This is set in the indeterminant future, at least a generation after the movies. X-men is sooo not mine. I'm just playing in the sandbox. Normal ______ "Hi everybody. My name's Melody, and I'm not a mutant." "Hi, Melody," everyone chorused back to her as she rubbed her thumb against the edge of the faux wooden podium. Her fair skin stood out against the dark grain, making her seem even more pale than usual. "I've been out of denial for about two years now." The young woman, who barely stood tall enough to see over the podium at her audience, paused for the brief spatter of applause. "It wasn't easy, recognizing the truth. My twin sister can fly and my little brother can affect plant growth. I felt certain that I had a mutant ability of some sort, I only needed to find it." Heads nodded around the auditorium as people recognized a familiar pattern. Many of them had denied their normalcy for a very long time. Some had even faked abilities they didn't have in order to fit in. "I tried so hard, time and time again, to awaken my abilities." Melody hung her head, not even looking as high as her trembling hands on the podium, but at the floor beside her battered tennies. "I even accused my mother, who is a censor, of blocking my ability so that she could brag about having a normal child for the sympathy." A murmur of sighs hissed forth, recognizing the deep pain that still lay at the woman's heart. They understood. That was why they were all there tonight. "I think I finally hit bottom when I decided that I could fly like my twin. I tried to awaken it by throwing myself from the thirty-first floor balcony of the Hilton Plaza." A few gasps echoed back in response to her statement, but Melody hurried on. "Luckily an off-duty fireman saw me and managed to slow my descent enough that the impact didn't kill me. I only broke both my legs and cracked a rib." Tears welled in her eyes and her voice choked, but she continued on doggedly. "When I first stopped denying there were some really bad days where I wished that man hadn't helped me. When I wished that I'd died rather than live as a plain old regular person. "They said that evolution would continue, that someday we would all become Homo Superior, but that day is not yet. There are still others out there like us, who deny what they are, and live in fear of being found out. Thankfully their fear is groundless. There is still a place for us in this society." Melody looked up and finally met the eyes that stared up at her with approval and support, reaching out to her with their hearts and accepting her as she was. After all, they were the same. "Not a day goes by now, that I don't thank whatever higher power there might be that the Xavier Foundation had the foresight to set up this program for us, so that we could have the support and help that we need to understand and accept what we are. "We're normal."