Disclaimer: The characters are Marvel's. The Mooks (used with permission) are Kaylee's, from her story 'Any Kinda Breath'. This series is not an official continuation of AKB, nor do I know the actual ending of AKB. This is number three following "People Kinda Change."

The Season's Kinda Changing
by Lise

With a breath, a hush, he teases me, so gently. In two seconds, the feelings of heartbreak will crystalize. If I weep, he will see and weep with me, and our tears will fill the marriage bed.

And so I am quiet.

People like to believe that tears are pure and true, that tears signal emotions we can access and analyze with a simple question of 'What's wrong?' Tears drip down, and they see sadness, joy, or pain. Leaves fall down, with the sunlight shining through them, and he sees only autumn.

But I know better. I see into people's souls, and I know better.

Autumn is not made of piles of leaves, or rakes, or pumpkin pie. They are products of the cycle, the primal movement of things so vast and timeless we cannot begin to fathom. Autumn, itself, is nowhere present within those piles.

I have to cry tonight.

He does not know the details, and I can't tell him; can the tree tell the leaf why it falls? Can the child, hearing its parents fighting and yelling and panting and humping, can they explain what love is? Can--

I can't tell him about Bobby. It wouldn't be right, and even though it's killing me, and he knows that something is wrong, I can't.

I love him, and he fills me inside and out, brings the summer into our bedroom and the sunshine into my heart. I can feel his sunshine inside me, and I pour mine into him. I usher in the night with a little moan, and he smiles, full of love and life. His summer smells, they comfort me ... but the rain, it's still falling. Ororo sleeps alone, and I reach my mind to find her, to see her pain.

She does not want to hide it.

Scott lays down and holds me, feeling my pain, and then he falls asleeps, and dreams. I listen to the rain on the roof; it speaks for all of us, tonight. Whether we want to admit it, we cry, like Ororo, for our fallen. For our friend. The drops rings out, steady, and almost sounds like leaves. Something isn't far behind that noise.

Winter is just around the corner. I can feel it with Bobby.

I don't know what to say to Bobby right now. The wound is too fresh, the pain is too sharp. In a few days, I'll be able to get past this, I know it. I can find the spring and the flowers and the new growth.

But tonight, it rains.

Rain and tears waters our fruits, our lives, our hearts. We plant our emotions, till the soil carefully, and watch them grow through time. It hasn't been enough time for me, not quite yet. I have to rinse the mud off my boots, and leave the seeds to grow.

People often sees tears as clear, without the mud of lies.

Scott fights fiercely, loves tenderly, and grieves with me. I can't show him the akwardness of complications, though I know he sees them with his eyes if not his mind. He hears the rain outside, as I do. We both can sense, in our own way, Ororo's anger and helplessness and God, I wish I could say something--

"She'll be alright, Jean."

I roll over, and cling to him, letting tears fall from my eyes. He whispers into my hair, and I feel a few fall from his own. We burn, missing our friend. In my mind, I know that Scott understands, and it slows the tears.

He is a perceptive man, and I can't imagine life without him in it.

But still, I can't, I just can't tell him about Bobby. That lump in my throat is almost to big to speak around, and what happened between Bobby and Warren is just between Bobby and Warren. I know Scott has a sense of it, but I can't be the one to give him the details. It isn't my place...

I am a coward tonight, afraid of the ice of winter.

Scott is not afraid of it. He is the kind of man to rake up the leaves, and bake the pie, and carve the pumpkins; the kind of man who would try and see each dying tree as something to marvel at, come spring. He could face Bobby, with knowledge of this, and try to talk to him, try to help.

He would not be crying, right after making love to his wife.

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