No Longer The Woman I Knew

Author: Candra Phoenix

Rating: PG

Summary: What if Dark Phoenix *didn't* commit suicide on the moon? What if she killed Cyclops instead?

She was beautiful. The most beautiful thing I've ever beheld. Even now, trembling with with fear, fighting the evil within, filled with love. I *loved* her. I always have and I always will. No matter what. 'Til death do us part.

"You see, Scott? I told you. Jean to Phoenix to Dark Phoenix--A progression as inevitable as *death*."

I wanted to say something, tell her that together we could overcome this. We could overcome *anything*. We were Cyclops and Marvel Girl--Scott and Jean--the first X-Men. But more than that, we were in love. A love that transcends time and space itself.

"You of all people should know how I feel. Through the psionic rapport we share."

I knew a little bit of what she felt, but she was hiding something. I didn't quite know what or why. I wanted to know. I've told Jean everything--every fear, every feeling, every last secret. I wonder why she felt she couldn't do the same.

"I'm *scared*, Scott. I'm hanging on by my fingernails. I can feel the Phoenix withing me, taking over. Part of me...*welcomes* it."

I wanted to hug her, to kiss her, to wrap her up in my loving embrace, but I couldn't. She had me telekinetically suspended. I wanted so much to say something of comfort to her. But there aren't words in the English language to convey the way I felt. So I tried to reach out thru the psionic rapport Jean had established back in New Mexico just a few days ago. But I was denied.

She looked back up at me and smiled, almost teasingly, eyes glowing. "Jean, I..." I heard a click and then a hum from behind me.

I *loved* her. I always have and I always will. No matter what. 'Til death do us part. No...*Beyond* death. For at that very moment, Dark Phoenix sentenced me to death.


Years later, Dark Phoenix remembers the Moon and smiles. "Killing you was the best thing I *ever* did, Scott Summers," she says to herself. "With your death, so began my Reign of Darkness!"