This is as much a story about Jac and Audrey as it is about the people around them; and even if you don’t like them, that doesn’t mean their story is any less meaningful than anyone else’s.

HYSTE: Jac and Audrey

"Who are they?" Nate asked, nodding across the cafeteria. He stabbed at his sweet-and-sour chicken and forked some rice up with it, chewing thoughtfully.

There were two girls sitting at a small circular table, by themselves. The taller one had shocking pink hair that might or might not have been natural; she had pink eyebrows, so Nate was guessing natural. The shorter one had blonde hair—dyed, from the swath of dark at the bottom. Both of them were pale and wore a lot of jewelry.

He watched, a little surprised, as they leaned into one another and whispered, giggling. It wasn't like he'd never seen two people have a private conversation before, but everyone here seemed pretty open to talking to anyone and everyone else.

"Hmn?" Suarez--Alex, but when there were something like four guys here named Alex, going with last names just made more sense--blinked and looked up from his own lunch, turkey on whole wheat. "Oh. That's Jaudrey."

"What?" He had to have heard that wrong.

Suarez took a bite and chewed, swallowed. "Jac," he said, enunciating, "and Audrey. Audrey's the one with pink hair."

"What do they do?" Nate asked.

Suarez seesawed his hand. "It's sort of weird. When they touch, they make light." Off Nate's blank look, he added, "Really bright light. They accidentally bumped arms last spring. A couple kids had to go to the infirmary with temporary blindness."

"Jesus," Nate said mildly, and forked up another bite of chicken.


"That seems useful," Andy said. He straightened the tie in his hair.

"Uh, not really," Frank said, rolling his head on his shoulders. He was bouncing on the balls of his feet, shifting his weight with every bounce. "It's light, dude. Ooh, wow! Suddenly I can see! Except it's two in the afternoon, and I can do that already."

Andy just looked at him. He really did like Frank, but like a lot of students here, he didn't do that well at thinking offensively. "A bright enough flash of light can blind your opponent," he said, stretching out. "When he or she is blind, you can disable or kill them at your leisure."

Frank stopped bouncing and looked at him. "Really," he said, blinking. "Huh."

"It's very useful," Andy said again. "The only real problem is—"


"—they can't control it," Lee said. "It's kind of depressing, really." She nodded across the quad at the two girls lying out and sunning themselves. They were careful not to touch each other; she could understand why, with the teeny bikinis they were wearing.

She fell back on the grass, arms outstretched and squinted up at the sky from under her sunglasses. "They were dating when they came here. They never really talk to anyone else, except teachers and staff, but as far as we've been able to find out—"

"'We' being the girls' dorm grapevine," Pete said dryly. He was stretched out next to her in a pair of shorts, lying flat on his stomach. They might have been broken up, and she wasn't entirely sure he wasn't still one-quarter jerk, but he still looked good.

"Yeah, like yours isn't just as good." Lee rolled her eyes. "They do it in their room sometimes—" She smacked his arm when he started grinning. "Not like that. Pervert. Or--I don't know, maybe like that. But you can see the glare coming from underneath the door. Even that's sort of strong."

She tried to imagine it: caring for someone, maybe even loving him (or her), but unable to touch him unless they were in private for fear of harming other people. It had to suck.


"The problem, Audrey," Charles Xavier said, "is that we're still unable to find a way to turn either ability off."

Audrey just nodded. She didn't look surprised, which was only fair; they'd had this conversation, or variations on it, more than a few times. Jac hadn't looked surprised, either, when he'd talked to her before breakfast.

The case was more than a little baffling: both girls--and their wildly disapproving mothers, though whether that stemmed from their daughters dating or from their being mutants, not even Charles was sure--had arrived before the start of term, both of them bundled up in sweaters and gloves and thick jeans, like children coming in from a snowstorm instead of July in Westchester County.

They'd first manifested their ability at a school party; a group of other students had been left temporarily blinded, though they'd all managed to recover within two days' time. As far as Hank had been able to tell, it was some fluke in their biochemistry. Alone, neither one of them had any particular power, just the gene that would (and did) manifest on a genetic scan. Together, if skin came in contact with skin, they manifested intensely powerful light from wherever they came into contact. The light did no harm to either of the girls, nor did it manifest if their skin was covered by something--a sheet, clothing, anything. Just bare skin to bare skin. It would continue even if one or both was unconscious; the only thing that had so much as stopped it was an inhibitor collar, and neither Charles nor Hank was particularly thrilled by that discovery.

If either girl was disappointed, they gave no sign.

"But you're still working at it," Audrey said, "right?" Her hair was pink this semester: bright, vivid pink, like bubblegum. She wore a great many accessories, but according to her records, her grades were still very good. Both she and Jac had As and Bs, save for a working C in math.

"Of course," Charles said. "But if we cannot, Audrey--"

"We'll figure something out," Audrey said. He wasn't sure how she was staying so calm; according to her school records, she'd gotten into a few scuffles in her old high school. He was tempted to attribute it to the openness in their current learning environment (and spending time with her girlfriend), though that was circumstantial at best. "Is that all, Professor?"

Charles just nodded. "That's all."


"Which one do you think is cuter?" Gabe asked, legs stretched out across the dinner table. Normally he wouldn't have risked it—Pete was a twitchy fucker—but he was with Patrick at his table, so leg room was a-plenty.

Will just glared at him. "Are you trying to tell me something?" s/he asked, raising an eyebrow.

Gabe just looked at hir.

Jac, Mikey said after a minute. He held up his hands. Don't make that face at me, he added to Alicia, he asked.

"I did." Gabe nodded. "Audrey. I like 'em tall and thin, and the pink hair doesn't hurt. Not that I'd kick either one out of bed—OW!"

Will just blinked at him, expression serene. "Really," s/he said, voice mild.

Gabe winced. He knew that voice. He'd be apologizing for a week--three days, if he was lucky and Will took pity on him.

"If something happened to you," he added. "If. Don't start bitching at me for hypotheticals."

Will kept glaring, but s/he bumped Gabe's foot with hirs. Three days was looking more and more likel--

"Jac," Alicia said, nodding. "Definitely Jac. Audrey looks too high-maintenance."

All three of them looked at her.

Alicia looked back at them, Diet Coke raised to her mouth. "What?"


That night, just before he went to bed, Patrick noticed Gerard was scribbling something in his sketchpad. He didn't ask what he was doing, or ask to see it; Gerard could be twitchy about his sketches.

"You need the light?" he asked quietly, reaching for his iPod.

Gerard shook his head. "'m good," he murmured.

"Okay," Patrick said. "G'night," and turned off the lamp.


When Jac woke the next morning--she usually woke up before Audrey, who tended to sleep like someone cracked her in the head with something--she slipped out of bed, sighing quietly with relief as the glare vanished. It was the same way every morning, and it sucked. But she got to be with Audrey—really with her, not just sneaking around like she had been at Sully's party the night they'd first manifested—so it could have been worse.

There were two paper figures sitting on the edge of the desk. She put on her bathrobe and tightened the belt around herself, then sat in the chair to look at them.

The tiny Audrey could have been the real Audrey's twin, down to the pink hair and the Skelanimals t-shirt she wore (a rabbit, which pleased Jac in some small way she couldn't really explain). The tiny her was just as detailed, with two-tone hair and a lot of eyeliner. They were holding hands. Weird, to see little thems holding hands and not blinding anyone.

"Hi," she whispered, unsure of exactly why she was talking to them. "Did Gerard send you?" Just a guess, but probably accurate. As far as Jac knew, there weren't two kids here who could do stuff with paper.

The tiny Audrey nodded.

"Well." Jac blinked. "Um. Tell him thank you from me? From us."

The tiny Jac beamed and leaned over to kiss Audrey's cheek.

Jac's throat felt strange, too swollen, and her face too warm. "I'm gonna take a shower," she whispered. "You guys want to go keep Aud company for me?"

The tiny Audrey nodded. The tiny Jac cheered--or as close as you could when you couldn't talk, which meant win arms--and hauled tiny Audrey off the desk, fluttering to the floor to scurry over to the bed.

Jac waited 'til they were in bed, scrambling to peer at the still-sleeping form under the covers, to grab her shower stuff and head out.


don't ask me why i did a jac-n-audrey chapter. what i know about either of them could fill a thimble, except for that one picspam i read/saw. i know jac used to date ryan ross (with suitably hilarious results), and that they both do internet modeling, and that audrey is a) modeling for skelanimals and b) sort of hot with the pink hair. I KNOW. i feel like a bad person, for some reason. (also, audrey used to date brendon urie, with equally hilarious results.) the teeny tiny versions of j-n-a were blatantly stolen from [profile] adellyna and [personal profile] offtheceiling’s PxP fic, which is way better than this.

they're based on the early version of northstar and aurora, except not twins or blessed with super-speed. seriously, that light thing could be totally fucking useless, sometimes. (fun fact: at one point, they thought they were descended from elves. like, i'm not making that up. descended from elves. dear marvel comics, every day with you is an adventure.) (also, northstar is the gay one who once adopted a baby with HIV. aurora just has MPD.)
eisen: Ryoji/Minato/Aigis (much like falcons). (tumbling through the heights at play.)

From: [personal profile] eisen

You turned Jac Vanek into one half of Northstar and Aurora. (And Audrey into the other half, but I'm mostly loling over Jac Vanek's role, here.)

I kind of love your brain. I kind of love this 'verse's Gerard's brain too, for the paper people.

(Also, I have no real opinion on either of them except "they're pretty and get used way too damn often for people trying to pick PBs for scene girls with superpowers in RPs I'm not in (for that reason)" but this story totally makes me like this version of them. Like, with hearts and everything.)


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