Fan Fiction: Jean Grey

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Stepping into her bedroom from the bath, Jean smiled when she noticed Scott snoring at the foot of their bed, still in his uniform and with his mouth wide open. Hardly the dignified leader he had shown himself to be against the inter-dimensional aliens on the battlefield of Times Square a few hours ago, but she found her heart skipping a beat anyway. It was these moments, the quiet ones – if you ignored the snores – that they had far too few of. The moments of heroics and derring do, at least for the X-Men, came almost monthly, as if on some kind of cosmic schedule.

She adjusted the towel precariously clinging to her now clean curves and sat next to her husband, placing a hand to his broad chest and letting her fingertips slide down over the bumps of his abdomen. She smiled to herself, thinking how one could say Scott’s stomach resembled their relationship – bumpy at times but, on the whole, rock solid. The thought, however, was interrupted when she realized his mouth had closed, its corners pulling back into a soft smile as he looked at her through the ruby visor that forever hid his brooding blue eyes.

“Hey, Gorgeous.”

“Hey, Stinky.”

His hand rose, his fingers caressing her left cheek. “I’d argue with that if I could.” He paused a moment. “It’s kind of different seeing you without your hair.”

Jean rolled her eyes and pulled the hairwrap from her head, letting her still-damp tresses of dark red tumble free, plummeting down past her shoulders and almost to her bottom. “Better?”

Scott smiled again and sat up to press his lips to hers. “More recognizable, for sure.”

“It’s getting late. Go clean up so we can make dinner and binge some Netflix.”

He slyly raised an eyebrow. “And chill afterward?”

She raised an eyebrow of her own. “If you can manage to stay awake, Snore-boy.”

“Yes, ma’am.” There was another quick kiss, and then he was gone, disappearing into the bathroom with the click of a door behind him.

Alone again, she leaned a bit closer to the bedsheets to breathe in his scent, but stopped herself short once it actually started to hit her. “Oh, no. No. Definitely not.”

Thanks to her telekinesis, removing the stench-riddled sheets without actually having to touch them was a breeze, and with a thunk the hamper lid closed atop them to stifle the smell. That chore done, she set about placing a new set on the bed, while walking to her vanity.

Setting modesty aside, she admired her reflection for a moment – a deceptively fit figure, beautiful bone structure, sharp green eyes and, of course, the wealth of red locks that had become her signature over the years. Running her fingers through it all, she actually found herself feeling a little surprised by how long it’d gotten. The fact that her mane was still rather damp probably made it look longer than it would be when it dried and recaptured a bit of its body and waviness, but still. It was exceedingly long… probably too much so.

Gathering the hefty tresses back into a tight ponytail, she turned this way and that to examine her jaw- and necklines.

Maybe Rachel had the right idea, and short hair was the way to go. Almost ever since her similarly red-headed daughter had shown up from the future, Rachel had kept her hair short–usually in styles Jean would never consider, but more recently in either longish pixies or short, shaggy bobs.

Such styles had to be more convenient in tight spaces and tough fights, if nothing else.

Jean let her bath towel fall to the floor, then concentrated on the moisture stubbornly clinging to her abundant mane. She telekinetically lifted the water away, gathering it into an amorphous globe before setting it into the pot of Scott’s peace lily sitting nearby.

With that done, she ran one wide-toothed comb through the soft, silky locks with her hands, and two others with her mind until its mild wildness had been tamed. Then, with a trepidation that surprised her, she tucked most of its length back behind her shoulders, changing its appearance from 80s-glam fairytale princess power-mane to a short, sensible, collarbone-length lob.

She felt nervous for the first time that day – and considering there was a fight with inter-dimensional aliens a few hours ago, that was saying something.

But still, she chewed her bottom lip and fiddled with the pretend-ends of her imaginarily short hair. It’d still be long enough for a sensible—and probably cute– ponytail and other updos. Still long enough to spill into her face when she was making eyes at Scott…

She could absolutely pull the look off, she decided. Maybe even well enough to show up in some fashion mags along the way. But it’d be a huge change. A massive one. And what would Scott think? Was she seriously considering this? Should she seriously consider this?

She was tempted to send a thought out to her husband to ask his opinion, but decided he had earned just as much time to himself as she had. So she waited, keeping herself occupied with her own thoughts as she pulled on her favorite boy-shorts and a Xavier Academy sweatshirt.

With her hair caught trapped by the sweatshirt, she checked out her reflection again. This time, her appearance resembled more of a bob than a lob. Slowly, she tugged her hair free, gathering it back into a ponytail and studying her jawline some more. A few shorter layers fell free to frame her face with soft, romantic waves, giving the illusion of a chin length bob as she reached for a silk scrunchy to wrangle the thick mane back and away for good.

A door opened, and a question preceded her husband into the room. “Penny for your thoughts?”

As if you ever need to ask, she said, casting the thought toward him via their ever-present psychic link.

Just figured it’d be polite to.

She turned, finding him looking through his dresser for something to wear. A gentle psychic tug left his bath towel on the floor around his ankles, but if he was caught off guard he did a magnificent job of hiding it. “You insatiable flirt,” was all he said.

“What would you think if I got my hair cut?”

He thought for a moment. “…I’d think that it was shorter? I’m not sure what you mean.”

“My hair. If I cut it.”

He turned to look at her as he pulled on his boxers, followed by some sweatpants. “I’m following so far, but what’s the question?”

Leaning back against her vanity, she toyed with the end of her impressively-sized ponytail. “Would you be upset?”

“I feel like this could be a trick question.”

“I promise it isn’t.”

He smiled, settling some of the nerves that had been building in her gut. “I think it’d be just about impossible for you to look bad, so if there’s something you want to try – go for it.”

She smirked. “Even bald?”

He shrugged before tugging on a t-shirt she had made sure spent too much time in the dryer. “Works for Charles.”

That got a laugh from her, and she mentally tugged his hand in a request for him to come closer. He capitulated, letting her slide her arms around his waist as he pressed his lips to hers. His right hand rose to brush some renegade locks back from her right cheek, tucking them behind her ear before kissing her again, this time longer and softer.

“Poor Logan will be heart-broken if you go too short, though,” he teased, barely able to hold back a grin.

Jean closed her eyes and shook her head before digging her nails into her husband’s buttcheeks as punishment. Their old friend and former teammate was mostly a good fellow, but…

“You wouldn’t make that joke if you’d seen some of the daydreams he’s been having lately.”

“Oh?” He wasn’t able to hide the concern nearly as well as he thought.

She shrugged. “His thoughts are just getting a little loud. Storylines of us being a throuple—“

“A throuple?”

She nodded, and he grimaced.

“I mean, no judgment,” he insisted, “but he’s just not my type.”

“Nor mine. As I’ve made pretty clear. But he still imagined me coming onto him in a hot tub on Krakoa anyway. I’m starting to wonder whether he can tell it all from reality, to be honest.” Looking at Scott, she realized she might have accidentally caused more concern than she meant to. “Don’t worry — I’ll have a talk with him. We’ll get him whatever help is necessary.”

“If you need support…”

She lifted to her toes to kiss him again. “What I need is dinner. Come on. Your turn to cook.”

________________________

Getting an appointment with superstar hairstylist Molly Fitzgerald, once known as the ultra-fortunate heroine Shamrock, often took a bit of luck in itself. But, fortunately, Jean was able to get a booking within a couple of weeks when Molly was scheduled to be in New York for fashion week.

Jean had a feeling mentioning that she was considering a change in style may have had something to do with the late evening time slot suddenly becoming available – luck was Molly’s thing, after all, definitely not Jean’s. But either way, Molly had penciled her in at the end of the day with always implied condition that any world-threatening events would result in a sincere apology and a raincheck.

Making her way down Madison Avenue, Jean subtly cloaked herself in the minds of passers-by to avoid recognition – the public at large could be fickle, and one never knew whether any particular person would want an autograph for their children or an apology for the audacity to simply exist. Such was life as a mutant.

Jean let the cloaking drop once she was inside Molly’s modern, minimalistic salon – going unnoticed by the receptionist certainly wouldn’t have helped things – and took a deep breath. She couldn’t identify the flowery scent riding the purified air, but it was pleasant and calming, which was kind of what she needed at the moment. Undoing the loose braid she had styled her long locks into, she stepped to the front desk, her heels clacking against the well-polished marble floor and echoing off the mostly bare walls.

She hadn’t even had a chance to give her name to the young, raven-haired woman looking at her expectantly before Molly’s voice shattered the quiet, its beautiful Irish lilt bouncing off the walls just as enthusiastically as Jean’s steps had. “Jean! There ya are! I been hopin’ ya wouldn’t have somethin’ come up today.”

Jean smiled as Molly rushed toward her. The stylist was about the same age as Jean, yet to leave her early-thirties, and could probably pass as a distant relation to someone unfamiliar with the two women’s family trees. However, whereas Jean’s red locks fell in abundant but tamed waves and her eyes were the bright green of newborn spring leaves, Molly’s titian tresses sprang from her head in wild curls, reaching for the sky before settling down to careen around and just past her slender shoulders, and her eyes were more the calming color of fall’s fading green than anything else.

Molly’s hug was welcome but brief, as the stylist quickly pulled back to look Jean up and down. “You look amazin’!”

“You’re not looking half bad yourself. Retirement agrees with you.”

Molly rolled her eyes and hooked one arm into Jean’s as she lead her deeper into the salon. At this hour, it was fairly empty, with just a couple of the other stylists cleaning up their respective areas before ending their day. “Savin’ the day is a young kid’s game, unless you’re as talented as you an’ Scott. Even with me luck I couldn’t stop me colleagues from worryin’ about me since I had nothin’ else goin’ for me, an’ they’d wind up gettin’ hurt themselves. Better that I just stay here out of the way, an’ maybe help them look better than they might otherwise, ye know?”

“Fair enough.”

“Alright. Have a seat and let me see what I’m workin’ with tonight.”

Jean did as told, settling down into a low-backed salon chair and facing herself in the mirror before her. An assistant, a cute blonde girl probably not long out of cosmetology school, took her purse and replaced it with a glass of champagne, trying hard not to say anything embarrassing. The girl didn’t have to; some thoughts were held loudly enough that Jean couldn’t ignore them even if she wanted to, but she’d long since learned not to reply to them as if they’d been spoken. Instead, she just smiled, said her thanks, and kept to herself how glad she was that she and the other X-Men had been able to save the girl’s mother during that attack by Magneto and his brotherhood all those years ago.

Soon, she was distracted by the gentle pressure of Molly’s fingers against her scalp, their tips moving in slow, circling motions as they played through the lengths of Jean’s mane. No words were said, no questions were asked, and eventually Jean found her eyelids were unable to stay open and her lips were no longer able to muffle a soft purr.

This. Was. Lovely.

In time, a comb replaced one of Molly’s hands to no slight amount of Jean’s disappointment, but the long, sweeping strokes as it moved down the lengths of her silky locks were nothing to shake a stick at. At one point, Jean felt the flute of champagne sliding from her fingers, only to catch it at the last moment with her mind. She hoped no one noticed. When she opened her eyes upon securing the glass in her fingers again, Molly was smiling above her in the mirror, her fingers finishing the task of arranging Jean’s hair to fall down before her shoulders, its slightly curled ends resting in her lap.

“So, what are we thinking today?” Molly asked.

An hour ago, Jean would have had a certain, confident answer for Molly. But now, after the massage and the pampering and the champagne, she wasn’t so sure. “You may have talked me out of what I was thinking without saying a word,” Jean said with a smile.

“I get that a lot,” Molly replied with a laugh. “But I have the voice mail ye left, if ye want me to play it back. Just like it’d be a shame for someone te get a cut they didn’t really want, it’s a shame when they skip out on a cut they really do.”

“True. And it always grows back, doesn’t it?”

“That’s the rumor.”

Jean took a steadying breath, and slowly lifted one hand above her ribs, above her breast, and finally to her collarbone, sentencing well over half of her treasured mane to cold exile on the salon floor. The end result would be shorter than she’d had it since she was a teenager. “I was thinking to about here.”

Molly gathered Jean’s hair back, mimicking a collarbone-length style much in the same way Jean had a few week’s ago. “Oh, that would certainly look lovely.”

A small bit of relief coaxed the knot in Jean’s stomach to loosen, but it immediately tightened again when she realized that meant Molly would probably agree to go through with the cut. The stylist seemed to notice this, smiling warmly at Jean’s reflecting and patting her shoulder.

“Relax, darlin’. There is no way I could possibly make ye look bad even if I had the notion to.” Molly’s eyes were distant, though, with her lips scrunched up to the side and her brow wrinkling.

“What are you thinking?” Jean asked.

“Yer so polite. Not many o’ telepaths would resist readin’ my mind in a moment like this.”

“I’m not just any telepath.”

“True that.” Molly gathered Jean’s hair back a little tighter, forming a ponytail at her nape that was just loose enough to let her waves tease her cheeks and hide her ears.

Coupled with the soft layers framing her face, it provided a pretty convincing glimpse into one possible future. One that caused the knot in Jean’s stomach to tighten even more, because as much as she didn’t want to admit it, it was a future where she’d be pretty fucking gorgeous.

“What would you think of tryin’ this?”

Jean swallowed nervously, gripping the arm of the salon chair with her free hand.

“That’s not a no.”

Jean lifted her glass to her lips, drinking down its contents and wishing it were something stronger. She held the empty glass out in the general direction of Molly’s assistant, her voice cracking as she asked, “Refill, please?”

“…And that’s not a no, either,” Molly said.

The champagne flute was taken from her shaking hand as Jean looked down into her lap – not by choice, but at the gentle but insistent urging of the retired Irish superheroine behind her.

“Just take a deep breath…”

A slight caress of metal teased the back of Jean’s neck, just below her nape, and then a loud, harsh, unfamiliar crunching began to sound. With every reverberation of the unexpected, gut-twisting noise came a relentless tug on the ponytail Molly had made, and Jean’s eyes widened as the realization hit that the stylist had not bothered waiting for verbal confirmation. Jean’s heart began to race and her hands clutched the arms of the chair she sat in, an unfamiliar and unexpected whimper rising in her throat as she mustered every ounce of self control to keep from telekinetically hurtling Molly’s shears across state lines.

“Calming breaths,” Molly lilted, seemingly not minding or caring about how the curtain of crimson locks swinging forward against Jean’s right cheek ended so abruptly barely past her chin. More and more came forward as the horrible crunching sound continued, its pace quickening as it met less and less resistance.

“Oh my god… Oh my god…” Jean hoped against hope Scott wasn’t picking up on her distress. She wanted to surprise him with a new look, even though he was probably already expecting one, but there wouldn’t be much off a surprise – for him at least – if he came blasting into the salon halfway through the cut in an attempt to rescue her from an unexplained danger.

Jean whimpered again as shortened locks began brushing against her left cheek, heralding the utter and complete doom of her beautiful, long red hair.

She wasn’t going to be long-haired anymore. She’d almost always been long-haired. Oh, god. How long would it even take to be considered long-haired again? How many years?

Finally, the cutting stopped.

Jean looked up at her reflection without lifting her head, peering between twin curtains of crimson waves she didn’t recognize. Her brow wrinkled with worry, even moreso when she focused on the absolutely massive ponytail of her former crowning glory that Molly was holding behind her. Jean bit her bottom lip, willing herself to hold back the tears that fought for release.

“Oh, stop. Of course it’s gonna look awful at that angle, silly girl.” Molly almost reverently set the ponytail down on the vanity before Jean. She then retook her position behind the chair and placed one finger beneath Jean’s chin, lifting her gaze.

After a deep, steadying breath, Jean took in her visage. It… well, it was a terribly rough, horribly hacked cut, but … she could see the start of something attractive in it. Cautiously, almost timidly, she slid her fingers through the shortened locks, trying to ignore how suddenly they ended when she brushed the shimmering, shiny mass back from her face. Her natural parting quickly took hold, creating a sensual, sweeping fall from left to right that hid her right eye. The new parting transformed more than the impulsive style; it also turned her nervous, anxious lip-bit into a seductive pout, the sort that would weaken the knees of a certain laser-gazing bastion of heroism she knew.

“Wow… now that was a shift,” Molly commented behind her. “I mean, I know yer married, but getting’ that look might make me think it’s worth takin’ a try.”

Jean’s cheeks grew warm, and she couldn’t help but giggle.

The salon disappeared for a moment as a white cloth billowed out before spreading across Jean’s lap. She instinctively started to lift her hair out of the way as Molly fastened the cape around her neck, only to realize it wasn’t necessary anymore.

“So, yer feelin’ okay about this?” The stylist picked up a spray bottle and began soaking Jean’s thick locks, lifting and fluffing them before wetting them down more and more.

Jean nodded, amazed at how easily and freely her hair – her hair – swung around when she moved her head. “Your luck has held, so to speak.”

Molly laughed, and then gave Jean a considering gaze in the mirror. “Well, if you’re thinkin’ it’s luck rather than skill, maybe we can trust it a little further. Have you ever had your hair short?”

Jean raised an eyebrow. “You mean besides right this very instant?”

“I mean short-short.” She gathered Jean’s hair back again, this time baring her ears.

Jean swallowed. “N…not in this reality, no.”

Molly made a thoughtful sound and slowly turned the chair away from the mirror. Jean’s stomach started to drop, and so her champagne glass started to rise, pouring its contents down her gullet as she braced herself for whatever Molly had in mind. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared,” she whispered as Molly ran a small-toothed comb through what remained of her mane, parting it again and again and fastening each gathered layer up and out of the way with clips. “And you know the kinds of things I go up against on a regular basis.”

“That I do, my dear. And don’t think for a second I don’t treasure the trust you’re showin’ me right now.”

Again, Jean’s head was tilted downward. The comb’s teeth teased her scalp as it slipped through the thick locks that remained free, all the soft, wavy tresses from almost the tops of Jean’s ears on down. After a few passes, the comb suddenly reversed course, betraying the locks it had so carefully herded into neatness and lifting them away from Jean’s neck so Molly’s sinister scissors could shear away their length. Again and again this happened, quick, teasing strokes down and up followed by a merciless shearing, the soft crunches seeming to echo off the wall as Jean’s beautiful hair fell away. Higher and higher the comb climbed, each time maintaining contact with Jean’s nape as her bob was ruthlessly chopped into whatever style Molly had in mind.

It was only some kind of implied professional courtesy that kept Jean from peaking, from pushing aside the curtains of Molly’s consciousness to see what the woman had in store for Jean’s trademark red hair.

Soon, the constant caressing stopped, and to Jean’s surprise she almost missed it. Her head was lifted, and some clips at her crown were removed. Once again, relatively long locks fell free to tease Jean’s nape, but then just as quickly combed, lifted, and chopped. The schnick of the blades through her silky locks reminded her of the blades being released from Logan’s hands, but somehow she found Molly’s shears to be more frightening, especially now that she could hear each and every sad, mournful plop as her wet, severed locks hit the floor.

Jean wanted to ask how short Molly was going, but didn’t trust herself to actually ask the question instead of letting out a pathetic wail as her heart raced within her chest. More clips were removed; more locks fell free to brush against her right ear and to tease her cheek. It was a familiar weight – not as much weight as just an hour ago, but still familiar – and she clenched her eyes shut to avoid even accidentally seeing those long locks fall away as Molly’s shears mocked her, growling and crunching and chopping so close to her ear, even louder before. Molly’s comb joined in the game, nipping at Jean’s ear with overwrought eagerness as it captured more of Jean’s locks to be fed to the ruthless scissors, little tiny nips and clips traumatizing what few locks seemed to remain on her head.

In a similar fashion, Jean’s left ear was left naked to the world, no longer to be an accomplice with her fingers and tresses in displays of flirty ear tucks. No more sassy hair tosses; no more seductive twirling.

Her lip-bite returned when she finally opened her eyes just in time for Molly to begin shearing away the final remnants of her bobbed locks, moving rapidly from Jean’s crown toward her brow. At first, a thick curtain hung before her eyes, only revealing hints of the shorn locks falling before Jean felt their rhythmic plop landing in her lap. Gradually the curtain thinned, allowing Jean to see more and more of her hair falling away, providing more and more reason for her nerves to twist in on themselves. Eventually, the last of the curtain lifted away, imprisoned between the fingers of Molly’s left hand as her right dealt the length’s deathblow, snipping and cutting. To Jean’s great relief, she felt the remaining locks when they returned to rest against her forehead, a welcome, desperately desired caress against her right temple.

“Almost there.”

“Only almost?”

“Just some shapin’ left.”

Molly’s decisions seemed rather haphazard at the moment, with her delightfully agile fingers slipping and sliding through Jean’s mane at all angles, gathering and corralling specific locks to be cropped or chopped just a little bit more. Locks of varying lengths fell into Jean’s laps and onto her shoulders, the redhaired rain halting only for a moment when Molly switched to her thinning shears.

“This is just to add some movement. Trust me, it’ll barely be noticeable in the long run,” she warned before using the hungry blades, chomping them down on the ends of Jean’s thick mane.

Finally, the shears – all of them – were set down on the vanity behind Jean. She released her bottom lip from between her teeth, not quite turning around but trying to see as much as she coul out of the corner of her eye. She was surprised when Molly’s fingertips teased her nape, her naked neck more open and vulnerable than she could remember it ever being. Slowly, they slid up into Jean’s hair, playing below the point where the locks gradually became longer. “Would you mind if I neatened this up a bit with the clippers? It look fantastic as is, but I think we could really take it to the next level if ye let me.”

“Clippers?” Jean asked. She felt like a idiot asking – she definitely knew what they were, and often looked forward to when Scott would have them used when he got his summer haircuts. The sensation of running her fingers over his head; the soft bristles tickling her skin… but would it be the same on her own head?

“Yup. I promise not to skin ye.” From Jean’s right, Molly suddenly appeared, brandishing the unplugged clippers. “See? They’re even pink, which guarantees everythin’ they do will be pretty.”

Jean raised here eyebrow at the other woman’s silliness, but eventually nodded. “In for a penny…”

“Perfect! Ye won’t regret it.”

Despite their pretty pink appearance, Jean jumped when the clippers roared to life. “Hold as still as ye can,” Molly warned, even as her hand brushed up the back of Jean’s head and nudged it forward and downward again. Jean complied, her chin coming close to her chest and her eyes being forced to focus on the mounds – actual mounds – of her hair that had gathered in her lap. How any could still remain on her head, she didn’t know. But what she was sure of was that none of it was long enough to swing forward like it had when Molly so ruthlessly stole her ponytail.

She gasped when the clippers were pressed to her neck, their threatening roar somehow translating into a beautiful purr that traveled up and down her spine, launching burst of tingling pleasure along their way.

“Yeah, I know,” Molly commented.

Slowly, the clippers moved upward, changing tone as they plowed into Jean’s thick hair. Jean could feel them meeting resistance and gradually defeating it, rising higher and higher until Molly pulled them away close to the curve of her crown. Again and again Molly did this, letting the clippers rumble and tease from nape to near-crown, gathering and dumping thick little clumps of Jean’s precious locks before moving slightly to the side and doing it all again. In time, a second clipper head was chosen, though these strokes did not reach as high as the first, and then a third. Finally, it was the bare blades, biting softly at Jean’s hairline but moving no higher.

“Your hairline is absolutely perfect, Sweetie. Why you’ve kept it hidden so long, I’ll never know.”

“Well, my hair wasn’t exactly ugly…”

“True. And it still isn’t. It jus has a lot more style. A whole lot more.”

Jean swallowed nervously and nodded, noting how little movement amongst her locks she felt.

“Are ye ready to see if my luck held?”

“Is it an option not to?”

“Well, we could wait to turn you around until it all grew back, but that could take a while, ye know. An’ I think my lease would probably run out before then.”

Jean smiled, then closed her eyes and took one more steadying breath. “Okay. I’m ready.”

With the young assistant lingering nearby and giving off waves of anxious anticipation, Molly slowly spun the chair to face the mirror.

Jean’s jaw dropped when she saw her hair – or lack thereof. No more waves, no more teasing curls… no more ear tucks, no more majestic sweeps. There was only… pixie cut. A longish pixie cut, yes, but still. She swiftly leaned forward, spilling the locks gathered in her lap to the floor as she turned her head this way and that, gasping at how utterly naked and exposed her ears were. Yes, she’d known Molly had bared them with her blades, but to actually see the results was something she never could have prepared for. It’d be a month or so before her famous mane even touched her ears, much less hid them, with the lengths shorn down to nearly the same precision as her clippered nape.

And her nape! Molly held another mirror to let Jean see the gradation of her hair there, with its length starting at no more than an eighth of an inch at her nape and slowly getting longer before blending in with the shiny locks of her crown.

Her fingers played through the lengths atop her head – probably the only bit of her mane that could accurately be considered ‘length’ at all – which seemed genuinely long relative to the rest of her crop. There, several inches of her thick, silky locks remained, carefully sculpted into a side parting that no longer completely hid her right eye, but certainly teased at the potential to eventually do so.

Jean shook her head forward, wrestling with the competing disappointment of not having her peek-a-boo lengths anymore, but knowing how much more practical for the metaphorical battelfield keeping her hair out of her eyes was.

She smiled, settling back into her chair. Oh, her eyes… no longer in competition with her abundant mane, they almost sang out to be seen, resting about cheekbones that had strode into the spotlight as well. Okay, so she had always known she was beautiful, but… she’d had no idea. Her features had suddenly gone to the next level, and she’d never even realized just how long and graceful her neck was.

“I… I suddenly think maybe I’m the one with the good luck powers, Molly, since I have you for a stylist.”

“So you like it?”

Jean shook her head. “Love it. Oh my god.”

“Is it somethin’ you would have picked out yourself?”

“Never in a million years.” Jean ran her hand up her nape; the sensation was definitely the same against her palm as when she did it to Scott, but how had he never told her how good it felt to be the recipient?! He’d been holding out on her! “I can’t believe I even doubted you.”

“The important part is you didn’t let that stop you,” Molly replied with a grin. She gathered up the cape, taking care not to spread the shorn red locks too far and wide. “Come on. Let’s give you a wash and I’ll show you how to style it and then we can set you on your way.”

Jean nodded, still caressing her nape as she closed her eyes and shivered.

Scott. What’s on your agenda for tonight?

Just some routine paperwork. Why?

I should be home in an hour or so. Try to have it done by then.

I should know better than to ask why, right?

I want it to be a surprise. But… you might not be out of line if you started feeling lucky.

 

End.

_______________

Thank you for reading, and I hope you liked it. I apologize to any Irish readers who had to suffer through Molly’s accent, but I figured since the Marvel character is practically a stereotype anyway, I probably couldn’t do any more damage than they did.

Comments and critiques are welcome — I really appreciate hearing what you liked (if anything) or think could be done better. You never know what will strike future inspiration!

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