Disclaimer: Gambit, et al belong
to Marvel. Story belongs to me. I'm not making any profit
from this, but neither are they.
For Falstaff's first line thingy. Thank you Edana for Beta
So this is Hell. The walls need paint.
Bastion literally stripped paint and wallpaper right off
the walls -- down to the bare, naked wood. The pink skinned
freak even got the wall paper glue up. Now, I know from experience,
that takes a lot of patience and effort -- and a extra large
serving of dementia.
I'm sitting on the denuded floor, my legs knotted in some
pseudo-yoga position. I don't put much stock in all that "Um"
but it sure is great for working out the kinks. I never knew
pacing all night, every night would put such a cramp in my
leg muscles. Even though it seems like I'm just sitting casually,
I'm really trying to stretch out my quads.
I don't look at my companion and she doesn't look at me.
We're, to all appearances, absorbed in the indoor picnic we
are having for breakfast.
I snuck from the boat house to the mansion for coffee at
about six this morning. It's bare too, the mansion, but the
team has gotten it semi-restocked. I've holed up in worse
places (i.e. the boat house), so to me, it's not that bad.
The boat house has been left to its own devices, and since
the floor boards aren't likely to do any grocery shopping
any time soon, I slunk across the lawn in the departing, dewy
shadows to score some hot java. Reyes knows from coffee and
I'd like to avail myself of her expertise before everyone
wakes up and wants to make nice. I'm really not in the mood
and I don't think I ever will be.
So, of course, she was there, fresh tears drying up
as soon as she realized it was me. She pushed her limp, white
and brown hair out of her face with one exquisite bare hand.
We managed to make fairly pleasant conversation as long as
we didn't say anything important and I got to enjoy my cup
Things were going so well that I was beginning to contemplate
toast or cereal when Storm walked in. If Rogue looked like
a day-old rose -- still beautiful but somewhat worse for wear
-- 'Ro was an eternal bloom -- fresh in any season. Since
we were running out of inanities to toy with, Rogue withdrew
and 'Ro stepped up to the plate.
I didn't know what to say, how to make it all okay. So I
said little. "Yes I slept well." (Lie) "Yes
I'm hungry." (True)
We decided to do breakfast in the boat house, so we could
talk-without confront our teammates. I had just survived "talking"
with Rogue, so I was willing to give it a go. She made toast
and eggs and bacon and fruit and juice, which was as extensive
as the options get these days. I gathered up the glasses,
plates, utensils and a table cloth. We split the chore of
carrying the meal over, though 'Ro kept her share aloft without
lifting a finger. We fussed a bit about setting things up
and then promptly dug in.
In the mutual silence, I contrast "talking" with
Storm to "talking" with Rogue. Rogue seemed happy
to forgive, forget or ignore the whole thing. Because I love
her, I know how stubbornly optimistic she can be. She works
harder at being naive than she does at anything else.
So we basically spent a half-hour lying to each other.
Not real lies, tangible lies that could be dragged from one's
soul and exposed out in a mysterious kangaroo court, say,
in Antarctica. They were subtle lies, my favorite kind. Lies,
in the way she half-reached for my hand as if she were willing
to touch me; the lunch plans we made as if it could ever be
the same again; in my laughter, my charm, my words as if we
even wanted to go back to the way things were.
On the other hand, Storm and I are comfortable in silence
and I shift my thoughts to her as we finish our meal. I want
to ask her how she feels about me now, what she thinks of
this hateful revelation. Finally, we look at one another.
"I'm sorry for not tellin' you 'bout dis t'ing from
de get go." (Lie, I wish you would have never found
"You should n' 'ave found out dat way." (True,
If you needed to know I would have told you myself, right?)
"I just can' express to you how sorry I am 'bout de
Morlocks, 'bout the whole thing." (Lie, Sure I can
express it -- I hate myself and I'd rather be dead right now.)
"I'll always regret it and do everything I can to make
up for it." (True, true, true and it will never be
She replies "I am sorry too, my friend." (True)
"You had no choice." (True) "I forgive
you." (Lie, Lie, Lie)
The words are all sincere. She is a Goddess -- she believes
in ceremony. I'm a thief so I know from tradition. We have
both been heroes so we understand playing a role.
The lie is not in her bright blue eyes or in my crooked smile.
The lies are lost in our warm embrace and the gentle tear
that lands on my shoulder could be from happiness not grief.
The lie is not in the way we clear up the meal, or in our
The lie is in the fact that I remain here, in my own private
Maybe, if we can find all the lies and make them true, I
can call her Stormy again.
And it will be all right to sleep again.
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