How Does Your Garden Grow?
main characters; Ororo, Logan
if you could watch the movie, you can read this.
disclaimer: Nobody that you recognize from Marvel is mine
distribution: please ask first.
note: set approximately sixty years in the future of the X-Men movie. Probably a far more optimistic future than they will actually get.
Cheyenne Drake sighed as she looked out the window. At the front of the classroom, Professor Charles Summers was droning on about the history of Xavier's School for the Gifted, one of a handful of schools across America that had extensive programs to teach mutants proper control of their powers. It was old news, she'd heard the same speech every year that she'd been a student. The school taught them control, and also math, English, history... all the things that made school educational. All the things that she could learn anywhere else. Running her fingers through her blue hair, she wondered why her parents had insisted on sending her here. It wasn't as if she couldn't learn the same things at any other school.
She looked out the window, trying not to fall asleep from boredom. How did it matter to her that Xavier's had faced some opposition at first? It would have been nice if Mr. Summers explained how the school had first developed it's training programs, but that was never brought up. Below, old lady Munroe was in the garden, the same as always. She was some sort of mutant, but Cheyenne wasn't certain exactly what she could do, if there was even anything impressive to Ms Munroe other than her dignity. And her visitor... wait a minute, visitor?
There was a man standing beside Ms Munroe, a dark haired man with muscles, and from here, she thought he looked pretty cute. Or at least well built, with sort of wild dark hair that seemed to have been teased into a pair of points. Why would he be talking to Ms Munroe? The woman had to be close to ninety years old by now...
In the garden, Logan smiled as he looked at Ororo. The years had marked her, but not too harshly. She still moved well, if a bit more slowly than before, she was still graceful and dignified. "So, how does your garden grow?"
She turned around, a smile on her face as she saw him. Lines crinkled around her eyes and her mouth, the sort of lines from smiling, being out in the fresh air, and the passing of time. "Logan, it is good to see you again. I hadn't realized that it was that time again..."
Logan nodded. Every year, on the anniversary of her death, he came to visit his wife's grave. Every year, he saw the faces of the people he'd fought with change, marked by time while he stayed the same. "Yeah... it's that time again. You don't look bad yourself, 'Ro. How are the grandkids?"
She gave a small laugh. "Just mine, or everyone else's? The students are... well, they're students. So many of them are uninterested in the history, they don't even understand why there are still separate schools for mutants. After all, with the various laws granting and enforcing equal rights... the lack of very much active discrimination... They don't understand, Logan. They won't listen, they don't realize how much this peace, this equality cost. They don't see how hard it was to gain it, and they don't understand what it was like back then, when being a mutant could get you killed."
"Not even the Summers horde? Not even the other grandkids of the people who were X-Men?" Logan was shocked. How could their own children know so little?
She gave a small, dry chuckle. "Well, the Summers horde have a bit more of an idea, especially the telepaths, but... They don't want to see. My own grandchildren haven't connected that the Ororo Munroe who was Storm of the X-Men is the same as their Gran. It's as if their grandmother couldn't have done anything so... exciting and dangerous. Maybe if I hadn't stepped back from active duty when I became a mother... If I had done things differently... Logan, do you ever wonder how things would be if you'd made different choices?"
He looked at her, remembering how he'd wanted so badly to be the man in her life, to be the one to hold her. But she'd been happy with Nathan, and he hadn't wanted to interfere with her delight. So he'd let her go, and ended up with his Danielle instead... and held his wife in his arms while she died. He'd watched Ororo struggle to hold herself and her children together after a drunk driver had killed her husband. Had watched as things changed in their lives. "All the time, 'Ro. I keep wondering how things would have been. There was this woman once... I loved her. But she had a boyfriend, and I didn't want to try to break them up. So I didn't go after her. I've always regretted it, always wondered how things would have been if I had tried, if I'd gone after her. Would she have shot me down, or gone away with me?"
Ororo looked at him, her eyes filled with thoughts and speculations. "Do you still care for this woman? Even though she was with someone else?"
"Always. She'll be there forever, or until my head is emptied out all over again. Beautiful, talented, perfect." He had so many images of her, from the quiet woman that he'd first met, to the sight of her in her wedding gown, glowing with new life, images of her as the years had gone by, aging gracefully, beautifully. Even now, she was still attractive, still a goddess among women. Still the unattainable Ororo.
With a sad smile, Ororo looked back to her flowers. "It's sweet that you hold Jean in such a regard."
Resting on hand on her shoulder, he let himself breath in her scent, still sandalwood and rain. "One problem with that, 'Ro. The woman I loved and didn't go after isn't Jean. She's... someone else. Special, beautiful... and not mine. She's only mine in my dreams, in the what if's in my head."
Ororo looked startled. "Not Jean? But I thought... well, did this woman of yours, this one that got away, was she happy with her man?"
He let himself give a small smile. Even now, he couldn't find the words to tell her. "She was happy... even when he died, she was happy. She's had a good life, one full of blessings and joy, all the good things that she deserved."
"That's a good thing then. That she had blessings in her life." Ororo smiled as she tended the flowers, a sad smile on her face.
"You're still beautiful, Ro. Inside and out. I'd best go say hello to Jubilee... drop by and say hello to everyone else... the ones that are left anyhow." He walked away, wishing once again that he had the words or the courage to tell her how much she meant to him, how much she'd always meant to him. But the words wouldn't come.
end How Does Your Garden Grow?