Casual Ororo Munroe!
All Ray could do was cry.
The second string team was aging out of high school and had been heard complaining about not getting to see any action like their predecessors (who had already saved the world multiple times by now) and they are lucky for Hank and Logan to take them into the wilderness. Now they’ve got their wish, all of them frozen by the Blackbird.
The sewers are gutted, filled with the smell of gunpowder and smoke as they try to make sense of the scene. Shattered. Exploded from the inside by mutants who couldn’t even be bothered to stick around. Knowing the X-Men’s own heroism would get a few of them killed (rushing headlong into toxic gas to save mutie cripples was on brand for them) they didn’t even stay to take them out.
They treated Mr. Sinister’s mission of wiping out the Morlock’s like rebellious teenagers who can’t be bothered. Like this job was insulting and beneath them for them to be expected to complete. Like the lives of the Morlocks didn’t matter. Like dozens and dozens of lives had not been violently snuffed out.
Scott and Rogue shot underground when their feet touch the pavement and the horror show is plain to see. A sneering man with a gun reports X-Men ally Angel is down there waiting for them (and the way he says this means in no good way). Rogue knows mutant children like Leech and their teammates down there don’t stand a chance.
They expected to keep their training and wits about them but emotions explode before anyone can convince them otherwise. The corrosive substance in the air makes Piotr’s skin tingle, and that’s how Logan begins to realize the gas below ground is poisonous, and it will kill Scott and Rogue in minutes. ‘No-’
When he disappears into the insanity without screaming orders first, everyone begins to realize how dire the situation is. Storm tries to use winds to clear and purify the air, but the Morlocks who fought their way to the surface show the conditions below. It’s all she can do to not let her mind drag to her dear nephew, to not add storms to their list of troubles….
“Ororo,” Kitty screams up as the winds nearly blow her over, hoping to center her. They’re going to need her centered and ready to fly into action She can’t go there right now, they had a mission to complete and team member’s missing. ‘Pull it together, Storm.’ If a bone plate on Evan’s head was harmed there’d be hell to pay. That was certain as she continues trying to make the surrounding air breathable. ‘God help us…’
It’s Jean who loses her cool first. Scott’s telepathic link is silent and there’s anarchy around her seeping into her mind as she tries harder and harder to find him. ‘Scott, you idiot! Tell me you’re okay! Please,’
‘Oh my god… Oh my god…’
‘THEY’RE ALL DEAD….’
‘My god help me not lose my way on this night of evil!’
She’s lost all sense and years of experience as she struggled to pull free from Bobby and Piotr’s tightening grips. The former New Recruit’s eyes are prying for familiar faces, someone to tell him what to do and that everything is fine even if it obviously is not. Logan, Scott, and Rogue had disappeared inside, and Jean was wailing in his ear. “J-Jean… Come on,”
“No, he’s in there! SCOTT,” If they really didn’t expect her to fly down there after him they’re crazier than she is right now. Knowing mutant children were in danger, she knows he wasn’t thinking of himself. ‘God, damn it…’
“Trust, Jean…. Logan-” The Russian X-Man doesn’t notice panicked mutants flee from the sewers and to Kurt and Kitty who try to receive them. Numb with fear and disbelief that some could be so evil.
“T-Torpid…” Kitty tries to speak as something new and terrifying catches her eye every minute. “A-Are you guys….” Wolverine’s Danger Room courses couldn’t compare to the despair they’ve witnessed in just minutes there. Morlocks taking their last breaths, humans standing and watching. Recording. She couldn’t imagine anything more horrible. ‘Rogue…. Scott…’
“L-Leech!” Kurt braces the panicking boy and strains his eyes to see through smoke and hear over the yells and throes of death. His fingers dig a little too hard into him as he tries to calm himself. “H-Have you seen my sister!” They are fond of each other and he’s caught his sister going down to visit him and a hard-assed Callisto (Evan never approved but he thinks the two women are alike).
He shakes his head dumbly and Kurt prays to himself, pulling the young mutant close. He dared not ask about his mother. Kitty points and cries out as they see Gambit and his staff flinging through the chaos, neither sure when he arrived but glad he’s there to lend help when he pulls small bodies stumbling to safety. Even his black and red eyes seem haunted as he looks over them to make sure they look alright (and definitely searching for Rogue).
The former Weapon-X project appears crawling out of exploded tunnels with a passed out Scott and Warren draped across him like throw rugs. “Jean, Ororo!” The sound the telepath makes isn’t human as she breaks through the boys’ hold and flies to the sound of Logan’s strangled voice. If the gas is affecting him, Scott could be dead. Rogue….
“Katherine, Kurt. Oxygen masks! ALL OF THEM,” The pair flinch but obey his desperate, guttural words. Warren’s wings were shattered and bloodied, he found the man crucified on the remnants of crude children’s toys (he’ll never repeat this). He saw more dead bodies than he knew what to do with (and no sign of Spyke or Rogue). Jean’s already hysterical as Ororo digs nails into her palms to remain in control.
None of them are sure if either of them are breathing. “Oh god no, please. Don’t tell me....” When benches and dumpsters nearby begin to rattle, Ororo speaks lowly as tears leak down the psychic’s face. ‘Scott, answer me-’
“Jean, calm yourself.” Both X-Men reappear in a puff a smoke holding masks and tanks of oxygen in shaking hands. Scott’s skin is ashen and the woman would be lying to say she isn’t terrified beyond words, but if she loses it he dies. “They will be alright.” Her hands work quickly as Kurt and Kitty automatically move near Warren. He looks devastated.
Kitty muffles a sob when she sees what’s happened to his wings but his scorched lungs take precedence as the ex-soldier’s movements put Pietro to shame. ‘C’mon, Warren… Don’t quit on me.’ It’s heavy knowing if the man did live he might just wish he was dead. When he takes in a soot-laden breath, Logan tears off to find Evan and Rogue, hoping that they’re still alive. “Help him-”
Kitty’s tears fall on his face as she works to make his breathing easier. “E-Easy, Angel. Don’t fight…”
“Scott-” The X-Men’s leader instinctively breathes, screams, and flails all at once when Ororo gets the oxygen fastened to his face. She laughs dryly as he gasps, color already seeping back into his face. Teary eyes show how afraid she’d been as Jean cradles his head with hands that can barely stay still enough to hold him. “I thought we’d lost you….”
He pawed weakly at his gas mask, charred bodies the last thing on his mind as he struggles to get his bearings. “Scott… Cyclops, wait. Just take a minute, breathe….” He hit the smoke and dropped. He’d never been overtaken so fast like that before. It went against everything he’d learned and taught to rush in, but when he knew children and his friends were stuck down there with bombs, he stopped thinking.
“Bombs,” Explosions rattle off as if on cue. “Have to help-”
“You need to breathe. You and Angel almost died down there…” Jean’s fingers dig into his sweat soaked uniform as she promises not to let him out of her sight again. She doesn’t want to see a world without him in it. The winged mutant reminds him of the pale girl with him, covering her face and pushing forward despite his screams.
“Rogue,” If he passed out, where is she? He fought against both women as Remy dropped near Kitty and Kurt, wide-eyed to see the prolific Warren Worthington bloodied and beaten.
“Guys….” He’s beginning to think he’s gotten to everyone living (everyone he can) and he hasn’t seen his partner-in-crime once. “Where ya teammate… Haven’t seen a sign of Rogue since Ah got here!” If he’s getting to know her the way he thinks he is, she’s chasing after children or dead. The thought gives him an unfamiliar feeling off cotton mouth. A dread settles in his chest and his fingers itch.
Ororo stands to several protests, literally looking sick at the thought of going below ground (everyone knows her fear). “If Logan hasn’t returned with her, he cannot find her.” Scott tries (and fails) to rise to his feet before he collapses, wheezing to his girlfriend’s distress. “I must get down there and clear the way before it’s too late….” Thunder claps as if to strengthen and encourage her, but she can see her nephew, Wolverine’s, and Rogue’s silhouette in the smoke.
“Heavens! Rogue! Evan!” The thief wastes no time accepting the colorless girl from his arms, eyes bulging as he tries to discern for himself whether she’s alive. The armored mutant is hacking up a lung but refusing to take care from his old teammate as Storm checks him over anyway, her hair sticking to the tears on her face. He’s thankful he saw her go down and Wolverine in the chaos as Kurt and Kitty quickly assemble another oxygen tank.
Remy jostles the southerner as if she’s taking a nap and clutches a fist tight. She’s too still and his brain is spiralling into freakout mode. “Heal her,” Hesays quickly in rising fear, his cool thief veneer melting for the first time in front of any of them. “She’s-”
“She’s alright,” Logan wheezes, eyes focused on the girl intently as Kurt says a prayer. “Tilt her back, like this.” The man moves her in his arms and she starts coughing weakly. Remy’s arms instinctively tighten as he feels embarrassed of how grateful he is to feel her jerk and move. Fight for breath. He’d come to help all, but it’s no secret who he really arrived to keep watch over.
“D’accord… D’accord.” He tries to slow the beat of his heart as she slowly catches her breath.
“Okay… Just breathe…” Kitty will have to thank Logan for making sure they still did jet restocking drills to this day (and hopefully never stop). Thinking about not having enough oxygen for victims and teammates who needed it made her feel ill. She kept her cool pretty well, but she’s also twisting Kurt’s fingers in odd ways (he’s too relieved to notice as his sibling becomes less pale).
Both he and Remy count her breaths, paralyzed by how this travesty halted (nearly for good) two of their strongest members. Quickly. The cajun never wants to see the girl so weak again. Scott is well enough to cry, just sob as he felt how close to the abyss he was. How close he would’ve been to not being able to protect Jean. The professor. Everyone he’s leaving behind.
All the Morlocks he can do nothing to help now. He was weak. Small in the cosmos against much greater and more evil things at work. Things for the life of him, he’d never understand.
Logan struggles his way to the surface howling, his eyes too burnt by smog to even see what he’s transporting (he’s not enough of a fool to doubt that death is there but too much of one not to try). Both Jean and Ororo fly forward to help receive shellshocked children, but there are only bodies.
Little, burnt, bodies Logan mistook for something that might have a chance. The weather goddess covers her eyes and Jean collapses like the overwrought mess that she is. Why? Why today? Why now? None of it made sense. Both Bobby and Kurt panic as Kitty turns to them both to shield her eyes.
Remy doesn’t let Rogue try to stir to see, not in a million years. Logan has to fight the borders of his animal side when he sees he’s only transported a few corpses to be seen instead of helping anybody (and that he still hadn’t found Rogue).
When he pivots to return, Piotr grabs him. They’re finally all accounted for. The wild mutant raises a frenzied fist for him, daring him not to let go. “Relax, friend. There is nothing more we can do.” He’s met with uncharacteristic panic and rage, heavy fists ringing on his metal skin.
“Rogue is-” Kitty stands, her brow wrinkled when she realizes the clawed man is acting weird. They’d all seen him drag her and Spyke out (tell Remy how to properly care for her) and run back inside. They can’t handle Mystique in the midst of all the tragedy.
“M-Mr. Logan… You-”
“Drop her right here.” Remy says seriously, holding eyes that have had about all they can take. “Wit’ Spyke….” It’s evident that was not the case, but theories can be built after everyone is healed and given a clean bill of health. He lets who’s holding her slide and examines the girl with himself, relieved to see Scott sitting up (and still praying for Angel).
An extremely rare time he’s grateful for Destiny and her forethought to write things down. There’s no other way to explain what’s happened. After what he’s seen, it’s rather low on the things to address as he covers an ash-covered face and shuddered. Scott and Rogue had nearly perished. Many others had.
Amongst all the filth he smelled Creed. He would get his answers, but not before he made sure they were all okay. He barely realizes it when Kitty floats to his side and clutches him, full on sobbing as the scent of death finally assaults his nose. He growls as he realizes the sheer amount of the death toll. Only the X-Men were lucky tonight, and barely.
“Okay, half-pint. Hank is comin‘ for us…” Nobody is really in any state to fly after what they’ve seen. Logan looks up and sees Jean collapsed into Scott’s lap, still crying as he stares off into space. Far past where anyone else can see. Kurt is similarly twisted around his sibling, like she’ll fade away into vapor if he lets go.
He’s never seen the kids he reared and trained shaken like this. There’s nothing he could’ve taught that would’ve prepared for this.
I may or may not have drawn my OT3 as Genderbents-
Do y’all want to see it?
ya know I was debating posting my drawings of the X-men on here, and then I was like eh fuck it. I’m gonna do it. So here’s Storm :)
I love her Mohawk look, so I kept that with her partially shaved section. Also, I kept her hair bright white.
Her eyes are always that bright blue with the lil lightning bolt pattern in it, and the lightning marks spread out across her skin.
Dunno why I decided to post her first, but why not, you know?
Was going to wait until I finished, but I like how this is turning out.
Tenisha Billington as Poison Ivy and Storm
Couples that Cosplay Together, Stay Together
Maybe not all couples, but I certainly hope so for The Billington’s.
80’s Storm Aesthetic
More great Rod Reis C2E2 commissions!
A majestic Storm by Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson!