Title: Like a Last Kiss, It Was Perfect
Description: [p] for Cross
Storm - March 15, 2012 05:34 PM (GMT)
The vastness of the world - continents and weather systems, cities and towns, all of those close to seven billion minds and souls and lives
- had shrunk down to one thing for Ororo Munroe, the sound of Aiden Cross's heartbeat. With her ear pressed to his bare chest, the rhythm of his body thrummed through her own, as if she was a tuning fork struck against the edge of a piano and left match his pitch with her own. She felt it through her palm as well, placed lower on the hollow just beneath his rib cage and the woman was simply...conscious of all the places in which they touched, from her cheek against his collarbone to her hand on his abdomen, right down to where one of her long legs was thrown with careless grace over his own.
Nothing separated them. And that was in keeping with the theme of the day, stark and clear-eyed honesty bathed in the dawn of a new day as it rose over New York City. An early start had meant that there was just more of the day for them to enjoy and the pair certainly hadn't let that sentiment leave them just because they left the city behind as they journeyed back to the Institute where familiar habits could be taken in the new light of today's revelations.
It was nighttime now and Ororo's loft smelled of jasmine and sandalwood and Aiden
. She luxuriated in it, secret hedonist that she was, and her smile was hidden from his sight, but he probably felt the movement of her lips curving into a bow against his skin when she turned her face into his chest a little more. The only source of illumination was a small pool of lamplight on the bedside table, just enough to see by, and Ororo's eyes remained open even in the dimness. Her pale eyelashes fluttered against his skin each time she blinked and a contented sigh left her lips to drift across his bare chest.
This...was not what she had expected of the day. Oh, the lovemaking, maybe. That wasn't anything unfamiliar. But the new...transparency between them, the new depths of honesty and commitment. That was entirely alien and yet it was also something that Ororo had gladly thrown herself into in the same way that she would trust her winds to catch her when she fell. This was free-fall, exhilarating and glorious all at the same time, and somehow it felt as if she didn't matter that she had never taken her path and tied it to someone else's so...definitely.
This was new to Ororo. All of it, any
of it. And yet, draped over Aiden like a dark-skinned blanket as she indulged in her unabashedly tactile nature, she was almost inhumanly calm and content. It made sense, somehow, and there was still a part of that reacted with quiet wonder to the curveballs that life continued to throw at her. The woman who chose relationships over their work, that was not Ororo and never would it be. But with Aiden content to share the windrider with the great love of her life, her students...was this what balance felt like?
Unguarded and completely unbridled in this little piece of heaven that they'd secreted away for each other, Ororo's smile grew wider at the notion of how little Aiden asked of her and yet how much he gave her just by being
so undemanding. It was easier to bend then, easier to be pliant, easier to trust that it didn't have to be a choice, but a communion.
She turned her head a little to drop and absent kiss on his shoulder, curiosity being the one thing capable of driving her from her previously comfortable position. She wriggled against him slightly, both hands coming up to pillow themselves under the elfin point of her chin and she looked up towards his face with eyes that were practically navy in the low light."Out of interest,"
Ororo asked, her voice lazy and honey smooth with satiated satisfaction, "does this mean I should be introducing you as my boyfriend now?"
It seemed a trite label somehow, something from highschool rather than this union between two consenting and realistic adults, but Ororo felt somehow that what had happened today, what had changed
today deserved recognition.
Besides. She had never done anything like this before and was absently curious.
[ooc: this post may or may not have been written to this song]
Saint - March 16, 2012 03:16 AM (GMT)
There had been a moment in the early morning where neither Aiden nor Ororo knew what the future held for them, what consequences their decisions were going to bring to light, but there had been a choice made, in both words and action, that changed everything. For the better? Aiden certainly believed so, but the same sentiment from earlier continued in a much weaker strain, reminding him that the path that lay ahead of the pair was meant to be unknown. Life was meant to be unknown, and though the path ahead was clouded by uncertainty, it was clear to Aiden that they walked together, regardless of labels.
However, the fact that both he and Ororo had decided to match their steps and attempt to be the ever-present rhythm in each other's lives was all but forgotten. In the quiet sanctuary of Ororo's loft, it was an underlying comfort for Aiden, interweaving the solidity of knowledge and faith with the potent happiness and desire to be close, to be together that hung in the air. Sharing Ororo with the world was a simple request to make of the man, in Aiden's opinion. In less than eloquent words, she was so much to be shared - beautiful like the sun against the clouds, kind as a summer breeze, nurturing like the spring rains - and the fact that Aiden still felt this way, after knowing Ororo as a friend and a friend alone for so many years proved that she was something, somebody amazing.
Perhaps it was trite to say, to think these things about Ororo, but even though Aiden could occasionally produce a phrase or two of elegance, he found much more satisfaction with expressing his feelings in action rather than a tentative attempt to place words on something so indescribable. This morning's conversation had filled his imaginary quota for the day, so Aiden was perfectly content to relax in the quiet serenity of Ororo's touch and just simply be rather than let his mind wander about like he usually did.
It was peaceful here - this feeling was something Aiden could come back to when the stress of responsibility became overwhelming rather than the passive mentality that it should be. It was the confidence of the sky, that with the light or the dark it was there, that with the blue or grey or sun-touched red of colour it was there, that regardless of the clouds threatening rain or the lightning bringing flickers of panic it was there. This, he could return to, would return to.
Ororo, he would return to.
With motion, came thought, and though the light sensation of an unknown smile was something welcomed, it brought Aiden out of his reverie to remind him of what he already knew. A hand, lying carefully on the woman's side, shifted, drawing slowly upwards to pass across skin before touching the white-silver locks and settling there, Aiden adjusting carefully to accomodate the new arrangement. Sharing Ororo was no issue, for Aiden could not claim ownership of a soul, of a person, but this? This was entirely his. Ororo belonged to Ororo and no one else, but Aiden would selfishly claim this aspect of the woman with no sense of shame. As if to emphasize these unconscious thoughts, Aiden moved once more, his free hand passing down Ororo's arm to rest at it's fold and quietly reveling in skin meeting skin.
This feeling was his to keep, this communion, and it was only emphasized with each passing movement and moment, only reinforced as Ororo pulled away and came closer at the same time asking a question that brought a well-deserved chuckle from the man. "Depends," he began, a flicker of amusement appearing at the corner of his eyes in the darkness of the room and coloring his voice as Ororo pulled the subdued sense of humour Aiden owned out of its usual hiding spot. "'My boyfriend, the Saint' sounds a bit arrogant, don't you think?" Another chuckle faded into the quiet before Aiden shifted once again.
Perhaps it was unkind to make Ororo move so much, but at this point in time, did it really matter? Regardless, Aiden turned to face the woman, pulling his shoulder out from underneath her head before wrapping an arm around her waist and kissing her simultaneously. It wasn't a long kiss, but there was meaning to it, and before Aiden pulled back so that he could see into Ororo's blue depths, he planted a more quiet kiss on her forehead. "Even though I believe boyfriend is the appropriate term, it does sound a bit," Aiden made a muted "ugh" noise, unintentional but completely appropriate. "juvenile. Surely society would have come up with a better term that doesn't make couples sound like hormonal teenagers." There was another pause, before Aiden corrected himself with a amused look at Ororo. "That was not a 'no', by the way."
Storm - March 16, 2012 06:36 AM (GMT)
The low huff of laughter she let out against his skin was hardly dignified, but that was the beauty of this - Aiden did not need her to be dignified. She often was, with an ease born of practice and necessity and, in the end, habit. But there also lurked a mischief and a passion and a sheer, breathless sensuality beneath the quiet grace of the Ororo Munroe the rest of the world was treated to. Few people caught glimpses of her more fey side and it hinted at the young woman she might have been once had her childhood not revolved around crushing stone and violence on a desert road; lofty, isolated loneliness and the thunderous storm that had dwelled at her core.
Ororo's childhood had ended when her parents died and she hadn't arrived at the Institute until she was nineteen, an adult in body and a Goddess in mind. One could have easily written her off as damaged and spoiled beyond all hope of repair there and then. But the Professor had nurtured her and Jean had befriended her, Hank and Scott had supported her with their solid faith. A group cause had led to a calling, a calling had led to passing the gifts onto the next generation and her students, her students had given her purpose.
And now, finally, Aiden Cross gave her pleasure in her life, a portion of her day that she could hold close to her heart without having to share it with anyone other than him. They both had commitments, pressing ones. And the notion of coming between something as important to him as the easing of pain and the healing of injuries...it baffled Ororo as to why people could ever be jealous of something as worthwhile as that, of something that their loved one had so much passion for.
It wasn't about the hours they didn't share with each other, or the parts of themselves that belonged to other people. It was about these moments, these stolen snatches of serenity. It was about tenderness and passion.
It was about, simply, being able to laugh and doing so freely for once.
"Maybe I like to boast?" Ororo suggested, her tone grave but with a rippling undercurrent of amusement, a river continuing to flow beneath a layer of ice. Her eyes glittered a little at having dragged a laugh out of him - something she did fairly often, but it was still new enough that it thrilled her each time she managed to do so. If at all possible, Cross was even more serious than she was when his mind was on his job and he certainly rivalled Scott for his focus. To be given the privilege of seeing him relaxed and calm against the white sheets of her bed was something she still savoured with more than a little wonder. Wickedness shone briefly in her blue eyes and she arched her spine a little pointedly, leg muscles flexing precisely where they pressed against his. "And I have implicating evidence that suggests you aren't as much of a saint as people think."
Her lips curled into a rare, blooming smile, one that only grew wider when he surprised her slightly with his sudden shifting of her softer, curvier frame. She laughed quietly even as he kissed her and she injected some of that amusement into the way that her lips pressed against his, her hands wandering absently over the planes of his chest. She kissed him thoughtfully, warmly, and regarded him through slightly lowered lashes. This almost unabashedly playful side of her surprised some when they discovered it, but Ororo was no stranger to passion and the varied ways in which it expressed itself.
One could not be serious all of the time. Even the X-Men's Storm.
"I don't particularly like the term either," she mused once they were settled again and she had arranged herself against him so that the lay of her body was to her liking. Ororo's hair fell like tangled strands of snow down her back and tickled her spine - she shook her head a little to shift them from the most sensitive spots and absently, ruefully thought of how much brushing it would take to work out the snarls that the day had wrought in the heavy masses. "But it's your language that is failing here. If I had my way, I would call you..." There was that mischief again, the faintest hint of wickedness at the bottom of that sky-coloured gaze. Ororo arched subtly against him, teasing. "Mpendwa." She dropped a kiss on the sharp line of his jaw. "Or mshikaji." Her lips grazed his ear, a lighter touch there since she had to stretch to reach it. The ghost of a laugh lingered there and she peered into his face in amusement. "Perhaps you would find mhibu easier to pronounce with your tongue..." The words themselves - beloved, lover, dear one - were fairly irrelevant.
The sentiment was not.
Saint - March 22, 2012 02:48 AM (GMT)
Even though Aiden pulled her closer, he still smiled at the woman's jokes, a blurred gesture due to the distance but a recognizable one as he ventured to plant a kiss on the woman's cheek. Though he could have been a nuisance and forced Ororo to move once more just so he could settle his arm somewhere closer to her, Aiden chose to use it as an impromptu pillow, if it could even be called that, and wrapped the other around her waist. There was nothing quiet and careful as you would describe Cross every day, nothing quiet and careful about Aiden here, in this sanctuary, save for the definition of "quiet" that shied away from reserved and moved towards calm, and the definition of "careful" taken literally. Touches and gestures and kisses and words filled with care, given with a feeling of unrestrained warmth against Ororo's cool skin. The contrast of her skin against the heat of his own was enough to idly give Aiden the desire to warm her up, though it was a fruitless venture. He would have remembered if he'd been inclined to ponder over the hows and whys instead of simply sinking into the feeling of it, the innocence of skin against skin.
"Oh, do tell," Aiden retorted, teasing in his own way with Ororo and furthering his commentary by nudging his way to the point where neck met jaw and planting a few less-than-innocent kisses there. All puns and half-hearted jokes aside, Aiden wasn't a saint, and he preferred it that way. Human was what he was. Human and mutant and Aiden. That's all he could ever be, and hopefully that was good enough for Ororo. When he was finished teasing the woman, he returned to his decidedly neutral position, continuing the conversation with Ororo's next point. Or really, musing over the conversation before venturing with his own words. "My language may be failing," Aiden grumbled, with the emphasis on the "language" and a pointed look at Ororo. "However it's my tongue that fails at the next part. Perhaps my tongue and my comprehension skills." He paused for a moment, truly trying to remember the exacts of the words Ororo had used and failing. "Your language may require a few lessons if you intend for me to use it, though understanding will come a bit easier for me."
He would be interested in learning a bit about Ororo's own language, if not solely for the benefits of knowing the woman better, then for the interest of simply learning more. Aiden had always had an affinity for languages, picking up a base knowledge of French in high school and furthering his knowledge with experience rather than books as time wore on. Arabic was next on the list, but this language was something learned solely from experience. Had Aiden been able to go back, years before his mutation was discovered, he might have made languages his forte, but for now, they were just a skill and nothing more.
However, it took no translation to pick out the intent of Ororo's words, especially when each was punctuated with the light touch of her lips against Aiden's jaw. He chuckled quietly, deep and throaty and fully acknowledging the real meaning behind her words, meeting her subtle arch with a slow sweep of his hand and the light pressure of his fingers when he stopped. "I'm afraid my language does fail when it comes to," A pause brought another slight look of disapproval at the language. "the names we give others. Even our names for those names are silly, if you ask me. "Pet names". "Nicknames". Anything you call them in English makes them sound childish." Aiden corrected himself, his eyes glancing "upwards" towards the head of the bed before he continued. "Not that they aren't fun and not that they don't have appropriate meaning, just simply overused and often attributed to friends rather than lovers." At least the French had the bright idea of making the phrase for those names sound a less like something you'd give your dog - les petits noms d'amour, little names of love or affection. Whoever decided to call them "pet names" needed to have his head examined.
"However," Aiden smiled in both eyes and face, an entertained look appearing on his face. "You may call me whatever you like." He had no reason to think that Ororo would go outside of her personality to call him anything terribly silly outside of jest, so that particular sentiment was left unsaid. Aiden moved once again, shifting his body forward a little until he could rest his head on the same pillow Ororo was using and abandon his arm to hide underneath. He met the blue eyes with his own once again, and continued. "Just don't expect me to use anything much outside of "Ororo". My family was never too keen on using pet names, and though I don't mind them and certainly like them from you, I'm just not of the..." Aiden struggled for a moment with the word, his language truly being something that failed at simplicity of speech. "temperament to use them much myself. Too-" He let out a chuckle, amused at what he had thought and what he was about to say, which was entirely true. "Too formal."
It was hard to imagine formality being an issue in the here and now, where, as Ororo had suggested, they simply knew each other enough so that they were better than pretending with even the everyday fašades, however, in a very shallow sense, Aiden had based his personality over time on his formality, and it was hard to find an aspect of his life that wasn't touched by this. He could claim it was inherited, as his father had always maintained an identical sense of formality, but Aiden knew better than to blame nature or early nurture. It was the military that had made him this way, and time had solidified it.
But Ororo brought back the more carefree side of Aiden from the early grave to whence it had been sent, his maturity rightfully denying his reckless nature of his teenage years any admittance. He was allowed to have fun, and with Ororo it was easy, the teasing and the calm freedom of it all. He could get used to this.
Storm - March 26, 2012 11:06 PM (GMT)
How had she ever been afraid of this?
It was proof to Ororo that, in spite of how far she'd come in life - orphan, street rat, deluded pseudo-Goddess, student, teacher, X-Man - there was still so much that lay undiscovered and unexplored before her. The notion of this prior to Cross, the idea of what he was to her now...it had alarmed her. Not in the initiation of intimacy, or loving someone, for if there was something Ororo Munroe was good at, it was loving. But what it would mean for the other person, whom she'd thought she'd be letting down or disappointing somehow with her inability to give herself wholly to any one person. That was what Ororo had feared - inadequacy.
And yet here, lying in the circle of Aiden's arms, Ororo felt boneless and endlessly content. It was a warm feeling, a soothing one for that all that she knew just how well and easily that warmth between them could turn to heat. They were not cool people, merely practical ones. Realistic ones. And the notion of having Aiden like this in her life? Having him willing to hold her and heal her and love her when they were both free to do so?
That wasn't scary at all.
Ororo still felt a subtle sense of glee within her whenever he was teasing or light or frivolous around here, aware that it was a privilege to see him this unguarded in. She drank that very private side of the man in, luxuriated in it, and the bottomless warmth of her eyes as she looked at him displayed her approval, her appreciation. Part of her liked feeling as if she was the only one who got to see him like this - naked. And that wasn't in reference to their nudity (though she hoped that was true as well) but to how he looked and acted when he wasn't being...well, Cross. Saint. The man he was beyond those doors when there were other people around and he wore his responsibilities like a mantle. She did the same as well, she knew, becoming graver and more focussed and conscious of her allegiances, of what she owed to other people.
But right here, right now, it was just them. No one else intruded. And Ororo revelled in that.
She squirmed agreeably as he exacted his own form of vengeance and she felt her breath hitch pleasantly in response. Her fingers stroked idly down the curve of his shoulder, the barest bite of nails in the gesture, but she looked more amused than anything when he was done and back where she could see him - there was time enough for that when she wasn't quite so languid-feeling. Instead she sighed, content, and let her smile quirk up at one corner more than the other.
"I have been told before that I am at least a somewhat decent teacher," she told him, completely serious in every way save for the dancing, subtle happiness that burned in her blue eyes. "'Mpendwa means 'beloved'. 'Mshikaji', 'lover'." Her knuckles ghosted absently over his cheek. "And 'mhibu' translates to, oh, 'dear one', I suppose." Her smile crooked further and, on a whim, she tangled her hands in his hair, one cradling the base of his skull even as the other's fingers carded gently through the longer strands towards his face. "I don't think it matters what I call you," she told him, as honest as ever. "I know how I feel about you." Her expression turned a little wry. "It's more so that I at least have an answer when people inevitably begin to ask questions. Not that it's any of their business of course, but we live with some very nosy people."
As teasing as they'd been in previous breaths, his words though made her expression turn tender as her fingers brushed his temple. "I have never thought you formal," Ororo murmured, shifting closer until their foreheads touched and she closed her eyes to avoid seeing him blurred and distorted when they failed to focus on him so close-up. "Well, no. You are formal and that has never been a bad thing. But I'm not foolish enough to mistake formality for coldness." Still with her eyes closed. "We are both known for not being the most carefree of people beyond those doors. It's why we fit so well. And it's what happens in here that matters to me."
She drew back a little so that she could look at him then, nose wrinkling a tad pertly in amusement. "I like the fact that you are formal out there and relaxed with me. I like who you are in general, in case you haven't noticed." And then something twisted a little in her chest. Something clicked into place. And it was with a sudden, clear-eyed certainty that Ororo looked at Cross and her gaze both sobered and softened as she reached up carefully to touch her fingers to where his pulse beat in the hollow of his throat. "I love who you are."
And, really, wasn't that enough?