Disclaimer: Storm, Remy, Jean and the X-Men all belong to Marvel. I'm merely borrowing them for a lazy afternoon. The New York locations are made up (except for Windows on the World). At least, I think they are...

Dedication: To Indi.
Happy birthday, Indigo! )

Sun Through the Leaves by Ana Lyssie Cotton

Sunlight poured down onto the grass, releasing the scent of growing things and dirt. With a contented sigh, she stretched out, the blades soft. The sun's warmth melted into her skin and relaxed her as she slowly breathed. In. Out. In. Out.

It was a glorious afternoon and Ororo Munroe meant to enjoy it to the fullest. Tension slid away from her slowly fighting to stay and play havoc with her body. She ignored it and pushed her shoulders into the grass. A wince came from her lips as muscles across her back twinged in protest and she tried to command them to un-knot.

A breeze rustled through the nearby trees and she called it to her, allowing it to caress her bare legs and arms. It flirted with the hem of her t-shirt, then danced away to play in the nearby flowers.

With a chuckle Ororo turned on her side and propped her head on her hand, watching as the breeze tickled the tulips and daisies and bluebells. It then bounced away, back into the trees, happily chortling to itself.

Closing her eyes, Ororo turned onto her back again and raised her arms above her head, stretching from head to foot. The last few muscles gave up the ghost and relaxed.

"Ahhh."

The breeze skittered back and tickled her bare toes before running off again to flirt with the ducks on the lake.

Movement on the edge of the trees caused another breeze to scamper around the lawn. Ororo opened one eye as Remy plopped down next to her. "You can't make me go back in there."

"Wasn't planning to, 'Ro." He fell back, his legs stretching out past her head and nearly crushing the tulips. "This is much more comfortable."

She chuckled. "You always have been a sensualist, Remy."

"No more than you, Stormy, no more that you."

A companionable silence fell over them as they contemplated the cloudless sky. Inside the mansion people were arguing over the recent missions, planning press conferences and snapping at each other over mutant hysteria. Outside, though...

Outside, the sun shone and the grass was comfortable, and breezes liked to play with your hair.

When the silence became too much, Ororo chuckled again, "Remy?"

"Yeah?" He sounded barely awake.

"Why are you still wearing your boots?"

"Didn't think of taking them off."

"Ah."

"But now that y'mention it..." He sat up and looked down at her closed eyes and serene smile. "I'll take them off and point my feet away from your delicate nose."

One eye opened, "The grass feels lovely on your toes."

"That's good." He began unlacing the black boots, wincing as the air carried the stench of dirty feet to his nose. Remy turned so that his body blocked the scent from Ororo and kicked one boot off, then turned to the next.

"When's the last time you changed your socks?"

He coughed, "It's the boots, not the socks, Stormy."

"How so?" She propped herself on up on an elbow and mock-glowered at him, "And stop calling me that."

With another kick, he tossed the second boot to the tree line, where it landed next to the first, and then began skinning his socks off. "Calling you what?"

She snorted and flopped back onto the grass, "You know."

"Do I?"

"Yes."

"If you say so." He chuckled and leaned back on his elbows, then twisted around and dropped his head on her stomach. "Much better."

She flinched and reached out to tweak his nose. "I'm sure."

He sighed lustily, "Ah, sunlight and a lovely woman and bare feet."

"Why thank you." Ororo chuckled at his ability to get around any woman and get what he wanted, "Now be silent and let the wind absorb you."

"Yes, Stormy."

"And don't call me that."

"Why not?"

"It is not fitting for a goddess to be referred to as something that diminishes her dignity." She replied, sounding terribly starchy.

"Even when she's barefoot and wearing cutoffs and a white t-shirt?"

"Even then."

Remy chuckled, "If'n ye say so, Stormy."

She repressed a grin and reached down to tweak his nose again, "Impudent rascal."

"Yes, ma'am."

They fell silent then, each absorbed in their own thoughts. The breeze came back to play with their toes and Ororo's white hair, which delighted it. And in the sky, swirls of white clouds slowly skirled past.

"Oh, look, it's the Professor's head."

She opened one eye and looked at the cloud, "I rather feel that looks like an orange."

The cloud in question suddenly elongated, "Hah! It's one of m'sieur Henri's test tubes."

"Carrot."

Remy turned his head and leaned upwards to see Ororo's face, "You hungry, Stormy?"

"I--" her stomach announced that it was indeed starved and she giggled, "Yes."

With a heave, Gambit rolled over and onto his feet, brushing off bits of grass and dust, "If my lady will extend a hand?"

"Why?"

"To help you up, Stormy."

"Ah." Holding out her hand, she found herself pulled to her feet. Planting those feet she raised an eyebrow at Remy. "And where are you planning to get food?"

He mock-shuddered, "Not from the Mansion."

"Harry's will be packed right now."

"True." He tilted his head to the side, "Besides, you're not exactly dressed for going out."

"I'm not going back in there." The yet was silent, but they knew it was there.

"Then I shall follow my calling as a t'ief and steal away appropriate attire." He winked and turned to go, "Meet me in the garage in ten minutes, Stormy."

"Don't--" She stamped a foot as he disappeared around the corner, then chuckled, "--call me that."

--

Gambit was true to his word, meeting her in the garage with a blue dress over one arm, stockings and shoes in his pockets. He'd changed into a dark shirt and jacket and properly polished boots. "If you can rought it changing in the tool room, we're set."

"Thank you." Ororo accepted the dress and shoes and stockings, "But what about a hairbrush?"

He silently produced two tortoiseshell combs and a brush from his other pocket. "Change, Stormy."

With a soft chuckle, she stepped into the small room that housed all manner of tools for working on cars, motorcycles and the occasional jet engine. The dress slid over her skin soothingly, and the stockings added the right touch of sophistication. He'd even remembered the slip that went with the dress. Ororo grinned and twirled in the blue dress. The hem hit just above her knees and flared out. The top was spaghetti straps and a plunging V neckline. Checking that it hung properly, she twirled again, then stepped into the low-heeled black shoes.

Ororo stepped out into the main garage and smiled as Remy handed her the brush. "Where are we going?"

"It's surprise, Stormy."

Her hand stilled, then she shrugged and finished brushing the grass and tangles from her hair. She reached out for the combs. Remy caught her shoulders, "Since you haven't a mirror, allow me."

She stood still as he went behind her and swept the hair up off her neck. A tug here, a tug there, and then he chuckled, "You're beautiful, Stormy."

"Thank you, Remy. Shall we go?"

He laughed, "My chariot awaits."

Ororo Munroe blinked at the motorcycle he gestured to. "Remy..."

"I jest, Stormy." He produced keys and shook them, "I borrowed Rogue's car keys."

"Good." Lifting an eyebrow, she studied the red convertable, "With the top up, I think."

"Yes, ma'am."

--

They went to New York, and Windows on the World, the restaraunt atop the World Trade Center. Remy wouldn't let her see the check, but she did make him promise to let her pay him back for the car parking fee and the cover to the club.

Music pounded around them as they stepped through the doors of New York's Kabuki Klub. Dark colours adorned the walls, and jewels adorned the patrons. Whether they were paste was left to the imagination. Ororo smiled and took Remy's arm, "Let's dance."

He grinned and swept her onto the floor.

They spent quite a long time on the floor, and then had drinks, and then danced some more. They left all tension and care behind them and had fun. Ororo especially had been needing a break. Remy could go sit on the roof of the mansion and relax. With her, she always had someone running after her, worrying that she would let loose control and destroy them all.

Of course, Ororo gave Jean the same treatment at times, since the redheaded telepath had once destroyed an entire solar system. But it still was wonderful to act like she hadn't a care in the world.

As her emotions calmed completely and she relaxed internally as well as externally, Ororo felt a certain synergy with the world around her. As if her every move fitted neatly with the dance that was the club, that was the street, that was the city... that was the world.

-finis-

Shhh. I know there wasn't any sun through the leaves...