molly patton grew up knowing that in her parents eyes, she was a failure. not because she was necessarily a bad kid, not really because she did anything partiularly bad--it was because in their eyes she was painfully average.
Her parents didn't get along most of the time outside of business hours -- it was clear her mother, Karen, had married beneath herself while her father, Daniel, wasn't getting what he thought he would out of the marriage. What that was, Molly didn't really understand until her twin brothers, Mark and Matthew, came along. They were lavished with attention, with every need met when their parents actually decided to give them attention. Attention Molly only ever received when she had the grades good enough or when her parents dictated that she be the one to tend to her younger brother.
Popularity wasn't of her concern-- Molly was truly only close to London Little, one of the stranger, more rebellious people she knew in Phoenix. Molly spent the time dreaming. Not necessarily of being something more, but someone more appreciated. Someone who fit in a little more. For all her family's love and support (and if she were honest later in life, their need for her) couldn't keep the facts that would gnaw at her: that her hair was a fiery red against their dark hair; that where her siblings were nearly identical to her parents, she couldn't match most of her features to theirs, and how so little of her interests didn't line up with their own. Her parents kept making plans in her stead, insisting she'd go to the colleges they want and earn the degree they wanted.
The thing was, she should have known better than to push back too hard on her parents by the time she turned sixteen. Things had gotten heated as her parents circled around the idea of divorce more and more. They argued constantly about everything from the curtains to dinner, to their respective futures. Molly did her best to keep the peace, but more and more, she found them arguing in hushed tones about her, about her brothers, about their law firms, about money.
Things got too much for her. Molly started ignoring her parents rules, started leaving out late at night and backtalking them at every moment she could. What made it worse was the fact that more and more, Molly found herself realizing that she felt attraction to both men and women. Her father was furious when he caught her experimenting with one of her childhood friends, and despite never telling her mother, the tension and displeasure in the house climbed and climbed. Molly swore to do better. Instead, weeks after her fifteenth birthday, she came home drunk. Her parents both exploded on her at once. The argument escalated hard and fast, until her father snapped that a real daughter of his wouldn't make the decisions she had, that his real daughter wouldn't be such a perpetual disappointment.
That was the moment that things started to spiral out of control for Molly. She doesn't remember much of the night beyond those words, beyond the sick confirmation of what her father had said, and the sharp sound of a slap. She does remember flunking out of her classes semester, she does remember moving out with her mother as her parents divorce turned nastier by day, and worst of all, she remembers her mother answering her demand for the truth and the unreality that came out of it: that she had been conceived with a sperm donor of someone who supposedly was smart, good looking, and was going to give them the golden child they desired. And who was not the person that Molly was.
from then on, Molly was painfully obvious as an outsider. She distanced herself from her family, hanging around town rather than going to class, stuck inside of her own head and her own loneliness and isolation. She fixated on what could of been, on what she could have had. At sixteen, she barely came home; and during one of her nights out on town, she ran into a boy, older than her and charismatic. They mostly shared cigarettes, hung out with London, and snuck into movies together. He came from a poorer side of town, and was always happy to talk to her no matter the circumstance. His relentlessly positive, kind attitude helped to pull Molly partially out of her own head and to re-examine the situation around her. The fling was short, but the impact wasn't just emotional: Weeks later, Molly fainted during P.E. She woke up in the hospital, was made to run tests and the worst news was delivered to her by her mother: she was pregnant.
While her mother had been lenient before, she put her foot down on the idea of Molly being stuck as a teenage mother. There was no argument, no threats, nothing. Karen simply ordered Molly to pack her things, telling her that this wasn't going to ruin her life. She pulled her out of school, cut off Molly's normal phone, and Molly was shipped off to live with an aunt a state away. The experience almost broke her emotionally both at being sent away from her family and friends with no real method of contact. Even worse, the isolation and emptiness did the very thing that Karen hadn't wanted: it made Molly bond, made her yearn for this child. For someone who wouldn't regard her as an outsider, someone who she wanted and loved.
Her mother came to visit her the week she was due, and a fight erupted when Molly expressed that she didn't want to give up her son for adoption, even though the process had started already. Karen was upset, and Molly dug in her heels, In a stroke of bad luck, a snow storm hit Montana. It trapped Molly in the house, alone, and she ended up giving birth to her child--and contracting illness in the days they were trapped there. By the time her mother and her aunt found them, both mother and child were suffering.
She and her baby Theodore were rushed into the hospital, and when Molly finally came to around her seventeenth birthday, it was to the devastating news that the adoption had gone through and she wouldn't see her son again. Her mother told her at her bedside, poised and a little too calm with the news. Molly never truly trusted what she had been told and refused to come home. Her aunt allowed her to stay with her in Montana and earn her GED. Earning it was hard; Molly preferred to go out on the open road, to race with others in the streets, for fun. She grew to have a taste for adrenaline, for the thrill of it. For a long time, it was a lot like being the girl she used to be.
Maybe she wasn't that girl anymore--she was someone else, emotionally, mentally. Molly followed the races across the country, dodging the police where she could, and when she couldn't, having to make due without it. Her mother's disapproval slid off of her back--even as she meandered, making small moves towards a career in accounting. One night, molly took it upon herself to snoop in her mother's office, to see if she could find anything out. She ended up finding the folder with the information regarding her sperm donor--a man named Steve Fenwick, a pastor living in Boston. All it took was one search to see his family: full of smiling redheads, all appearing to be happy.
Molly should have left it. Instead, she dared to go to Boston, ostensibly telling herself it was for a race. And then again, and again--until she went to the church, sat down in the pews. And was taken aback when one of the parishioners mistook her for Lainey Fenwick. Who treated her kindly, and didn't seem to mind her. And that? Was that.
Molly moved to Boston in 2015 on her own, seeking to be closer to the family that she knew she was truly apart of. The family that she knew she wanted with everything she had. The family who didn't even know she existed---the family she wanted to be apart of no matter what. She took on a job at a car garage, working with a friend from racing. And truly, Molly thought she'd just simply orbit the Fenwicks, attending church when she could, bumping somewhat discreetly into Lainey here and there--
Then in August of 2017, the first shift happened. Molly lost a week of time--and soon learned that the woman who took over her body was none other than Madelyne Pryor, the scorned first wife of Scott Summers, and Jean Grey's clone. Living with Madelyne was a struggle as Molly slowly realized that Lainey was in fact Jean Grey--and more people she met in Boston, the more her knowledge of shifters grew. Her relationship with Madelyne Pryor, with Jean Grey, and Lainey all started to shift. In December 2017, Madelyne Pryor and Jean Grey finally made up and began to see themselves as sisters.
In early 2018, things changed again, as both were thrown into the Mojodome, and battles were broadcasted across Boston. Maddy and Molly both had to deal with the repercussions--and some of the fall out of slowly starting to merge their own memories and experiences in all of their lives. Some of that was good: Molly and Lainey finally cleared the air as sisters. However, Maddy having been without a body for so long, and the magnitude of her powers affected Molly in other ways--the telepathy was unstable as was her magic, making her painfully aware of people's thoughts around her. And some of those thoughts, included the murky circumstances around the adoption of her son. between holes in her memory, the way her aunt Julia behaved, and the powers she had now, Molly decided to start digging deeper and deeper. Along the way, she also ended up reignited a brief romance--and ended up pregnant.
All of the digging, all of her persistence started to yield results--and then Thanos decided to play a cruel mind game with her. He made her believe that she wasn't safe, that she was apart of an experiment, stoking all of her fear and anger until it was unleashed on the residents of Boston--and her own mother, Karen. It unlocked the final secret of it all: that Karen had tricked her into giving up her son, that Karen had been in contact with her son, and that Karen purposely hid it all from her.
It was a hard way to learn the truth and to realize that she was no longer split into two people. Now, she was unveiled, both Molly and Madelyne at the same time. Both of them, mothers without the children they loved. And both of them eager to right things.
Thanos snapped his fingers only moments after Molly found her son, now named Gryffin. She took him with her to San Francisco, waking up to the new reality more whole than before. But of course, whole doesn't mean uneventful, or that everything is solved: Jean Grey stepped back into her life, in someone else's body, and with just a few words, shredded Maddy to the core. She's back in some ways where she started: trying to figure out if she is real--if she is more than just Jean Grey's clone.