Down-Home Charm Photo Album Songbank Fan-Fiction History Books Fan Art Miscellania Links
Fan-Fiction >
Post-Claremont >


Author's Notes
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20


Traditions. Feasts of turkey and cranberries at Thanksgiving. Remembering the spirit of forgiveness at Yom Kippur. Icicles and angels on Christmas trees. Birthday cakes. Wedding albums. Funeral processions. Music, lively or somber, appropriate to the occassion. The sequined dress or tuxedo for New Year's Eve; the blue gown with tassled mortarboard for graduation. All of this has come naturally to most of the X-men. Their cultures. Their beliefs. Their rites and rituals.

In the Baoule tradition of unity, Storm respectfully deferred to her fellow mutants by adapting to and observing these customs as faithfully as if they were her own. If many of her customs were sacrificed over the years, to put their minds at ease, still, she never faltered in the one belief that it was all towards the greater good: strengthening the solidarity of the tribe.

This night, beneath stars that shine as brightly here as over her West African homeland, Ororo takes comfort in the presence of her loved ones as she again embraces the ancestral burial rites. For some, such as Forge and Remy LeBeau, the Baoule religion of nature spirits is not so far removed from their own spirit-based beliefs. For others, such as Professor Xavier and Jean Grey, there is a fascinated interest in the foreign experience of such an intimate moment with a dear friend. Yet for Scott Summers and Bobby Drake, there exists only an uneasy acquiesence to this ceremony.

A drum sounds, carried along the evening breeze across the eastern ridge of the Xavier estate. A member of the village has died. And so it begins. Ororo approaches Professor Xavier and kneels respectfully. She bows her head to the ground. Though she speaks in both the African tongue and English, the psi-link shared by the X-men conveys both meaning and emotion, guiding them in the appropriate responses.

"Rochelle o asaki."

Rochelle has been broken.

Broken, not dead. For it would be an unpardonable breach of manners to so rudely state that one of their own was deceased.

"Forgive me for neglecting this child of the village who was in my care. If Nyamia is willing, I ask your permission to prepare her path to blolo, the village of truth."

Professor Xavier rests his hand on Ororo's bowed head.

"You are forgiven. May Rochelle speak well of you to your ancestors in blolo. May Nyamia, the god of heaven, be with you."

She rises, moves on to Jean, kneels. Again, the request for forgiveness. Again, she is forgiven and sent on her way with the appropriate response. Each person is approached, each is petitioned for forgiveness.

Remy watches, feeling his throat tighten as Ororo's progression brings her nearer. He knows, he knows, that Rogue's body is only being used to represent Rochelle. Yet, through the psi-link, Ororo's grief stirs memories of his own loss when he believed Belladonna had died. The thought of seeing Rogue on the funeral bier, apparently lifeless, marks him as deeply as Rochelle's death has wounded Storm.

"May Nyamia, the god of heaven, brighten your face."

Ororo gracefully rises from Henry's feet and approaches Remy. Before she can kneel, a single thought touches her mind, clear and quick, but full of pain.

You forgiven, padnat.

She gently takes Remy's face in her hands, turning him to her. Her long, smooth fingers brush the dampness from his eyes. Through her sorrow, he senses an inner peace that comes from seeing her goddaughter properly laid to rest. The glow of quiet joy shines through Ororo's tears, the mix of bitter with sweet, in knowing that Rochelle is journeying to a better place. Ironic that her thoughts should be the ones comforting his at this time.

Am I?

He forces a smile. Takes her hands in his and squeezes them reassuringly.

"Mais oui. Nyamia watch over you, neh?"

Ororo nods.


Continued in Chapter 15


Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction / Fan Artwork / History Books / Photo Album / Songbank / Miscellania / Links / Updates

Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by Marvel Comics.
Privacy Policy and Submission Guidelines