Disclaimer: these are always lame. I obviously don't own any of these characters, etc.
For my boyfriend Nick... for always inspiring me, moreso than any X-Writer or artist.
A lot of people sigh. And a lot of people sigh for a lot of different reasons.
To anyone who knew him, who knew them, they would know just which type of sigh it was.
It was a sigh of regret. A sigh of loss. A curious sigh – one he had let out hundreds, probably thousands, of times before… especially here.
Already on his knees, his head fell against the words engraved on the tombstone in front of him, so lost in memories and buried anticipation, hope, that he didn't even hear the woman approaching behind him.
"I want to believe it too, Scott."
Cyclops jumped, standing nearly immediately to face Ororo Munroe, his deceased wife's best friend; perhaps her greatest confidant.
She broke their silent gaze first. "That she really will rise again."
"It's good to see you, Ororo."
"The feeling is mutual, old friend. It's been far too long." Munroe smiled, stepping forward to hug him.
After a moment he broke their embrace, stiffening. "I just can't believe it's been two years." His voice shook at the last two words – and for once, Summers was glad he was wearing a visor.
Their eyes darted back to the headstone in unison, silence enveloping each of them as thoughts of Jean Grey, wife and sister, rushed through their minds.
Storm couldn't help but stiffen a little herself as she watched Scott bury his emotions and raise his guard. She stared at him, thinking to herself that Summers was undoubtedly doing what he considered to be "taking one for the team."
They stood in silence yet again until she brushed past him, kneeling to place an assortment of Wakandian flowers at the base of the stone.
She ran her own fingers over SHE WILL RISE AGAIN and then stood, glaring at Cyclops.
"You weren't at the wedding."
Her stance was different now, Summers thought. Almost threatening.
He tried to deflect. "I heard it was beautiful."
"A crowning moment in my life," she replied, her stance unwavering, her tone sharp. Her eyes turned briefly back to the memorial behind her. "I had always expected Jean to be there at my side."
"I know she would have—"
"—and therefore, the man she loved and lived for, by default… even our own friendship aside.
You not only dishonored that friendship, Scott – you dishonored Jean."
Cyclops' own tone soured this time. "Ororo. I think you're taking it a bit far."
"I do not pretend that you and I have ever been more than what we are, Scott. But you have always been dear to me. I have always respected you – on the field and off. But it was that very day that I realized that respect was unreturned."
The wind seemed to pick up, slicing through the two of them and quickly becoming the only noise in the area.
Cyclops turned his back on her. "I'm not going to do this here, Storm. Not now. Not today."
The X-Man took a few steps away and stopped. His stomach sank. "I'm sorry you feel that way."
Munroe softened, thinking for a moment. "I am sorry as well, Scott. I did not mean to be so… abrasive."
"It's a hard day for all of us, Ororo." He finally turned again to face her. "…I wanted to be there. Please believe that. But you even said, point blank, that Emma wasn't welcome… what was I supposed to do?"
Wind ripped past them yet again and the two X-Men seemed to be looking at one another for the first time. Scott Summers, Cyclops – Emma Frost's lover and Co-Headmaster. Ororo Munroe, Storm – Queen of Wakanda.
Scott's lips parted but quickly shut again. He shook his head and finally found his voice.
"Thanks for coming, Ororo. It means a lot."
Storm simply watched as he walked back toward the mansion.
And then she sighed.