shadows Floral

To sleep: perchance to dream (deadly_genesis)

I jolted awake, gasping for air, my fingers digging into the bedsheets on either side of me. Early morning light filtered in through the curtains, but I kept my eyes wide open and trained on the ceiling overhead, trying to still my nerves. I was drenched in sweat, but I was shivering and I felt cold deep inside.

Bits and pieces of the nightmare came back to me as I forced myself into complete wakefulness. I tried not to focus on them, but the images were there, and I couldn't block them out.

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When Red and Black

Fighting the Nightmares (deadly_genesis)

The day had been long and horrendously exhausting, but as I leaned against Peter, with his arm around me, the headache that had been pounding through my head seemed to recede a bit. I wasn't sure if it was a result of his closeness or the double dose of aspirin or both, but either way I was glad for the relief.

"Are you doing ok?" he asked me.

I nodded and tried to work up a tired smile for him. "I'm fine," I told him. I thought back to my fight with Emma and was forced to realize how much it had taken out of me. She'd thrown me onto an emotional roller coaster, and after the battle at Genosha it was really the last thing I'd needed. "Just...a little tired," I admitted.

"Can I fix you something to eat?"

He looked so worried that I had to laugh a little, and put a hand on his face to soothe him. He really is the sweetest man. I've seen him smash through buildings and take down countless supervillains. He's been through death and torture and who knows what else, but none of it changes who he really is deep down.

Thank God.

"Nah, I'm not hungry," I repled. "Really," I added firmly, not sure he believed me. I guess he did, because he changed the subject.

"Scott has invited Rogue to be on team again," he said in a low voice.

"For real?" I raised my eyebrows and looked over at the woman we were talking about, who was currently engaged in conversation with Scott. "Good. That's good. I think that will help all of us."

I eyed the table in the corner, zeroing in on one of the chairs. Sleep was the foremost thing on my mind, but I wanted to talk to Peter a little more to erase the ugliness of the day. The last thing I needed was more nightmares.

"You know, you're right. I should eat something," I said, turning to him. "But I seriously need to sit down before I drop. Will you fix me something?"
Kitty Phase

Back again

I'm still not really sure what I'm doing here. Scott called, told me about the deal with the school and asked if I'd come back to teach. Me, a teacher at Xavier's. Who'da thunk it? Remembering the first time I walked through those doors, I know that never in a million years would I have guessed that I'd later phase right through them again to be part of the staff.

And I have to ask myself - am I ready for it?

That meeting "on Hawaii" - haha, Hank - made me think about a lot of things. A "poster child," Emma called me. An X-Man with a cute face (you know it!) and a defensive power. No fur, no claws (anymore), no creepy telepathic powers that make you wonder if I'm looking in your head.

But I know that's not all that I am. All those years with the X-Men, with Excalibur...hell, that time in Japan! I learned so much more, can do so much more than just walk through walls. I'm older now. I know myself. And I know I'm not just Ariel or Sprite, or even just Shadowcat. I'm Kitty Pryde, and I can kick bad-guy-ass and dismantle a villainous super computer at the same time. I've been all over the universe, tangled with more villains than I care to remember, and I have a pet dragon who's got my back.

And that's kind of why I left in the first place. To go to school, to concentrate on that other part of myself. To get away from the fighting. It takes so much out of you. And not just in the physical sense, because let's face it, I don't always have a "physical" sense, do I? Being involved in all of this can really, really hurt you inside. Being an X-Man can be very painful...but deep down, I know it's worth every bit of it. I guess going away to school taught me that. Trying to lead a "normal" life, cultivating my academic talents. It taught me that there is no normal life. In fact, there's nothing normal about life at all. (Jeez, especially my life.) You are who you are, and you either live with that, or you don't really live at all.

So that's where I am now. I know two things: I'm Kitty Pryde, and I'm an X-Man. And I can live with that.

Er, hopefully.