Posted: May 20, 2007

Chapter Two: The Torn

The rain fell without forgiveness. The lightening brightening the night storm for only a beat of a heart before those who were left under it were encased once again in a world all too familiar in the dark. Ororo Monroe, was one of those souls, left on the brink of the half dead as she allowed the rain to beat upon her face. Surprisingly enough, this was not her doing. In fact, she had not even noticed the rain as she stood outside of the school's wall.

In front of her, laid in a neat little row, resided three graves. They were the graves of the fallen, those who had served this school and fought to keep it safe as well as all those who laid within their beds this night. This had been Professor Xavier's contribution to the world. He had given lost mutant children a chance to learn in an environment, not filled with fear, but one of understanding and tolerance. It had been his life goal to achieve that for the entire world, but sadly he would never come to see that day.

Ororo turned her head towards the magnificent looking building. She had been one of those lost children, one of the first actually. And she had learned many things for many years here. She had learned, that a family isn't always one made of blood, but was formed by the connections you make and people you learn to rely on. Ororo had had that once. The Professor, Jean, and Scott, they had been her family, but now as she stood in front of them, her tears hidden by the rain, she realized that she was alone now and left with a very heavy burden to carry.

This school, was now hers to run, to carry on, as it was the wish of the man she had loved as a father. Ororo sighed heavily, she would not let him down. She would make sure his greatest wish came true. . . even if she had to do it alone. At the very thought, Ororo felt light headed. She tried to stand strong, it was her duty, her obligation, but her attempt was futile as she finally collapsed to her knees and grasped the grass between her figures as she cried. "Give me the strength," she prayed as the rain continued to beat down on her. She felt every single drop. They did not feel light as they crashed down, but like hammers trying to pound her into nonexistences. They felt her weakness and she knew she was weak.

Then, suddenly, when Ororo thought she could take no more of their punishment, it ceased. She breathed heavily as she slowly lifted her head, confused as she heard a hollow sound and a muffled thunder roll. Her eyes widened as she realized she was no longer alone. "Bobby." She straighted up and wiped the tears from her face as she took noticed of the partial ice dome Bobby had formed around them. It was one thing to lose yourself in front of those who laid before her, but not the ones who were suppose to be able to lean on her.

"I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to disturb you," he explained as he sat beside her, not looking at her. "I couldn't sleep because of the storm."

"I'll make it stop," Ororo offered. She was then taken by surprised as Bobby quickly turned to her in protest. She couldn't help, but look at him strangely.

"I like the rain," he finally explained not looking at her as he stared out the opening of the dome and merely watched the falling rain. "It washes out the old to make room for the new." He sighed silently. "Something I wish I could do as easily."

Ororo reached out and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, her own misery now forgotten. "You miss her, don't you?" she asked softly.

Bobby lowered his head before giving a weak nodded. "She didn't have to go. This was her home," he said.

Ororo squeezed his shoulder until he looked at her. "Marie, she didn't feel like that anymore. She wasn't one of us anymore."

"That didn't matter!" Bobby grew angry. "She abandon us, for a life she considered normal. What the hell is she going to do now? Go back to the parents who kicked her out? Go back to the boy she nearly killed?" He violently shook off the other's hand as he brought his own to cover his face. "She didn't have to leave me like that. She didn't have to. . ." he let out a choking like sound and Ororo found she could do nothing but put her arms around him and hold him tightly as he cried against her. He clung to her, afraid to let her go.

Though Marie didn't die, Ororo knew that Bobby's pain equaled her own. She knew he had loved that girl, for what else could it called; to be with someone you could never really touch, to never hold, or kiss, or be intimate with, but simply be content with the fact that they loved you and stood by you? That had been enough for Bobby, but no matter how often he tried to get that through to Marie, she just couldn't see it.

When Marie had taken 'the cure', Bobby had been disappointed in her, but Marie couldn't go through her whole life when her own skin was a dangerous weapon. Bobby finally understood that, but what he couldn't understand was that now that they were able to do all the things a normal couple could do, she seemed reluctant. Bobby tried being understanding, it had been years since she had been able to touch anyone without harming them, so maybe she just had to get used to the fact that she could touch again. And so he was patient, as any loving boyfriend would be.

Time had passed, but Marie only seem more uncomfortable in her own skin. Bobby never noticed the look the other students gave her as they walked down the hall, his attention had always been on her. He didn't see the looks that boarded near hate. They all knew what Marie was, she was traitor to her blood. She had been special, like the rest of them, and she had given that up, willingly. She had taken the easy way out.

And then one day, she was gone. She never even said goodbye, not even to Logan, who didn't show it, but like Bobby, didn't take her absence well. It may have even hit him harder than the other. Marie had been like a daughter to Logan; and to a man, who could not recall if he ever had a family of his own, that was secretly important to him. But like he had told her before, he was not her father and she was a grown woman. Her choices were her own. He just wanted her to be true to herself, and if that place was no longer here, who was he to stop her?

Ororo held Bobby long after his sobbing had ceased. She said nothing as she rubbed his back and rocked him gently from side to side as if he were a child in her care. But Bobby was long from a child. He was not only a full fledged X-Men now, but a teacher at the academy, helping others learn and control their powers. He also taught History, he always had a uncanny knack for the subject. Even Ororo couldn't remember all those dates the way he did.

"It's getting late," she finally spoke as the rain was starting to let up. "And you need your rest."

Bobby nodded against her before slowly pulling away. His face was a bit red, most likely in embarrassment. He didn't mean to break down like that, but it felt good to finally let down his guard and get somethings off his chest.

Ororo then watched as Bobby lifted his hand above their heads and placed his hand on the top the ice dome he had created. Within moments their small shelter melt into the ground below them. Bobby stood and then held out his hand for his former teacher to take.

She slipped her hand into his and accepted his help as she rose. They walked in silence back to the school, not realizing that a pair of eyes, set high above them, looked down upon them with accusatory eyes.

To Be Continued. . .

A/N: Sorry for the shortness. I didn't realize, as I was playing it out in my head, that it would be this short. I at least try to hit 2000 words per chapter, but there was no way to do that without adding unnecessary things at this point. Maybe I'll come back and work on it later.