The Broken Mirror

By: Thought

Disclaimer: any recognizable characters or references in this story do not belong to me. Nope, they really don't.

Summary: Reality is only what we make it. Ororo is offered a job to assist someone in a little damage control.

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Ororo Munroe makes her way through the halls of Xavier's School For The Gifted with more than a little trepidation. She knows that she has made a mistake on the last mission. A rather large mistake, if she were to be honest with herself. Of course, since when has the goddess been honest with anyone, let alone herself? Why start now?

The door to Xavier's office opens with the creek of old wood that hasn't seen an oil can for many a year. She enters, hands twisting behind her back, eyes darting around the office, not willing to make contact with those of her mentor, seated behind the desk.

"Storm." His warm, soothing voice cuts through her panic like a knife through the softest of butters. She looks at him, blue eyes meeting blue.

"Charles." She smiles weakly. "You wanted to see me?"

"I did." He nods. "Please, sit down."

She takes the leather chair across the desk from him, her hands folded in her lap. "I..." she begins, but he cuts her off with a dismissive wave of his hand.

"The mission is not important, Ororo." He tells her gently.

Her eyes widen at this. "Charles...I killed them!" she objects, her voice shaking. "Cyclops...Phoenix...Rogue...Wolverine...Gambit...Jubilee..." she lists the names of the X-Men, in a strangled half sob.

"No, Ororo," he shakes his head. "You were not the one who killed them. Lead them into danger, yes. But you didn't kill them."

She stares at him in shock. "Is not leading them into danger just as bad?" her voice is soft, and she desperately tries not to let it shake.

"Hardly," he shakes his head. "However, that is not why you are here."

"Then why?" she asks curiously.

"Because I need your help," a new voice comes to her, and a tall figure strolls out from the shadows that weren't there a moment ago, and are gone again once he has made use of them.

"Who are you?" she is half out of her chair before she realizes she has moved at all.

"I am Q," he informs her, and seems disappointed by her lack of a reaction.

And what do you need my help with?" she asks, eyebrows rising.

He takes the seat across the table from her, and offers her a pinkish fruit. "I need you to help me piece together a mirror," he tells her, taking a sip of his drink.

"A mirror?" she stares at him in astonishment. "You want my help with a *mirror*?"

He nods, seriously. "It's a rather large mirror." He admits, tossing a crumbled up bun out over the ocean, where the circling gulls hungrily devour it.

"What's so special about this mirror?" she asks, plucking he umbrella out of her drink, and twirling it between her fingers.

"Well," he thinks for a moment. "I could say that it is one of the most expensive mirrors in the world, or I could tell you that it is a reality, which is currently laying around in shards, waiting for someone to put it back together. Take your pick."

She frowns at this, apparently not liking his explanations. "I think I'll take the second option," she says finally.

Q smirks. "And what if I were to tell you that you picked the wrong one?"

"Then I would tell you that you are a liar."

He laughs delightedly, rubbing his hands together. "This will be fun!"

"I'm sure you will enjoy it much more than I," she tells him, resting her head on the table.

"Oh don't worry!" he waves a dismissive hand. "You'll have lots of fun! We can go visit Jean-Luc when we're not too busy! I think you two would get along splendidly!"

She looks up at him thoughtfully. Seeing that he has caught her attention, he continues. "And the people at the X-Files, or maybe drop in on Buffy and her friends! You will enjoy this! I promise!"

She stares at him for a long minute. A car whips by in front of them, and she notes absently that their surroundings have changed again. It is a gamble, she knows this, but if there are so many different realities, she rationalizes that there must be another with the X-Men, where she didn't screw up, and they are still alive.

"Well?" Q drums his fingers on the garbage can at his end of the bench.

She turns to look directly at him. "Why not?"

A grin splits his face in two, and he leaps to his feet. "Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful! Shall we start now, then?"

"Sure," she shrugs.

She rises to her feet, and thinks a car. He joins her in the vehicle a moment later, still grinning with glee.

"Where to?" she asks him, starting the engine.

He frowns, thinking. "I'm thinking New York, about 1999, in the reality with the red brick church outside of Calgary."

"Ok," she shrugs, and pushes on the gas. Q smiles happily, and leans back in his seat.

"Oh, and by the way," he sits up, just remembering something. "There are two things you should always remember. 1. Never, never insult the Eureka Maru on fear of a very painful death. And 2. Don't go anywhere without a towel." And with that he leans back, closes his eyes and falls into a light doze, or at least takes on the appearance of one. Ororo reaches forward, flipping on the radio and sighs in contentment as the music pours forth...

..."Anyone could see the road that they walk on is paved in gold And it's always summer they'll never get cold They'll never get hungry They'll never get old and gray You can see their shadows wandering off somewhere They won't make it home but they really don't care They wanted the highway They're happier there today, today."

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END

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A/N: Well? Liked it? Hated it? I'm not writing anymore to it. Ever. I'm sorry, but I've already got too many stories going as it is. Just please tell me what you think of this. You can imagine anything you want happening after this, or you could just accept this as is. The song belongs to, uh, Fastball! I had to go look that up.

*Thought*