A/N: I do not own The Fantastic Four or any of its characters. Though I wouldn't mind own Reed – or Ioan for that matter! Who agrees with me? (silence) Okay…anyway, all I own is Gabrielle.Hiding in the Shadow: I know, I know! I'm sad that it's almost over, too but (as they say) good things must come to an end. Sad, but true.
Also, thanks to pxleno52!
Epilogue: Guardian Angel
Gabrielle sat on the roof of a church, her legs dangling over the edge and wings spread out behind her. She was so busy watching the sunset over the city that she only briefly heard the sound of wings flapping behind her. She wasn't really paying attention and brushed off the sound as the pigeons that frequented in the area. It was only when she heard footsteps that she snapped out of her revere. When the hand touched her shoulder, she tensed up and clenched her fist, fully prepared to fight.
"Hello, stranger," he greeted, a hint of amusement in his voice. Gabrielle relaxed at the sound of his voice. She hadn't seen him since her psychotic episode, and it was good to hear from him now.
"Hey, yourself," she replied, the small smile staying on her face as she continued to look out into the city.
"How are you doing at the Institute," Warren asked, kneeling down next to her.
"Better. Not really where I saw myself living, but it's okay," she admitted, guilt filling her voice. "The Professor has really helped me, therapy and all."
"And the others?"
"They're good." She suddenly chuckled, thinking about life at the school. "Scott's actually being nice now, not so suspicious, and he's teaching me about cars. Oh, and, um, sometimes I sub for Ororo's biology class. Beast is fascinated by my theories and I help him with his experiments sometimes – with the Professor's permission, of course. Rogue and Bobby used to be pretty scared of me. In fact, all of the students were. But, now…they talk to me. They come to me for advice. It's almost as if I'm a teacher there."
"Maybe you should talk to Charles about becoming apart of the X-Men," he suggested, looking over at her wistful smile as she talked about the people he knew so well.
"Maybe," she said, not really sure what to think about his advice.
Honestly, Gabrielle didn't think the Professor would let her take a place as a teacher, no matter how vastly she had improved in the course of time she'd been with him and the others. It always seemed like he was holding out for something, waiting for something. No one knew what exactly, and he wasn't sharing.
"What about Logan? You didn't mention him."
"Oh, Logan and I spar – a lot," she stressed. He laughed at that, shaking his head and knowing exactly what she meant. "He's really strong, I'm strong. He has his super senses, I have my wings. He has those claws, I have my lightning. Oddly enough, we're pretty evenly matched in a fight. Of course, he always wins – always."
"Annoyed," he asked, thoroughly amused by her tone as she said that he always won. It wasn't shocking really, but it was Logan.
"Wouldn't you be if you were continually beaten by a big, hairy man with anger management issues?"
"I don't know that feeling, thankfully, but I can see your point." Companionable silence fell between them, and they both looked back out at the city horizon. Warren, suddenly very serious, looked over at Gabrielle. "You look happy," he told her.
"I am, for the first time in a long time," she admitted, looking over at him briefly before turning back to the city lights. "For the first time since…since Victor died. That seems so long ago now." Sighing, she ran both hands through her hair and shook her head. "God, I can't believe I…the things I said, the things I did. I can't even imagine Sue forgiving me – much less the others!"
"I can," he replied. Gabrielle looked up at Warren incredulously, eyes wide, forehead bunched up. "You've gotten help, Gabrielle. You're fine now. You're good. The person you were, Matriarch, that's not who you are now."
"Then who am I," she asked helplessly, rising to her feet and walking away from the edge of the church. Her voice had sounded in a way it hadn't since she was a child, and she hated it. She turned around to see Warren on his feet as well, facing her fully.
"You are Gabrielle Hurtz, a genius, a fighter, a friend," he said, trailing off as he carefully looked at her. She watched as Warren smirked at the irony of his next words. "…And an angel," he finished. Gabrielle couldn't hold back her laughter. When she finally calmed down, she looked up into his deep blue eyes.
"I never did thank you for what you did for me, did I, Warren?"
"No, you didn't."
"Hmm," she hummed with a nod. "I will," she told him and took a bold step towards him, leaning up slowly.
She looked into his eyes a moment longer before chastely kissing his soft lips. Gabrielle briefly heard him sigh softly, and pulled back from him. She looked up and felt her breath catch in her throat, her heart pounding rapidly, and her freezing hands became warm against his chest. She felt a familiar warmth go through her immediately, like a shockwave.
"I have to go," he said quietly, trying to tear his eyes away from her. When he finally did so, he walked away from her and to the edge of the church. Sighing to herself, feeling like a fool, Gabrielle crossed her arms and turned her back on Warren. "Gabrielle," he called, and she turned to look at him, frown on her face, and saw him already on the edge. "I'll be watching you. Promise."
Warren smiled at her, and she smiled back with a sudden burst of hope. He nodded to her then jumped off the roof, flying into the night. Gabrielle went to the opposite end of the church and jumped off the roof herself. She flew as high as she could, reveling in the feel of the clouds. Gabrielle opened her arms widely, spinning in circles with her eyes closed as she flew. The feeling of exhilaration and tranquility filled her as it had months ago when she jumped off the cliff at Lover's Bluff.
When the time came to land, she set down gracefully in the balcony of the private room the Professor had given her. Oddly enough, her room was between Beast's and Storm's, the two she enjoyed helping more than anyone in the school. Looking back over the balcony and into the sky, Gabrielle smiled wistfully.
"I think we'll be okay here, Victor," she said. Turning back inside, she closed the balcony doors and laid down on her bed, smile never leaving her face.
A/N: Well, that's it! Now time for the big secret: I never saw the Fantastic Four movie! XD There! I said it! I never saw the movie! Everything that I took from the movie was from the trailers! Well, did I shock you? MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I love being evil, after all, I'm a Slytherin! ...Yes, gentle readers, I am a Harry Potter fan (books, not movies. Those movies are just awful! Not the cast, just the movies.)
I hope all of you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! Unfortunately, I will not be writing a sequel. Why? I'm simply not inspired to, though I wish I was. If anyone would like to write one though, or use Gabrielle then e-mail or PM me and I'll let you know. Okay, big thanks to all you reviewers:
Xdaisy chainX, scja, SoHaPPy, Dramafool, Goddess247, ashlyns, FeralElektra, Hiding in the Shadow, TheTorch, pxleno52, warrior of the shadow, Tia Skinner, The Flame Of Justice, andy20, ChrisFan13, Adaia Swordmaiden, Yuriko Deathstrike, Alexandra-Black, Ms Genova, amygdala, TeEn TiTaN 11, jinxyknockonwood, The Messenger, Alana Xavier1, I Am The Krow, PiperPrudenceMatthewsPPPH, Funkyicecube, and Rogueslayer15!
All of you rock so very much that you don't even know how!
Goodbye, everybody! See 'ya next fic, which is Infinity – my first (of three planned) X-Men fic!
P.S.: Three pages total.
P.P.S.: 59 pages total.