With 8 hours before recording and 75% of my fic left to write, I was feeling pretty desperate. I had had a general idea (*salutes* General Idea!) for literally weeks and weeks, but the spark to write hadn’t been there. Now, it was too late to wait any longer. I visited Wikipedia to learn a bit about Kanan, and I had seen Deadpool so I was vaguely aware of my new favorite edgelord, Negasonic Teenage Warhead – all that was left was to rewatch the entire Iron Bull romance plot on YouTube. If it sounds like I was just trying to procrastinate further instead of writing at this crucial time… that’s because I absolutely was. I had a final draft and even had time to do some editing and smoothing before we recorded, but it was very tight. The fact that the Foxes enjoyed it was a great relief – I hope the readers will enjoy it, too.
So far, everything was perfect – just as he had planned.
When Charles Xavier had intimated that he had something big planned for Negasonic Teenage Warhead for her 19th birthday – that she would be getting off the bench and becoming a full-fledged member of the XMen – Kanan Jarrus knew he had to do his part to give her the best day of her life. Being a Jedi who had only recently found his way – accidentally – to Earth, he didn’t know much about the romance customs of humans – but he had seen enough Olympic Medal Ceremonies to know that there was one achievement that Earth women seemed to hold above all others…
He had sought the help of everyone in the X-mansion to decorate as she would love – black draped over furniture and hung from walls, black lights replacing the usually natural, comforting light of the mansion’s chandeliers and lamps, some of the greatest Gothic industrial music from the last 30 years, and even those little plastic black widow rings you see every Halloween. Everything was perfect.
The party was a huge success, and the light that shined in Ellie’s eyes told Kanan that she was pleased – after all, she rarely smiled – and when the cake was cut (chocolate on chocolate, as Ellie loved all things dark), and after Ellie had proudly accepted her place as the newest member of the XMen, Kanan knew the time had come.
Kanan approached Ellie, a smile on his face, and he turned to address the crowd. “Folks, if I could have a few more moments of your time, I have something to say.”
Turning to the Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Kanan continued, “Ellie, these months we’ve spent together have been some of the happiest of my life. When I was mysteriously transported to Earth from Coruscant, I felt lost. When Professor Xavier let me join you here, so I could use my Jedi powers without fear, I felt I had found a place to belong. It wasn’t until I found love with you, though, that I really felt at home.
“I know today has been one of great joy – you have had many of your greatest dreams come true, and I have been honored to be by your side. Now, I hope to offer you an even greater joy.”
As Kanan fell to one knee before her, it pleased him to see the surprise that crossed Ellie’s face, and he felt certain that he was guaranteed success. “Ellie, my darling – will you do me the honor of being my wife?” As he spoke, he slid a ring onto her black-varnish-tipped finger, a princess-cut black diamond shining beautifully from its white gold setting.
There was an audible “Awwwwwww” from the crowd, and Ellie looked from Kanan to the ring on her finger, and back to Kanan, eyes widening. To Kanan’s dismay, however, her eyes slammed closed to a squint, her brows drawn close as her shock changed not from surprise to joy, but to an utter, bottomless fury.
“How dare you!” she cried, as she wielded her telepathy as two large arms that threw Kanan away from her. “How dare you do this – in front of all these people?!” There was an audible gasp from the crowd as he flew through the air. Kanan hardly had a chance to get back to his feet before Ellie had thrown him again, this time through the large picture window of the X-Mansion’s first floor. The glass tinkled prettily as it scattered everywhere, littering the well-manicured front lawn with what looked like tiny, ouchy cutty stars. As he landed and stumbled backwards, Ellie was propelling herself forward towards him through the very window he had been thrown through, and from the look on her face, there could be no doubt what was coming next –
She landed beside him and energy exploded around them, blowing him backwards again.
“Negaso- Ellie, I don’t understand, why are you angry with me?!” cried Kanan, using his Force powers to shield himself from her attack, and landing comfortably on his feet. His injuries, such as they were, were minor compared with the ache in his heart, and the confusion he felt.
But she didn’t answer, she just kept coming. He desperately blocked wave after wave of psychic energy trying to throw him off balance.
“Negasonic Teenage Warhead, stop it this instant!” came the telepathic cry of Professor Xavier, heard by all in attendance as guests panicked and fled deeper into the X-Mansion. He wheeled himself to the ruined picture window as he continued to call after her. “Leave him be – this is most unbecoming behavior from you – from a member of the XMen!”
“Let her have ‘im, Chuck,” said Logan, aka The Wolverine, from over the professor’s shoulder. “He can use his so-called ‘Force’ powers to keep her at bay, and this is prob’ly the best way to let her get it out of her system without blowing up the entire Danger Room – we did just finish cleanin’ up from the last temper tantrum that was thrown in there.”
Meanwhile, Ellie was still throwing herself at Kanan, who was doing everything in his power to keep her from striking home. When she found that her psychic punches were being moved aside by his Force push, and that her attempts to lift him into the air were blocked by his control of the environment, she grew frustrated and started throwing physical punches and kicks. Each in its turn was blocked by the Force, and Kanan, who looked as though he was being exhausted by the onslaught, began pleading again.
“Ellie, listen, I didn’t mean to make you angry – I just wanted to let you know how I feel!” he said, blocking one of her punches by catching her fist in his open hand. “Please, you know I won’t fight back – just tell me why – ”
“I just can’t believe you would do this, in front of everyone! Did you think that the pressure of basically every person I know and love being around would make me say yes?”
Kanan blinked his eyes, and suddenly looked down at the ground. “I thought I could help make your great day even greater. I didn’t think about the implications of the setting…”
The moment of hesitation was all she needed – Ellie landed a solid punch to Kanan’s jaw, and as she did so she burst into tears. “Of course you didn’t think! No one ever thinks about what I want!” Her onslaught continued, as worried onlookers wondered if they should interfere.
Once such onlooker saw their chance and went for it. Iron Bull, who had long been a friend to Professor Xavier and the X-Men, approached Ellie and gently pulled her away from Kanan. Ellie, who was physically and mentally exhausted from the battle with Kanan, could only cry as she was pulled away by the physically intimidating Qunari mercenary. “Come now, this is not the way. Do you want to give up all you’ve made for yourself, over a dumb boy?” He picked her up by her waist and started carrying her away.
Kanan tried to climb to his feet to stop Iron Bull, but instead fell back into the grass, realizing he had made the biggest possible mistake.
Ellie kicked her legs uselessly, trying to break free. “What do you know? Has anyone ever humiliated you like this? Has anyone ever asked you such a personal request in front of everyone you know? Do you know how much pressure that put on me?”
At that moment, Iron Bull let out a sigh and, convinced that they were far enough away from the X-mansion to get some privacy, set the Negasonic Teenage Warhead down in front of him. “We’re not so different as you think,” he finally said.
Ellie was about to reply, when there was an electronic blooping sound, followed by a strange hiss, as of pressure being released from machinery, and she watched in horror as Iron Bull’s face and body started to open and move away from the rest of his body. Inside there stood –
-a mousy young woman with big blue eyes and beautiful brown hair? What the fuck?!
“Ellie, you don’t know me, but honestly – I’ve been exactly where you are right now. My ex-boyfriend proposed to me in front of everyone at my college graduation party. I was just as angry as you, but instead of beating him up, I broke it off with him. My name is Rory Gilmore,” said the waifish brunette. She stepped down out of the mechanized Iron Bull suit she had been wearing – seriously, where did she even get that?! – and approached Ellie. Her hair was flawless, and the layering game of her outfit was on point. “So. You can decide on your next steps later but for now – I’ll hold him, and you punch. But keep it fair – no powers. What do you say?”
For the first time she could remember, Ellie grinned wide. She grabbed Rory’s hand, and the two ran prettily back to the scene of the party, no doubt to continue wreaking havoc on the well-intentioned, but sadly poorly-advised, Kanan Jarrus, and possibly also the leftover birthday cake.