They collect the shards.
Just the two of them; the others offered, but Scott was determined to do as much of it as he could. He was never good at saying no to Jean, though, and she rarely accepted it when he did.
They're almost done when Jean stills, hand hovering on one of the last bits of diamond, glinting in the moonlight.
Scott doesn't need to ask what's wrong; when she's this close, she can feel his emotions as easily as her own.
"It's almost like I can still feel her." She hadn't known Emma long, wasn't even sure what was real and what was a lie. But she had a sense of the woman; pride, will, arrogance, courage.
Power. She was almost as strong as Charles, probably.
"It's not your fault." Scott doesn't need their connection, really, to know what she feels. Jean shakes her head, scooping up the shard and turning it in her fingers.
"She died to save me. To save both of us." She'd loved Scott. When Jean had first felt it, she'd been furious - it was just insult to injury. Now...
She hears Scott stand, and closes her eyes as he kneels next to her, rests a hand on her shoulder.
"It was her choice." But there's no certainty to the words; he's trying to convince himself and failing. She wants to soothe the guilt away, but how can he believe her while she blames herself?
"I - " But she stops. She opens her eyes, and stares at the glint in her palm.
"Shh." Her brow furrows as her mind opens.
Emma was powerful. Almost as powerful as Charles.
"I'm really not sure what you're hoping to accomplish, Jean."
Shards of diamond lay on one of the lab's long steel tables, shining in the harsh white light. Jean is standing in front of them, facing one of her oldest friends.
Hank really should look silly, in that lab coat, but it suits him.
"I think Emma's still here. Her consciousness, I mean. Her...her spirit." The sense has only gotten stronger, over the past few days. Hank, however, looks completely unconvinced. Jean raises a hand to stall any protestations.
"If I'm wrong, we waste some time. But if I'm right..." Hank just looks at her, for a moment, before sighing. She grins.
"You want me to reassemble her." He glances at the table. "You realise she's in a thousand pieces?"
"If anyone can do it, you can."
Hank can't help but smile back at her. "Flattery, Ms. Grey? Very low."
"But it's working, right?"
It takes Hank a few days to finish, painstakingly layering them until they resemble a human body. Completely anatomically correct, of course. Jean has no idea how he got them to stick together, and she doesn't ask; she's had enough technobabble to last her a few lifetimes.
The important thing is that he did it, and she kisses him on the cheek before facing her challenge.
They haven't told the others. She doesn't want to get Scott's hopes up; even if she's right, she has no idea if she can do this.
Jean takes a deep breath, placing her hands above the makeshift body and closing her eyes. She clears her mind, searches for the core of power within her.
She doesn't expect to find fire there.
At first, she shies away; this is everything they wanted to stop, everything Emma died for. But it feels different, this time; softer, calmer. The different between a warming fireplace and a raging inferno.
Slowly, carefully, Jean burrows deeper into herself. She doesn't hear Hank's ragged gasp, but she can feel the sudden alarm.
"It's all right." Her voice is strangely resonant. "I'm in control."
And it's true. The power she feels bends completely to her will; it feels like an extension of her own abilities. Like a part of her.
"Are you sure, Jean?" She's rarely heard him so worried. Slowly, she shakes her head, and then she leaves his concern behind. She is nothing but heat and will.
She can feel it; the spark of life, the blaze of death. Their power is hers, and she will be their guardian. She will ignite the world and burn away what doesn't work.
She is Jean. She is Phoenix. She is life and fire incarnate.
Jean opens her eyes, and sees flames licking at her hands. She's floating a few feet from the ground, and she sees herself through Hank's eyes; her own are blazing gold, her hair raising from her head like a plume of fire.
She can feel the diamond, feel every molecule that shapes it, and it writhes beneath her fingers. Her mind blazes bright, and lights a path.
She can see thoughts gather and twist, spinning shadows of eyes and hands. Slowly, they sink into the glittering diamond.
Slowly, Emma Frost opens her eyes.
Jean smiles, and the fire fades.