Title: Picture Perfect Memories
Storm - May 24, 2011 11:21 AM (GMT)
Never before had the Manor felt quite so restrictive.
Ororo had never been a city person, not when buildings fouled up the air currents and diverted the natural course of rivers, and perhaps her heart longed for wide, open spaces or soaring, craggy mountain ranges more than she let on. But said heart also made its home wherever those dearest to her could be found and, as a result, Ororo had allowed this piece of urban life to become the nest to which she always returned. It helped that it was out of the way and hardly in the centre of a thriving metropolis, but it was still true that the only reason she didn't feel uncomfortably confined was that the place housed her cause and her family both.
Yet the place felt hollow in the wake of the Professor's absence, like an empty shell that had had the best part of it scooped mercilessly out. Ororo could feel herself rattling around in a home that suddenly felt far too large and empty, even when it was packed full of people, and she knew that was because their guiding light - the person who was responsible for most of them being there - was gone.
And the worst part about it? Not being able to react. There were parts of Ororo that wanted to scream, to cry, to rail against the fact that no one knew where Charles Xavier...but she couldn't. Not only would it be unproductive and a bad example to the student body, but Ororo was never quite allowed to let loose about anything. Her giving into what threatened to be overwhelming panic and sorrow would probably result in people taking an unexpected shower in the corridors and she just...couldn't. Couldn't let go, couldn't grieve, couldn't do anything really other than square her shoulders, look forwards and do her best to keep her family from falling apart around her.
That wasn't to say it wasn't hard. Ororo was hardly a robot - a living, breathing, feeling heart beast within her breast rather than a ball of lightning as she had once overheard some students hypothesising, and it was hurting. That much she couldn't make go away because, if ever there was a mutant power she wished for now, it would be the ability to banish the hurt and pain she saw in Jean's eyes, in Scott's mouth, in every student who looked so bewildered and lost... She couldn't make the pain vanish...but she certainly could distract it.
And so she cooked. The practical mixing of ingredients and following of recipes had always been therapeutic for Ororo and, since it was getting harder and harder to control her powers through sheer force of will alone, she needed an outlet. Tonight, said outlet had come in the form of baking. When she had seen the first threatening signs of a storm building out of a previously clear sky, Ororo knew she hadn't been gripping her powers as strongly as she needed to. Abandoning her marking, she had padded down multiple flights of stairs until she'd reached the kitchen and there, armed with an industrial-sized stove and an alarmingly large bag of flour, she set about distracting herself.
Ororo often used cooking as a time in which to think - while part of her mind was occupied with weighing butter and separating eggs, the rest of her was free to process what was troubling her. In this case, it was obvious...but what to do about it was less so. She knew that Jean perhaps felt the loss of the Professor most keenly and Ororo thought, as she smudged butter into flour for a crumble topping with an absent deftness, that her friend was panicking about having to fill the Professor's shoes. Scott was as capable as he ever was, firm and reliable beyond beneath, and Ororo was glad that someone was determined to keep the X-men as a cohesive unit. But Logan and Marie...they were acting as if the Manor was a cage, as if the rest of their team was condemning the Professor by staying at home rather than going out to look for him. The thought made Ororo pound a bit too forcefully at the piece of dough she was rolling out, but it was better her pie crust ended a bit fragile rather than her accidentally creating a thunderclap in the middle of the rec room.
The white-haired woman still looked relatively calm by the time she was pulling the last tray of cupcakes out of the oven, though those who knew her best would be able to see the subtle signs of stress - the way her lips were held more tightly than usual, the lines that threatened to crease the corners of her eyes, the way her spine was held stiffly straight rather than gracefully so.
That and the fact that every available counter in the kitchen was covered in some sort of baked goods or other. Ororo blinked, as if leaving a trance, and actually touched a hand to her cheek in shock. "Oh my..." she murmured, eying the room with a certain amount of surprise. She hadn't realised just how much she'd cooked - an iced red velvet cake dominated the centre countertop, while a selection of pies jostled for space by her left hand. There were chocolate eclairs, which was strange because she didn't even like them, steaming croissants and, of course, cupcakes, cupcakes everywhere that could you see, iced in a startling array of colours that made it look as if Jubilee rather than Ororo had been responsible for their decoration.
Ororo stared at the edible bounty she'd created without even really being aware of it, so lost had she been in her own thoughts. "Whoops." There really wasn't much else she could say.
Wolverine - May 24, 2011 06:28 PM (GMT)
It had been a long day for Logan. Hell, it had been a long week, and not just for him. Everyone at the Mansion had been high in anxiety since the Professor left. Although leaving wasn’t exactly what had happened. There had been no note, no word, no nothing. He had just been gone; Jean, a woman with seemingly limitless powers not even able to locate him. For Logan a disappearance like that might have been par for the course. He had been known to pack up and go without a breath of reason. But even he hadn’t done that in years, and even then there was evidence of the fact. Chuck, though. No, he’d never abandon them, never leave the school and the people that he worked so hard for. Logan had no love lost for the professor, but there was a sort of begrudging respect. A respect that came in part for the man’s reliability. It was something that Logan never had the ability to be; reliable. But Xavier had that in spades.
Now he was gone, vanished into thin air, and it was all Logan’s fault. The security of the Institute was his job, his responsibility. To keep the place and the kids within it safe, to keep them all safe. It was something he thought that he could do in his sleep, though it wasn’t something he took so lightly. It had taken many conferences and convincing on Chuck’s part to have him agree to taking on the role, but once he had, he’d accepted it fully, and spent almost every breath focused on that goal. After all, that was what the institute was, a symbol of one last safe place in the world. Logan might have mixed feelings on Xavier starting up his own personal army, but he approved of the school, no matter how dubious it’s reasoning for existing might be. Those kids, they didn’t deserve to have to jump at every noise or fear the people who sought them for malevolent reasons, all because of a mutant gene. The school was their haven, their safe place in a fucked up world, and because of Logan, that security was proven to be false.
Anger boiled within him over it all, rage at this one gigantic personal failing. It was his inability that had Jean fraying at the seams. Her want to use Cerebro was obvious, to any and all, but they all had their reasons for not wanting her to. Sure, it was possible she could succeed, that she could find the missing man, but was the risk worth it? What would happen to them all if not only Chuck was gone, but Jean was hurt trying to find him, or worse? What would happen to him? There weren’t a lot of people on Logan’s list of those he cared for, there were a lot more on the list for those he didn’t, and the missing Professor wasn’t on either. But Jean, she was on the short list, and personally, he didn’t want the list to get any shorter. It might be selfish of him, but he didn’t give a damn. Plus, it gave him and Scooter something to finally agree on.
Scott. Logan’s hands balled into fists, tendons straining, just at the mere thought of the little bastard. If Cyke’s jaw were to get any tenser, Logan was certain it would shatter. As always he was so ‘in control’ not letting anything bother him, but Logan could see the differences. He didn’t know if his ability to spot them came from the feral part of himself, or the decades of martial arts training, but the strain and the tension, the worry and, god forbid, was that fear? It was as plain as day. And it, too, was all Logan’s fault. Scott might not have brought it up yet, though Logan had expected as much, but the fault still remained.
Those two weren’t the only obvious victims of Logan’s impotence, but they were the most obvious, the most greatly impacted. Rogue was climbing the walls, wanting to do rather than not, but Logan guessed that more had to do with either his own reaction to the incident, or the small parts of him within her, rather than her own impulses. And ‘Ro. As always, she was holding it all together. Finger tips straining to keep their grasp, but successful nonetheless.
A growl fell from his lips as fingers combed savagely through his already wild hair. If he were to pace anymore that evening, there would be a rut in the floor of his cabin, but what else could he do? He’d been told to stay, like a bad dog, and if it had been anyone else, anyone else at all, he would have shown them just what happens when you order him around. But it had been here, in that damnable calm voice of hers, explaining that if they were going to get through this, if they would somehow manage to stop the cracks in the foundation from spreading, they would have to stay together. And so he stayed. But that didn’t mean that the wild didn’t run close to the surface.
The walls of his cabin felt like they were closing in, and Logan couldn’t take the confinement anymore. If he had his druthers, or if it had been a few years prior he would have taken a bike that wasn’t his and headed into the city, hell bent on finding trouble and women. Things were different now, however, and that was no longer an option. Besides. What happened if something else went wrong while he was gone? That would be just more weight on his already strained shoulders.
His original plan had been to go for an evening run. Done pacing he had discarded his shoes and plaid shirt, heading into the gloaming with bare feet, worn denim and a tucked in tank-top, it’s bright white color a beacon in the approaching night. The path he was taking was derailed, however, when a familiar scent made it’s way to his nose. For the first few minutes as he padded through last year’s fallen leaves, the smells had been all earth and pine and freshness. Then, though, as he had grown closer to the mansion another smell had worked it’s way in, fresh made baked items, sweet and warm, and just out of the oven.
Steps slowed as he considered his trajectory. He could continue going on his path, his breathing hadn’t even begun to increase yet, and sweat had just started to form on his brow, or, he could come up with a valid reason for heading into the massive building, and heading for the kitchen. Unbeknownst to many, one of Logan’s main weaknesses was his sweet tooth, it fell in line just behind long-legged women, and just before Canadian whiskey. Stopping he breathed in the night air, listening as the woods fell silent around him, the beating of his heart mixing seamlessly with the rhythm of the lake’s tide.
Grumbling to himself Logan turned, heading for the large house and what was kept inside, mind searching for who would be cooking such things. Their cook didn’t really do the baking thing, and Logan didn’t really mind. It was better if people didn’t know of this Achilles heel. The kids sometimes tried their hands at such things, but the smell of burning normally accompanied it, and more often than not, so did the fire alarm. No, whatever was being made was being done by someone who knew what they were doing. As he slowed to climb the steps he still hadn’t figured it out, but as the smells became stronger his care for the identity of the creator fell, and his salivary glands went to work.
Still it was with some surprise that he entered the kitchen, very literally following his nose, to find Ororo Munroe surrounded by a baker’s dozed of, well, everything from the looks of it. “’Ro?” He questioned, the tone of his voice almost incredulous, the corner of his mouth quirking ever so slightly upward. His next reaction had been to ask if it was she who had done all the baking, but the evidence presented made his unasked question unnecessary. Specifically the small spot of flour on the Weather Witch’s left cheek. He paused in the entryway, running a hand through his hair, though much less violently than before. “You, uh, you alrigh’?” All the food was tempting, and it was difficult for Logan to not just dig in, but his worry for his friend and closest confidant, it outweighed all desire. All this baking just didn’t seem normal, for anyone, and much less for her, at least in his eyes.
Storm - May 24, 2011 11:34 PM (GMT)
There was...wow, there was just so much of it all that even Ororo, the baker, was surprised. Had she really zoned out that much, lost in the catharsis of batter and dough and glaze? She had a healthy appetite - could be quite a hedonist when it came to food, in fact - and was quite capable of putting away as much food as many of the men she knew. This was reflected in the sleek curves of her physique, the way that no one would ever associate her now with the starving waifling she'd been in the times when whether or not she ate depended on her being light-fingered enough to lift a tourist's wallet without them noticing. Food was, she knew, a luxury and Ororo had never quite been able to shed the belief that, one day, it might not be there.
But even for her, this was a lot of baked goods. A quick investigation of the trashcan confirmed this and made her the tiniest bit of alarmed. There were three empty egg cartons in there and she was sure that the industrial-sized bag of icing sugar had been nearly full when she'd snagged it from the cupboards. Guiltily, she realised that she'd probably decimated nearly all the kitchen cupboards had to offer in terms of baking supplies.
'Well,' she thought to herself, still slightly dazed by her productivity and the extent to which she had drowned her worries in the act of cooking enough food to send a small army into diabetic shock, 'I had better put a grocery list together...'
The roomed smelled like a bakery, the air redolent with warm, sweet scents - it was almost over powering thanks to there being so many flavours combing to assail one's nostrils - buttery pastry and sweet sponge, apple pie filling and maple syrup drizzle. The worst part of it all was that Ororo wasn't even hungry.
She couldn't help but stare at what she'd created in her mentally-distracted state, blue eyes wide and more than a little incredulous. Yes, it was still better than letting her emotions darken the weather around the Mansion...but still, even she could admit that this was excessive. More than that, it was a sign of how the past week had been getting to here. At least no one was here to--.
Really, she'd been asking for company, just by even attempting to think about being relieved that no one was here to see it. A noise from the door made her blink, finally distracting her from her semi-awed regard for her culinary ventures, and she looked absently towards it, only to see Logan standing there. The wild-haired man was staring at her, just as she had been staring at the dieter's nightmare she'd created, and - for all her usual calm and poise - she was more than a little embarrassed at being caught like this.
"Logan," she said, too composed and dark-skinned a woman to blush, but looking slightly abashed all the same. She let her hand fall from where it had been touching her cheek, unaware that a streak of flour the same colour as her hair was left to stand out against the deep chocolate of her cheek. "I--hmm." She didn't quite know how to explain herself and was he...was he smirking at her? To be fair, it was just a slight quirk at the corner of his mouth, but Logan was such a taciturn person that the subtle lift would be a full-out grin on anyone else's face. How embarrassing. Ororo glanced at the trays upon trays of sugary goodness surrounding her, then back to Logan and, quite obviously, drew the tattered shreds of her dignity around her in an attempt to not look quite so mortified.
"I've been baking," she said, with great dignity...but then it was her to turn to suffer from the display of a crooked little smile, wry and conciliatory. That, of course, had been a ridiculously obvious thing to say. "But you can see that," she said in a far less serious voice, her tone rife with a resigned sort of amusement. Really, what had she been thinking? The sheer volume of baked goods spoke for itself in its ridiculousness.
The tall woman visibly relaxed, running her floury hands through her pale halo of hair in a way that unconsciously mirrored Logan's own pose. Her friend's expression was, when she considered it, rather comical - half amazed, half worried, as if he didn't know whether to worry about the fact that the Institute's history teacher had just spent the last four hours pretending to be a baker. In all honesty, Ororo herself wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
She gestured to all that she'd produced with a graceful sweep of her arm. "I may have possibly--." Here, she weighed her words carefully, not wanting to worry him, but also not wanting to lie to the person she often felt best understood her in the Mansion. "--been a little distracted. Then I got carried away and, well." She shrugged helplessly and made a motion with her chin that encompassed all that she had cooked. "I guess I'll have to hope that the students will continue to have the appetite of a pack of wolves and eat all of this before they go off." This probably wasn't too lofty a dream - teenage mutants, it seemed, were just as voracious a collection of bottomless pits as teenage Homo sapiens.
The woman sent Logan a smile that, while perhaps more tired and wan than it usually was in times less stressful than these, was still fond nonetheless. "I'm fine, Logan, I promise. I just needed...something to distract me." She arched an ironic brow at the multiple trays. "Apparently, my distractions are productive ones, if not particularly healthy."
Wolverine - May 26, 2011 04:09 AM (GMT)
This woman. Logan shook his head lightly as if to shake of the surrealism of it all, bright blue eyes trailing down over his friend’s body before tracing a path back up it once more. His seemingly intense inspection of her appearance had little to do with amorous intentions, at least in that moment, and more out of just blatant disbelieve. This was a woman he had seen in all her glory, suspended in a lightning streaked sky, rain and wind and whatever else cascading around her and absolutely bent to her will. He had seen her in that awe inspiring state, being the Goddess that her people had named her, felling enemies with just intention and the elements. And now, now laughter threatened to form in his chest and bubble forth, deep chuckles caused by the almost ridiculous counter point. ‘Ro had been many things to him, friend, teammate, eye candy, confidant, but baker of sweets? In such an extreme? He never would have thought.ooc:it's shite, i'm sorry!!
At any other time that laughter would have spilled from his lips, but even with his mouth turned into a smirk, Logan’s brow was tightly knit, eyes showing his concern. Control was something that Ororo, in his opinion, strived for on the day to day. He knew what it meant to her, the importance of it in relation to the powers that she had been gifted by genetics. He knew that a loss of it could be disastrous not only just for her, but for those around her as well. As amusing as her baking spree might seem, it was an obvious sign of her slowly loosing her grip on it, and just like with all the other’s, this was his fault as well.
Guilt quickly replaced his desire for sweets, and the upward curve dropped from his lips, inverting, corner pointing down into a frown. Her voice wrapped around his name, calm and collected, normal, while her visage was anything but. Still frowning on of his eyebrows rose in question, Logan waiting to see what explanation, if any, that Ororo might offer up. As she searched for her words his head tilted, wolf like in motion, him the ever curious lupine. “Well, darlin’,” He began to drawl as she stated the obvious, planning to follow through with the standard, ‘I can see that.’, but dropping it, once she finished the statement, nodding in agreement, jaw jutting slightly, arms folding across his chest.
As she relaxed, though, Logan couldn’t help but to do the same, his body language mirroring hers. His arms were still crossed, but his shoulders were less tense, and the line of his jaw, though stubbled as it seemed to always be, was softer. He refrained from speaking as she continued to explain, listening as she admitted only to a distraction of sorts, not coming out and just saying what was weighing on them all. But she didn’t really have to, did she? He knew. They all did.
The smile returned at her comment on the students, though it was less noticeable than before. “I don’t think you’ll have a problem.” He replied, stalking into the kitchen and leaning against a countertop, one that was particularly close to a appealing batch of cupcakes. Part of him wanted to ask for reassurance that she was alright, but if she said she was fine, that was probably the best he would get out of her. Logan greatly understood the need for distraction, and jealousy flared briefly within him. He’d give anything to be distracted from his responsibility at the moment. Originally, Logan had thought that the kitchen excursion would prove to be just that, but so far it had just served as a reminder.
“Looks like you were plenty distracted.” He said, reaching deftly to his right, snagging a particularly delicious looking cupcake from the counter against which his hip rested. His face displayed a look of obligation, as if him taking and eating the cupcake was such a chore, something that needed to be done, just for her. They’d been friends for years, but still Logan doubted her knowledge of the truth. The cupcake, and that first delicious bite, was anything but filled with responsibility, and the embers of his desire sparked once more as the sugar laden sweet melted against his tongue.
“These’re damn good ‘Ro.” He managed, finally, making certain he swallowed before speaking. Even though she’d made a lot of them, too many in most realities, the x-brats tended to be a ravenous lot, and he knew himself that he’d be back later to snag more, as long as prying eyes weren’t, well, prying. His vision roamed around the kitchen once more, over everything that had been made as he polished off the treat in his hand. It was quickly gone, not fast enough for him to seem beastly, but with enough speed that his enjoyment of it wasn’t missed.
His tongue curled to the corner of his lips, catching a stray crumb as he brushed his hands off on his jeans, absently folding the cupcake wrapper into an undefined shape. “It help?” He asked, tucking the wrapper into a pocket, musing about snagging another while looking for his friends eyes. “The bakin’.” He clarified, seriousness returning to his tone. “I know it’s rough, ‘Ro.” A hand went through his hair again, frustration threatening to surface. Words of apology almost followed, but even though it was her, a woman he told more than any other woman he could ever recall, he couldn’t bring himself to speak the words. If he did it would solidify his fault, his guilt, and leave him no out. Already he was feeling so trapped by the whole damned thing, so caged.
In that moment things could have gone a multitude of ways, any number of outcomes were possible, but in the end all Logan did was shake his head, again, and reach for another cupcake, peeling away the paper and avoiding his friend’s eyes. “We got any milk?”
Storm - May 26, 2011 04:31 PM (GMT)
Ororo was a woman called many things. 'Miss Munroe' by her students, 'Storm' by her comrades when on missions. She had been 'Goddess' to the tribespeople in the Serengeti, 'Wind Rider' to those who felt like being eloquent and 'Weather Witch' to those who believed more in magic than science. Of course, there was 'mutant' and 'abomination' and 'freak', which had always dripped from lips stained by poison or fear or anger, or a combination of all three.
Logan was the only one who called her 'Darlin'.'
The pair had forged their friendship out of a mutual love for quiet, both of them perhaps a little more attuned to solitude than the other people around them - they both had sanctuaries of silence to which they could retire, he in the cabin by the lake, Ororo in her attic-turned-arboretum. In many ways, they were unlikely friends, especially if one caught the dark, disapproving looks Ororo sent his cigars, or the way that his choice in dietary protein often had her shivering and delicately averting her eyes. Then there was the fact that she spoke so calmly all the time and with nary a rude word to her name, while he...well. Ororo was pretty sure that some of the language she'd caught the wilder students using had come from him.
But, in spite of all that, he was a friend. A close friend. As close as Jean, or Scott, but in an entirely different way - the former two had been some of the first mutants aside from herself that she'd ever meet, fresh from the wilds of Kenya, and they had been students together, tackled the same problems together, fought to control their powers rather than the other way around together. By contrast, Ororo had met Logan as a confident, self-assured woman who taught control these days rather than reaching for it herself. He may not have been her oldest friends, but he was certainly one of her best.
She was grateful when he too relaxed - Ororo was naturally empathic enough to hate worrying people. Jean may have been the one gifted with the ability to effortlessly gauge mood and, as such, was one of the best people Ororo knew when it came to working out how to handle people, but she herself had to go simply by body language and the strength of their relationship - she knew Logan and would have been as good at reading him as he was her if he didn't have smell and the advantage of being able to use pheromones on his side.
It amused her, the affected nonchalance of where he chose to stand. Now here was something she hadn't known about him - unless she was mistaken, Logan was stalking a batch of cupcakes in the way that a lion would a wildebeest, and really, a sweet tooth? She could see why he kept that quiet - it was rather at odds with the impression of innate masculine toughness he liked to exude. "I've never known how we afford to feed them all," she said dryly, trying to hide the way that her lips were insisting on curving into a smile. "I'm always convinced that each new student will be the hungry adolescent mutant that broke the camel's back and put us in the black." Apparently, she liked to mix her metaphors as much as she did her ingredients.
Ororo didn't like to admit to the brief twist of nerves she felt as he snagged himself one of her cupcakes - baking had been catharsis for and, yes, she cooked a lot, but she had no idea how her skills ranked up there. "Mmm," she said noncommittally, a tad too engrossed with watching him eat the cupcake to remember to be embarrassed by the sheer size of her culinary output. "I may have perhaps gone a tad overboard." That was the understatement of the century.
The smile she'd trying to repress earlier escaped her when he commented on the cupcake and it was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud - Ororo smiled rarely, but when she did it was genuine. "Why, thank you, Logan," she told him, more relieved than she ought to have been - it was silly, really, a powerful mutant such as herself being more worried about the way a cupcake tasted than by, say, the mortal conditions she often found herself in. "And the students are probably far less fussy than you - if you approve, then they definitely will."
Inevitably, the conversation took a turn towards the more serious end of things and Ororo sighed inwardly. It had been to pretend that, just for a moment, things were normal. But they weren't and the Mansion felt hollow once more, echoing with the absence of the keystone of their lives. "It's rough for all of us," she corrected. There was a spare bowl of icing left over and Ororo abhorred waste - she took it and stirred its contents absently, even as she walked to the closest cooling rack and its awaiting contents. "More so I think for Jean and Scott - they've had to pick up the most slack in the Professor's absence. And Jean...she and the Professor were always so close. I'm worried about her." Her lips twisted a little sadly. "Actually, I'm just worried about all of us. It's been a week, Logan." She looked up at him even as her hands made themselves useful, her blue eyes momentarily as deep as an ocean and darkened by sadness. "It just feels like...it feels like he was the one thing holding us all together." She could sense the restlessness in him, the way the Mansion was beginning to feel like a prison and she empathised, but at the same time she needed him to stay. If Logan left...well, she'd already lost the Professor. She didn't want to lose her closest confidante either.
Ororo took a breath and visibly composed herself. It was useful that he asked for milk because it gave them both a way back to normalcy again, a facade of the usual and the trivial behind which to hide. "Unless I used it all up, there should be some left in the fridge." The smile she sent him was small and perhaps the tiniest bit forced. "And if I were you, I'd try the tray over there - the icing's got maple syrup in it." If he truly was a Canadian with a sweet tooth, it was as if she'd subconsciously designed the perfect cupcake for him, even in the midst of her distraction.
"...it works," she said after a while, finally answering his question. "But that's all it is - a distraction. It doesn't help us find a way to fix things, does it?" And there was the crux of the matter, that they were drifting. Alone and lost. Leaderless.
Wolverine - May 28, 2011 04:11 PM (GMT)
When Ororo questioned the financial security of the mansion, Logan could only nod along. It was something he had often wondered about himself, just how they afforded to keep things going. As far as he knew none of the students paid tuition, and for a “boarding school” like they mostly told the public they were, the Institute sure had a lot of fancy toys. Just how much does a super-sonic jet cost, or a room complete with virtual reality. Not to mention Cerebro. That thing had to be crazy expensive to put together, much less run. He’d had theories over the years about funding, but nothing that he had really voiced. After all, just who in the world found money enough to adhere one of the rarest and most indestructible metals to his skeleton. He just guessed that those who needed money for such purposes found it without issue.
“Pirate gold.” He said nonchalantly, the tone of his voice dead pan, just the slightest twitch in his lips indicating amusement. “Chuck’s got a stash under the house, he just goes down whenever a new kid shows and grabs some more.” He paused, realizing his mistake in tense, thinking to correct himself, to rephrase it in the past, but choosing not to. “He better get back soon.” Logan added, not avoiding the Professors disappearance, but just treating it like he saw it, he would be back. “Or we’re gonna go broke. ‘Less one of the kids has a built in metal detector I don’t know about.” He paused again, vision dragging across the countertops laden with all the food. “’Course could always have a bake sale. You keep cookin‘ like this and we won‘t have to worry ‘bout money ever.”
At her admission of going overboard Logan merely shrugged his shoulders. “Better this than a tornado ripping through the school.” His response was honest, his tone more teasing than serious, though he knew a natural disaster was an actual possibility when it came to ‘Ro and stress levels. “The clean up’s much easier this way.” An actual grin flitted across his features at the words. It was brief, a secret shared between them both, his smile reaching to the corner of his eyes. “I’m not fussy.” He objected gruffly, smile retreating, lips forming into a scowl, dark brows drawing together. “I just have high expectations.” Fussy was something that Scooter was. Logan was just … opinionated. He wasn’t fussy.
And then all the humor in the room was gone. The good natured teasing between them vanishing, replaced by a shared tension. “Red and Scooter have each other.” He interjected, he might loathe the tie between the two mutants, whether based on his own feelings towards Jean, or just out of pure jealousy over whatever undefined thing it was that they had, but the truth of it all was that they had a bond, a strong one, and they had each other to go through things like this. Logan had always been alone, always, and he was used to coping by himself. It was more difficult having to do it around others, but he was learning as he went. ‘Ro, though, he had always worried that the time she had spent as a deity had left her with a certain detachment from the rest of the world. Not that she herself was distant with others, she wasn’t. Out of the majority of the staff Jean and Ororo seemed to be the most caring, always there for the students, or anyone else for that matter, always lending an ear or a shoulder. No her distance came from her seeming inability to admit it when she was distressed. With a similarity to Scott she kept up that semblance of everything being fine, and Logan worried that her not admitting it, that it would take it’s toll.
Like in that moment. Rather than talking to Logan about how she was doing, she opted to worry about the others of the mansion were fairing. Pushing off from the counter he crossed the tiled floor, closing the space between them to lightly rest a hand on her arm. Not being an affectionate fellow, this was just like drawing her into a bear hug and holding her close. Others might not realize that, but she had known him long enough to know the meaning behind the gesture. “It's you m’worried about you, ‘Ro.” Blue eyes sought out blue, “Chuck might’a held everything together. But you’re the one doin’ it now. Just remember you’re not alone, darlin’. I might not be as good at it as Cyke, but you got me.” Gentle pressure was applied as he squeezed lightly, an almost sad smile resting on his face. He’d never admit to being less-than Scott to anyone else, but Logan trusted Ororo in all things, and besides, it was the truth.
“Maple syrup, eh?” He asked, an elated lilt in his voice as he moved away from her, moving to get a glass out of a nearby cupboard (drinking out of the carton was frowned upon), before filling it with some milk from the fridge. Taking a hearty drink he found his way over to the indicated treats, sensitive nose picking up the tangy hint of maple through all the other amalgamation of scents. “Mmmhmm.” He breathed, looking over the bunch and selecting one that looked the best. “You’re gonna spoil me if you keep cooking like this, you realize.” The first bite was more delicious than the first and second cupcake had been, and Logan had to stop himself from moaning in pleasure. Already he was sharing far too much of his little secret, and god forbid a student walk in to see him getting such delight from the treat. The strategic part of his mind turned as his taste buds rejoiced, him plotting and planning a way to be sure no one else got a hold of those. They were officially his.
“We’re doin what we can.” He said after regaining control of his brain and a swig of milk. It was a lie, they could be doing more, but they weren’t for different reasons. Jean could use Cerebro to track him down, but it wasn’t worth the risk. Logan and Rogue could hit the road and track down leads, but they had been asked to stay, and because it had been Ororo doing the asking, they had. “We’re doin’ what we always do, we just keep on, keepin’ on.” Stopping and breaking down wasn’t an option, it never was for them. They’d been through worse, and Logan bet they’d be through even more before it was all over. Yes, this was a tragedy, and things felt all sorts of strange. But the Professor was just one man, and they had a lot more people to think of now. “It’ll all even out. Always does.”
Storm - May 28, 2011 07:26 PM (GMT)
This week - though miserable and stressful beyond belief - was also unbelievably at the exact same time. Armies of cupcakes appeared practically beneath Ororo's nose, seemingly conjured up by magic than actually created by her own hand, and now Logan seemed to be talking about Professor Xavier's secret stash of hidden pirate gold with an almost perfectly straight face.
Ororo hadn't seen much things stranger than that, and she'd once been transformed into a much younger version of herself with amnesia, so that was saying something?
She shook her head in fond exasperation at his surprisingly whimsical suggestion, pale waves cascading over her shoulders like a waterfall. "With an imagination like yours, it's a wonder we have you dealing with security rather than teaching creative writing," she teased in her soft way, though there was only so much amusement she could find in any discussion that referenced the Professor. For all that she professed to worry more about Jean, Scott and all of the other components of the Institute, she felt his absence like a knife-edged wound in the vicinity of her stomach. She missed him fiercely and worried about him even more so - though she could be supremely logical at times, her mind threw up an obstinately blank denial each time she even began to worry about whether he was still alive or not. She wouldn't accept it, not her Professor.
There would be no talking in the past tense for Ororo.
She flapped a hand dismissively at his suggestion of a bake sale. "I do it very rarely," she said chidingly, "and I woudn't feel comfortable asking people to pay for the products of a hobby." She eyed her array of baked goods with the same mixture of awe and fondness as before. "Besides...it wouldn't be a hobby then. It would be a job. And I think everyone needs something that they don't need to do, but do anyway."
These days, Ororo wished that they could have the luxury of just talking about something as mundane as baking forever, but that was something they could no longer afford. She was very careful not to let anything even vaguely resembling pity show on her face, not when she knew Logan's pride would despise knowing she felt that for him. But she did...well, maybe not pity, but a sympathy for the position in which he was in. The complicated nature of the ties between Scott, Jean and Logan was horribly snarled and, as an outsider looking in, it made Ororo sad to realise that there wasn't really any potential outcome where all three of them were happy. She and Logan had never really talked about it - honestly, she didn't really have any desire to because what was she meant to say? She, Scott and Jean had undergone a rite of passage together as Xavier's first students and she had watched her two friends build a relationship from the ground up. She had also watched both Jean and Logan become aware of the strong, almost animalistic attraction between them...but there wasn't really a question about whose 'side' she was on, were it to be mentioned.
Not that she wanted to pick sides. Just because she had some of her faith in the world supported by what Scott and Jean shared didn't mean that Logan wasn't her friend, that she hated to see him or any of them suffer. "Logan..." she started to say, but then paused, not really knowing how to continue. It wasn't pity on her face, but a deep sort of empathy, a look that said 'I know you're hurting and it hurts me that I can't help', but what could really be done? This relationship already had too many people in it without her making things even more complicated.
Luckily (or unluckily) for Ororo, Logan was surging onwards and his words were surprising enough to distract her a little. She and Logan were friends, yes, but in a quiet (albeit) deep sort of way. They were comfortable around each other, but were hardly the most eloquent of people regarding their emotions. To hear Logan be this verbose and sympathetic regarding his worry for her was...startling to say the least. She blinked at her arm a little foolishly, as if she was worried that she was hallucinating her perception of his hand gripping her there, then looked into his face. She looked more worried than ever, as if she was concerned that this sudden display was a sign that Logan was about to confess to some terminal disease or other - it really wasn't like him.
Except...it kind of was. Sure, he wasn't hugely demonstrative, but Ororo had never believed that her friend was a bad person. Rough around the edges, yes, gruff and sometimes more than a little abrasive, but she was hopelessly fond of him all the same and that was because of the goodness that lurked beneath a lot of that bravado. Her eyes softened as he talked to her, gratitude shamelessly evident on her face, and she impulsively covered his hand with her own, far slenderer one.
"And who knew that all it took to make you sweet was a cupcake or two," she said, aiming for light brevity, but failing at keeping the sincerity out of her voice. His skin was warm beneath her palm, probably exaggeratedly so since she had always seemed to have a slightly lower than average body temperature than normal people, and she stroked her thumb over the solid back of his hand by way of a silent thank you. "I'd try my best anyway, but it's...nice to know I have someone willing to support me." She smiled, a little crookedly, as if emulating his own expression.
She watched him get his milk and his cupcake, too distracted really to even be glad that he used a glass for once, but there was something in all that they'd said to each other that worried her slightly. Normally, Ororo wasn't one to cause waves, or to dredge up old hurts, but...well, sometimes things needed to be said. Sometimes needed to come into the light.
"Logan," she said again, but this time she only hesitated, rather than letting the words die within her. "I'm worried about you as well. I know you want to be out there looking for the Professor, but..." She steeled herself for this - what she was going to say probably wasn't going to make her popular in his eyes. "You shouldn't feel the need to. No one is to blame for whatever has happened to him. No one. And I can't stand watching you feel guilty for something that isn't your fault." She was too strong a woman to look beseechingly at him, so her gaze was steady, even if worry deepened the blue of her eyes to something more ocean-coloured. "You're telling me that I'm not alone, well I'm saying the same thing to you. We all want to find the Professor, we just need to plan our next move carefully. And I know I need you here, with us, to keep us all safe. I know that, Jean knows that - even Scott does and..." She took another breath - her words were normally more deliberate than this, smoother, but she was also rarely this open around people - Logan was one of the few who got to witness an Ororo who wasn't perfectly put together. Around him, she wasn't a Goddess, a woman with the elements at her feet.
Around Logan, she was just human.
"And we need you." Her words were simple and unadorned by dramatic frippery. More than that, her gaze was both unabashed and unashamed when they sought his equally blue eyes. "I need you. So, please, stop hurting yourself by looking back on things like blame and what could have been done differently. We need everyone looking forward if we're going to have a chance of finding the Professor."
Wolverine - May 30, 2011 07:07 PM (GMT)
Less than half an hour ago, Logan had been ready to pull his hair out, one painful clump after another, or to beat the snot out of someone just for the sake of getting his aggressions out. Frustration and anger and guilt had leaked from his pores, filling the air around him slow and steady like, suffocating him with the weight of it all. Now, though, he stood in a kitchen which he had known for years, surrounded by things that were familiar; counter tops, table, the tile floor. He had memories about them all (making breakfast for the kids one morning, having beers with his teammates after a session in the danger room, impromptu waltzing with Rogue so as to prove that he could) which wasn’t something he could say about a lot of things, and it made him feel like an important, permanent structure of the whole shebang.
So while he wasn’t really fond of the Mansion as a whole, the kitchen had always been one of his most favored rooms in the sprawling building, and he felt a sort of comfort from being there. Of course it didn’t hurt that he was being kept company by a woman he loved, stuffing himself with the wonderful deserts that she had made. Some might be stunned by the fact that Logan loved Ororo, but he wasn’t an unfeeling bastard like most thought, and there were actually a good handful of people that he had such strong emotions for. Ok, so maybe it was a small handful, and Logan would likely have to struggle to name more than three or four, but the white haired woman was one of them. He’d never admit it, to anyone, and it wasn’t so much of a romantic feeling, it just was, and like he’d be lost without Jean, or Rogue, he’d be lost in a world with out her. Maybe more with her than all the others. As ironic as it might seem, ‘Ro was generally his calm in any storm.
A bark of laughter fell from his lips at her suggestion, his eyebrows rising. Him, a writing teacher of any kind, that was rich. “Then we’ll have to come up with somethin’ else. Don’t want you to get burnt out on baking.” As he spoke blue eyes were bright with amusement at his small pun. “Is that what you call bein’ an X-man then? A hobby? Cause I sure as shit would call it a job.” They didn’t need to do it, while Xavier provided them with a salary of sorts and room and board, none of them were required to do the superhero gig for a living. Hell, a lot of their lives would be much easier if the saving the world bit wasn’t a part of it. Even with all the drawbacks and the potential for death, they did it anyways, each for their own likely crazy reasons. He still wouldn’t call it a hobby.
The way that her mouth wrapped around his name, the drawn out way in which she said it, Logan had an inkling about what was coming next. And it caused him to immediately get his back up. The triangle between the three mutants had long been the talk of the mansion, and Logan loathed that fact. The whole damned thing was screwed up enough as it was, without everyone else in the place being in on it. But he wasn’t one to hide things, or keep them on the down low, so really, the publicity of it was his fault as much as anyone else’s. She didn’t continue, though, and for that he was grateful. Logan could talk to Ororo about most anything, and often did, more than he spoke to anyone else. But that subject, even with her, was still considered off the table. The only person he ever wanted to have a sit down about it with was Jeanie, and that red-headed woman avoided that discussion like it was her mutant power, or something.
Her hand was cool on top of his, and while he had initiated the physical contact, he hadn’t exactly expected reciprocation, of any sort. A scoff fell from his lips at the mention of sweetness, and Logan couldn’t help but to roll his eyes. He wasn’t being sweet, just honest. “Don’t you dare tell anyone.” He grumbled, narrowing his eyes at her, taking back up the joking tone, glad for it’s return. All the heavy around them was too heavy, like being in a hot room with a coat on. Logan wished they could just shrug it all off.
“Ain’t no need to be worried about me darlin’.” He interrupted, mouth half full of cupcake, crumbs escaping as he spoke. Before he could swallow or say more, though, she continued, trying to alleviate the guilt he felt and the self blame he’d imposed. The cupcake that he had been enjoying suddenly turned ashen in his mouth, and he swallowed the lump of it almost angrily. With measured precision he put his glass on the table, half eaten treat beside it, and brushed his hands off on his jeans once more, waiting for her to finish what she had to say, the line on his jaw set and stubborn.
“You might not think so, ‘Ro.” He began, voice low and filled with frustration, more at himself than her, she was just bringing it up, it wasn’t her fault. “Keepin’ the kids safe, though, and you, and Jeanie, and everyone in the damned place, that’s my job.” The word was pulled out, him stabbing a thumb into his chest violently as he spoke. “I missed somethin’ somewhere, and that fuck up cost us Chuck. ‘Cause it’s my fault, it’s also my deal to go and get him back.” Her words cut him short though, while at the same time only making his ire at himself rise. They needed him to remain there, to keep them safe. Keeping them all safe, though, obviously wasn’t something he was capable of anymore. That wasn’t really something he’d open up and say though. Breathing life into his self-doubts would only make them all the more real. It was just easier and better for everyone if he kept those gems of information to himself.
And still she continued to talk, taking all the wind out of his sails, taking away his ability to be angry. In a way that was more frustrating than anything else. Who was she to go and say stuff the ripped the carpet out from under him? Where did she get off? The whole time she had been speaking, Logan had held her gaze, his eyes filled with the passion that fueled his anger. As she said those words, though, saying that she needed him, he had to look away, vision dropping to the floor, rough hands moving to scrub across his face.
“So when do we start moving forward, then? Just when do we make a plan?” He asked, voice heavy, vision still not finding hers. “Sitting around here doing nothing, it’s not getting us anywhere.” Finally he found her eyes again, his still blazing, though with a different sort of intensity. “It’s driving me nuts, ‘Ro. I’m outta my head. I have to do something soon, or I’m gonna loose it.” He didn’t need to describe what it was, in that they were alike, having that piece of wild in them that needed to get out. Logan hadn’t left the mansion in years, it’d been months since the last mission, and while some might praise the peace of the whole situation, Logan always waited anxiously for the next conflict. It wasn’t that he wished bad things to happen, he didn’t, he just knew that they would, eventually, and he’d be ready. All those years, decades, that he had been poke, prodded and programmed into a fighting machine had taken their toll, leaving him with an almost insatiable restlessness. Without an enemy to fight, or with one that was undefined, he would snap sooner than later.
Storm - June 1, 2011 12:43 AM (GMT)
The world as it was right now was breaking Ororo's heart.
She had survived the earthquake that had made her an orphan. She had survived the times when her own mutant power had threatened to tear her apart. She had survived people she loved dying and great injustices being done and all the sorrow and terror and pain that went with being different in a world where fitting in was the highest prize. She had survived all that, passed through the fire and let it forge her into something stronger. Every. Single. Time.
But this...this helplessness, this inability to do anything to fix the massive, gaping hole that had just appeared in the middle of their lives was tearing her apart in a way that nothing else in her life had managed to do so yet.
Logan was strong. And she didn't just mean physically, even if the combination of his healing factor and the hardest substance in the world framing his skeleton meant that he was never going to count as a weakling. What she meant was that Logan was an old soul, canny and resilient, and he had lasted through more than even he himself knew. His exact age was unknown, but that didn't matter because Logan was a survivor. He got frustrated, yes, and maybe that was why they were old friends because she did what she could to soothe the prowling beast that lurked beneath his surface, but she always...she always relied on Logan to know what to do.
Maybe he wasn't as good at the plans as Scott was, as well-organised or as thorough, but she could always count on her friend to know what to do in his gut. She trusted his instincts and, more than that, she trusted him to always do what was necessary. In all the situations they'd ever faced together, it had often been Logan's guts, grits and sheer determination that had carried them forwards when plans fell through.
And now...now Logan seemed almost as lost as the rest of them. It was like tearing down a pillar of Ororo's religion, knowing that Logan blamed himself for Xavier's disappearance. This second-guessing, the perfect clarity of hindsight, it wasn't like him and that unnerved Ororo almost as much as the Professor's absence did.
Their lives had changed. Fundamentally. What had once been certain was no longer so and Ororo felt as if the earth had shifted beneath her feet, as if it had grown unstable and was no longer trustworthy. She dreaded to think the exact consequences through - would their world stabilise on a new axis or would it just crumble completely? Would action bring their old world back or just speed up the current one's demise?
Perhaps that was why she felt so off-balance and why Logan was more frustrated than she had ever seen him. It was the not-knowing that did it. The mysteries were numerous - what had happened to the Professor, why it had happened, what they should do next. A thousand possibilities assailed her on all sides and she - calm, composed Ororo - felt madness biting at her skin like a thousand flies. And if she was feeling that way, then she couldn't even imagine what was going on in Logan's head.
Except...he was telling her. He was spilling words of blame and shame out into the empty, electric space between them and they were like barbs against her over-sensitised skin. It wasn't his fault, not when the Professor had disappeared in a house full of mutants - weren't she and Jean supposed to be Omega-level mutants? Had either of them been able to either predict or prevent whatever had happened to the Professor? No. She wanted to tell him this, but she could feel the frustration rolling off of him in vast, sickening waves - there was no way she could break through that with mere words, not when guilt had him in such a tight grasp.
Words, right now, would not be enough.
Now, for all her composure, Ororo was a primal thing at heart. She was ruled by the lightning that ran through her veins, the tides that ebbed and flowed within her heart, the winds that filled her lungs. It was only her steely control and determined will that kept her from acting on instinct all the time.
And, in that moment, she let that control go. Because her heart hurt for them all, for herself, for Jean, for Scott, for the Professor, but most of all for Logan beating himself up for no reason in that moment. And it was that empathy that drove her body rather than any conscious decision. She and Logan were not, by nature, touchy-feely friends - they were more reserved than that and had always been so, quietly steadfast in their own way. So she couldn't really pin down why exactly she, quietly and without saying a word, stepped forwards into Logan's personal space and wrapped her arms around him. She was slightly taller than him, so she had to bend down a degree to be able to rest her elfin chin on his shoulder, but maybe it was the knowledge that words were ineffective at offering comfort in times like these that prompted her to offer physical reassurance instead.
Some things just transcended language.
"I'm sorry," she murmured to her old friend. "I've been asking you and Rogue to stay here, against your better judgement, and I know you've not disappeared off yet because I asked you not to. But I didn't realise..." She lapsed into quiet again, not really knowing how to phrase it. She hadn't realised that he'd been feeling this guilty? That she'd hurt him further by effectively asking him to stay in this cage? She'd always known that Logan felt more deeply about things than most casual acquaintances would expect, given his gruff attitude, but one only had to watch him watch Jean to know that a living, beating heart that was capable of more hurt than she could even imagine lurked within him. "We'll look for him." Her words didn't follow on from her earlier, aborted sentence. "You're right, we shouldn't just stay here. If we stay too long, Jean will break and use Cerebro and--you're just right." She didn't want to think about what would happen if her oldest friend finally cracked and messed with powers beyond her.
Ororo disengaged herself from Logan, but kept her hands on his shoulders - both to reassure him and to reassure herself because the physical contact grounded her. Her gaze slammed into his, earnest and oh so determined, with all the force that a woman who was once worshipped as a Goddess could muster. "We'll find him. All of us. Together."
Wolverine - June 13, 2011 01:46 PM (GMT)
Logan might have expected many things as he made his way to the mansion or even as he stood there in that kitchen. First sweet treats, temping him from the woods, from the way that he knew Ororo would lean towards bringing up the obvious tension between Scooter, Jean and him, to the way that she would be determined to keep everything ok, in order, and in control. But none of those expectations, or any of the other ones that he might have had included toned, mocha colored arms coming to wrap around his stocky frame; the fresh, crisp and wild scent of her surrounding him, like the ozone in the air just before a thunderstorm, or freshly heated metal. late post is late, and short, and lame
He was unsure what to do as the graceful limbs circled his thick torso, him standing stock still in the kitchen, adamantium laden arms held frozen at an unnatural angle, bright blue eyes wide with shock and uncertainty. His mind searched for another instance when Ororo had done this, where she had just hugged him for seemingly no reason at all and it came up blank. Sure, he’d had physical contact with women before, many of them, and he was no stranger to hugging, well, not really. But this was something different, more genuine, an expression of emotion and caring towards himself that he wasn’t accustomed to, and he was more than a little flummoxed by it.
Eventually the thaw came, followed with a heavy sigh, and his arms moved to reciprocate, delicately moving to hold her back. Normally when Logan handled a woman it was with a sense of urgency, filled with passion and lust and need. But this was a day of differences for him, and he held her gently, as if she were fragile and would break beneath his touch. As her chin went to rest on his shoulder, Logan contentedly nuzzled his way into her hair, mirroring her position some, his nose pressing against her ear.
“’Ro.” Was all he managed to breath in response to what she said, him suddenly feeling both tired, and less weighed down by all of it as she spoke. He felt sometimes like no one understood him, or knew where he was coming from, but Ororo always managed to follow through, and her words proved as much, that she was partially privy to what made him tick.
As she pulled away from him, breaking the embrace, Logan tensed, not sure that he was ready for this little moment between them to end. With a sigh he released her, large hands moving to rest at the dip in her waist, while hers remained on his shoulders. Blue met blue, and though her gaze was nigh on intimidating, to even one such as him, Logan held it, feeling his backbone strengthen once more as he did so. “I’ve never been one to doubt you, darlin’.”
Finally he stepped away from her, fingertips lingering slightly on her hips before pulling away completely, Logan moving to lean against a nearby counter, gruffness back in place, arms crossed. “So you got a plan I ain’t heard about yet? Cause if you do, I’m all ears.”
Storm - June 14, 2011 02:32 AM (GMT)
There was a moment where Ororo feared she'd overstepped the boundaries of their friendship - Logan's surprise was tangible through the way his body felt against hers, still and unresponsive. Jean may have been the telepath, but even the weather witch could tell that she'd surprised him. Another time, Ororo might have been amused by finally being able to have shocked the man into speechlessness...but right now she was more concerned that she'd miscalculated. That she'd offended him with her thoughtless gesture of physical contact.
So when he sighed and returned the embrace, Ororo's first feeling was one of relief. It made it easier to spill her thoughts out to him. Still, she couldn't blame him for being surprised - she was so rarely as spontaneous as this. And while she fairly routinely hugged people like Jean or Kurt or any student that needed some sort of physical reassurance, Logan hadn't made his way onto the list very often.
Currently, for all her role as the unofficial den mother of the Institute, Ororo found herself taking comfort from the simple, reassuring pressure of his hands resting where her back curved in to meet her waist. Logan's presence was always solid and sure, and the weather witch felt stabilised by his touch. She smiled crookedly at him, actively surprised by how this conversation had turned out...but not unpleasantly so. Not by a long shot.
'I’ve never been one to doubt you, darlin’.' Ororo was inexplicably touched by this and her fondness bled into those sky-coloured eyes of hers. It always embarrassed her to admit to liking verbal reminders that people had as much faith in her as she had in them. She was suddenly keenly aware of how his hands on her waist felt like a much-needed anchor and this was how they were going to do it, this was how the X-men helped each other to weather problem after problem...
Their contact ended, his fingers ghosting curiously across her hips as they separated, but that same reassurance continued to stretch between them - she didn't need the physical contact any more to be able to remember that he supported her and she him. That small, fond smile lingered on her lips as she watched him reassemble the gruff demeanor she was far more used to than whatever vulnerable moment they'd just shared, even as she raised her hands in a helpless gesture. "As if I'd keep a plan secret from the rest of you," she said chidingly. "But we'll make one. You, me, Scott and Jean. We'll sit down together as soon as we can and decide something." She sounded perhaps more certain than she felt...but maybe she could convince herself that way. As if acting sure would make her so, she found herself prompted to be decisive. "And it will be soon. I promise."
Much more of this and Ororo felt as if it would be too much for her already tremulous control to bear - this honesty had been enlightening, but if it was taken much further she'd have it raining indoors or something. To save both of them from having to deal with that Ororo pushed away from the counter and brushed the loose strands of her hair over her shoulders in a deliberately brisk-motion. "...just be patient a little longer, Logan," she said softly. "We will fix this." And, ending on that positive note, Ororo turned and slowly walked out of the room, already intent on heading towards the privacy her spacious loft offered. The conversation had been...clarifying. It hadn't been a cheerful one, but it had crystalised a lot of things in the weather witch's head.
They couldn't wait around like this any more. None of them could.
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