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02 May 2006 @ 07:06 am
Warm Air Rising (challenge #13: weather)  
Title: Warm Air Rising
Author: Minarya
Challenge: Weather
Characters: Ororo, Scott, mentions of Jean
Universe: Movieverse, post X2
Rating: G
Summary: The power of familiarity.
Word Count: 1,218

It had been raining the day her parents died. At least, that’s how it was in her memories, the rare times she let them rise to the surface. It had been raining the day she arrived at Xavier’s, young and alone and confused even in the land she had originally called home.

And it had rained for days after one of her best friends died.

Ororo leaned back against the roof, propped up by her elbows, and tilted her face to the night sky. It was mostly clear now, though clouds were gathering, dimming the moon’s brilliance. What that might mean, if anything, she couldn’t have said. Ever since her powers manifested, she had known that her emotions could directly affect on the weather around her. Snow in the Sahara had made it rather obvious. That fact became the single most powerful driving force in her life -- more than her nationality, her appearance, her genetics. As much as it had made others see her as some sort of goddess, it had also made her just as completely untouchable.

“Thought I’d find you up here.”

Ororo smiled at the unexpected voice and turned her head to find Scott pulling himself out of the attic’s dormer window. As she watched him find his balance and make his way over to her, she couldn’t help wondering what brought him here. Surely if it was an emergency he would have had the professor summon her mentally, or he could have just shouted from the window. It had been years since they had simply ... hung out, as the students might say. But why else would he be seeking her?

“Obviously, you were correct.” She continued to smile at him as he sat down beside her with a sigh, then draped his arms over his bent knees. His jeans were a little too big on him. “I apologize for making you hunt.”

Scott waved at her vaguely. “Please. How can I be the ‘fearless leader’ if I can’t find one wayward team member?” He glanced at her, eyes hidden behind his visor as always, and his lips twisted. “Besides, you’re easy. Bedroom, classroom, greenhouse or roof, not necessarily in that order.”

Ororo wasn’t sure whether to be offended or amused. “Yes, well, I suppose there is something to be said for predictability.” She narrowed her eyes and studied his profile. There was the same unflinching set of his jaw that had intimidated her when she first arrived. At the time she assumed it hid cruelty or anger, and for a while had kept her distance. But then one day she’d heard him laugh, and it was full and rich and real. She wished she could hear it again. “Or the lack of it, perhaps. I didn’t expect that you would find your way up here, certainly.”

“Why not?” he countered. “It’s a beautiful night. The roof and I go way back. It’s been a while since I visited.”

“Ahh.” Ororo scooted her hand over and nudged his side. “Then I’m glad I could provide an excuse.”

Scott laughed, quick and short. Not quite what she’d hoped for, but that muscle had loosened up a bit, and the corners of his eyes had crinkled. Jean used to tell her how she wished she could see him laugh without the glasses, just once.

He nodded toward the sky. Toward the clouds. “Those yours?” he asked.

Ororo followed his gaze and thought for a moment. “No. Probably not. Sometimes it is hard to tell.”

“Didn’t think so.” She looked at him sharply, one eyebrow arched. “The clouds mean everything’s in balance, right? Temperature, pressure. And you’re not. Or else you wouldn’t be up here brooding.”

“Maybe I am just enjoying the view.” Scott’s astute observation had shocked any worthy attempts at a comeback right out of her.

“Maybe.” He turned on his side to face her, and it struck her how young he looked in that moment. “But did you really think I was going to forget what day this was?”

She smiled sadly and collapsed the rest of the way onto the roof, folding her hands over her stomach. It was an anniversary. A private one. Not the day Jean was born, or when she died, or anything else other people would recognize, but of the day she and Scott had intended to marry. Only Ororo had known their secret. She’d been helping to plan everything with Jean and Scott in whispers and in stolen moments, so when they finally announced their plans to the professor and the rest of Jean’s family, they’d be prepared and able to hold off the unavoidable, if well-intentioned, bulldozing. Ororo hadn’t even realized the reason for her melancholy today, until she’d flipped through her planner for some forgotten thing and stumbled across this date, circled with a heart.

Yes, Ororo mused. Though everyone in the mansion would likely be shocked, she occasionally had her girlish moments, too. It had been nice to believe, for a while, that love had such power.

“I did not want to say anything,” she said. An apology.

He reached out and idly twisted a strand of her hair around his finger. It wasn’t the first time he had made the gesture, but the last time seemed like a lifetime ago. “Truth is I almost forgot, myself. Nice, huh? It was just that I’d gotten into a routine again. I was finally sleeping through the night. Well, mostly through, anyway. On most nights.” He grinned, almost shyly. “When I did remember, I got kinda pissed at myself. But for remembering, not for almost forgetting. Does that make any sense?”

“Perfect sense.” Ororo would never try to compare losses, but she knew how frustrating it could be when you were blindsided by a memory. Scott needed to remember that he was allowed to embrace those memories. Moving on was not about pretending something never happened.

“It would have been beautiful, you know,” she said softly, peering up at him through the deepening shadows. “Sunny and warm and cloudless. I would have put aside my pesky insistence that I never mess with Mother Nature. For you two, I would have.”

She was rewarded, unexpectedly, by a grin that almost split his face and a small burst of laughter that rumbled up from his chest. It wasn’t much, and hardly the loud, carefree explosions of years ago, but she thought it was incredible progress, just the same. “Likely story, now that I can’t hold you to it.”

“And by the same token, you cannot prove me wrong.” Ororo managed an indignant sniff even from her undignified position.

“You and your logic.” Scott shook his head and flicked her lightly on the arm. “People think I’m the hard-ass. If only they knew.”

“I have enough labels for one person, thank you very much. I am perfectly content with you bearing the burden of just that one.”

“Oh, ‘Roro, loosen up.” Scott’s voice had taken on an almost lilting tone as he teased her. “In fact,” he continued, shifting until he too was lying flat on his back, staring at the clouds. Just his presence was warm and comforting, and reminded her of things she didn’t even realize she’d been missing. “I think we could use a little rain, don’t you?”

Current Mood: creative
npkeditnpkedit on May 2nd, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
Ro and Scott on the roof? Awesome. This was a lovely and touching piece, Arya. I think a little rain is in order, too (and boy will I likely be crying when X3 comes out).
Minarya: hallestorm_goddessminarya on May 2nd, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :) I'm very glad you liked it! As for X3, who knows, maybe they'll surprise us and there won't be any need for tears of despair ... (yes, I know, optimist much? LOL)
(Deleted comment)
Minarya: storm_girlminarya on May 2nd, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Min! (And yes, I'm sure you know where I got the hair thing from.) ;)
Lovable droll geek.: Scott - X3 More Scruffyonlyonechoice on May 2nd, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
So lovely and sweet, and perfect for getting all the angst and h/c scenes out of my head :)
Minarya: halle storm smileminarya on May 2nd, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
LOL! I'm glad I could oblige, then ... though there's nothing wrong with some angst! But thank you very much, I'm so glad you liked it! :)
Fangirlosaurus Rex: superherohibernate on May 2nd, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
Wow, this was great! I love seeing Ororo and Scott together like friends. Perfect!
Minarya: storm-the endminarya on May 2nd, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! They're rather fun to write together ... way more alike than it might seem. ;) I'm very happy you enjoyed it!
Shadow Dancer: irisshadowd on May 2nd, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful Arya. It left me a very warm feeling inside. One thing I like about the movieverse is the general easiness of their relationship and not the strain that sometimes pervaded the comics. here they are not in competition for the leadership role but merely old friends. Nicely done.
Minarya: stormbrewingminarya on May 3rd, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! I think there's a lot of unexplored territory in the comics as well, but you're right, it's much easier to sort through the baggage in movieverse. LOL Thank you very much!
Nevanevacaruso on May 2nd, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC)
This was a lovely look at how well Scott and Ororo understand each other, both as friends and teammates.
Minarya: halle storm smileminarya on May 3rd, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I enjoy writing about the quieter moments. ;) I'm glad you liked it!!
goblintastic on May 6th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
Awww, that was great! I love it! You really write these two so well. I'd love to see you do an extended fic with Scott and Ro sometime. (Especially a romance! Hee! It's a pairing that doesn't get done anywhere NEAR often enough, and I KNOW you'd nail it perfectly!)
Minarya: stormbrewingminarya on February 28th, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
A shockingly late response, I know, but thank you so much, sweetie! :D I haven't read this in months and now that I have, I'm starting to get plot bunnies again. LOL!
Mark Clark: pic#54316771mark_clark on February 27th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
This was absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed how Scott and Ororo talked about why that day was special and it was nice to hear them talking about Jean. You could tell how each of them felt for her.
Minaryaminarya on February 28th, 2007 08:24 am (UTC)
Ohhh, thank you so much! I very much appreciate the review! These two have a special place in my heart, and I always have fun playing with them a little bit. LOL
The Urple Avenger: 6 out of 5 starskaj_22 on February 28th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
This is a lovely fic, I don't usually read in this fandom but I found this truly touching.
Minarya: blue eyesminarya on February 28th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! That really means a lot, I appreciate it! Especially if this isn't even a fandom you frequent. :D