Title: Pack Up The Moon and Dismantle The Sun
Pairing: Jean/Ororo
Fandom: X-Men movie-verse (Post X2)
Rating: PG (angst, romance)
Tarot: The Tower
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, I'm just borrowing them. Don't sue!

---

Tower brings the loss of that which you counted on for security. It signals the end of a relationship or situation you cherished

"The stars are not wanted now; put out every one
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood
For nothing now can ever come to any good."
-WH Auden

She had been born in America but had been away from her place of birth for so long that it seemed very foreign to her. Tall buildings and huge rushing crowds, noisy vendors and blaring car horns had welcomed her and she hadn't quite adjusted to the cacophony of noise and activity in New York when she arrived at the Xavier Institute. She had been silent with Professor Xavier as he had greeted her and showed her around the grounds to busy concentrating and breathing deeply in an effort to calm her frazzled nerves to be properly social. She thought of the wide open plains of the village she had come from and the comforting warmth of the sun on her skin and wondered if she would ever readjust herself to this new place that had once been home.

She spotted a cascade of flowing red hair as they passed by one of Mansion large windows, the vibrant colour so unlike anything she was used to seeing back in Africa holding her attention. She was about to lament the bizarreness of this new life she had agreed to once again when the owner of that fabulous head of hair turned to face her. Bright green eyes met her stormy blue ones through the window and the girl stared at her before grinning widely and lifting her hand up to wave.

She found herself returning the gesture and the smile and though everything still seemed strange, it didn't seem nearly as overwhelming as before.

---

Fingers ran through her hair contemplatively and she sighed tiredly her eyes taking in the studious expression on Jean's face as the redhead continued to fondle her follicles.

"I like it," Jean declared after another moment of caressing her hair.

"You don't get gawked at in shopping malls," she responded even though she realized that wasn't exactly true as she said it. Jean did attract more than a few people's attention but it wasn't the same kind of slack jawed fascination what her hair inspired in people.

"Honestly I don't think this," Jean responded touching her hair again, "is the only reason people stare at you."

"Was that supposed to be helpful?" she asked frowning slightly at the remark.

Jean smiled softly in response. "You're very striking and not just your hair. Your eyes, your face, your carriage, your body, and yes your hair. You'd pretty much have to walk around in a burlap sack with a bag over your head to avoid getting stared at. Although," Jean continued pausing thoughtfully, "that would probably draw a certain amount of attention as well."

"So what you're saying is I should get used to feeling like Koko the rolling skating chimpanzee whenever I leave the house?" she asked smiling a little despite the rather bad humor she had been in before Jean had shown up.

"Actually I was just saying you shouldn't dye your hair, but that chimpanzee thing is something to keep in mind," Jean responded smirking. "Seriously though, it's a part of you. And I happen to like you just the way you are."

She smiled and took her friends hand squeezing it gently before releasing it and smiling at her. "You just want to be able to keep cracking Beyond Thunderdome jokes."

"It's a plus," Jean admitted.

---

Her body ached and her soul felt heavy. She wanted to curl in on herself but her limbs would only bend so far. She tried to wrap her cape around her body for warmth or protection but despite her tugging and pulling she felt as lonely and broken with it around her as she had before and let it slip from her fingers.

She didn't move as the door to her room opened allowing a small sliver of light to illuminate a slice of the room before the door clicked shut and darkness descended once more. She didn't speak and she didn't need to look to know who had joined her. She always knew. She could feel it.

A warm hand came to rest on her shoulder pressing down slightly turning her and exposing her face. She allowed the touch and a moment later warm hands were on her face running over cheeks the touch soft and probing. The hands moved from her face a moment later and drifted down to the top of her uniform reaching for the clasps that held the tight material around her body. She felt a presence in her mind as hands slowly began to undo her uniform and she lowered the natural defenses of her mind allowing the warm, comforting mental touch inside.

She was barely aware of her clothes being pulled off of her exhausted body or the soft cotton shirt that was pulled onto her, but she was fully aware of the warmth on her back that followed the final settling of the shirt. She didn't move as arms wrapped around her waist and a soft voice whispered in her ear, but she did sigh and felt the tension that had been suffusing her body since the battle ended begin to evaporate. And when a warm hand came to rest on her stomach, she placed her hand overtop of intertwined her fingers with those that had taken care of her so well.

---

Soft lips brushed against her forehead before pulling away from her, Jean's face hovering into view a moment later. The redhead was wearing her glasses and looked very serious and studious, however as she stared at her Jean smiled softly and murmured, "You had a boo-boo."

She smiled at the softly spoken words her eyes focused on the reassuring face in front of her. "Just a boo-boo?"

"Everything is fine," Jean replied her expression becoming serious once again as she slipped back into doctor mode. "Your head will probably hurt for a few hours but you don't have a concussion and I've plastered the cut that was causing the bleeding," she continued her hand drifting over to her to trace a bruised cheek. "You know I take good care of you."

She nodded. She did know. They had always taken good care of each other.

She took the hand that was offered to her and stood, swaying unsteadily her head still cloudy from the blow she had taken when Sabertooth had slammed her into the ticket wicket earlier that evening. Unsteady as she came to rest on her feet she leaned into the warm body in front of her body feeling much improved as willowy arms wrapped around her. She tilted her head up meeting Jean eyes for a long moment before leaning up slightly and brushing her lips against the redhead's, feeling Jean sigh into the kiss before wrapping her arms more firmly around her.

"You had a boo-boo," she whispered as they pulled away from each other.

"I know," Jean responded her hand reaching out to tangle in her friends white tresses, her fingers tracing along the wound that had caused her such worry earlier when she saw the amount of blood her friend had been losing. "You take good care of me."

---

She stood in front of the cool grey tombstone, her fingertips resting against the smooth, cold surface.

She should have taken better care of her.

Water was something she controlled, something she manipulated, something that she used to give life, to her village's crops, to the plants in her greenhouse, but she could not help but hate the element that had taken so much from her, from them all. She wished for the watery graveyard that had taken Jean to become a dried out barren husk, she wondered if she could do it, if she could generate enough heat to set it ablaze destroying every molecule of water that had ripped Jean away from them.

A large hand came to rest on her shoulder, so unlike the one she had become so accustomed to feeling. She could smell the stale stench of cigar smoke and shrugged the hand off of her.

There was no more comfort to be had anymore.

The End