Of Photons and Storms – by Darlin
Disclaimer – Marvel owns all characters depicted and mentioned herein. There's certainly no profit being made on my part, just blowing off steam.
A/N – A little something I wrote back in August 2007 when I was very much into NextWave but hating what Marvel did to Storm. After re-reading and tweaking it during NaNoMoWri, this year I decided to post it. That was my goal for NaNoMoWri, to complete four stories I'd started a while ago. I did that and finished a short original story so I'm satisfied.
People flying above the tall buildings of New York was nothing new to most New Yorkers but the woman standing on the very top of the Empire State building looking as if she meant to jump was. A crowd of people had gathered on the last level of the building where you could look through telescopes and view the majesty of New York City . They were craning their necks and gaping, some pointing, none of them seemingly bothered that if she jumped she might squash them.
Storm paused in her flight towards home when she saw the woman. Often as not people or rather those endowed with super powers perched atop buildings taking advantage of the privacy such a position gave them but there was something about this woman that led Ororo to believe she was in danger and not a super hero taking a break. She was a beautiful sight to behold as she changed course, her white hair flowing behind her in the increased wind as she accelerated to save the would be jumpers life.
"Please, Miss, do not panic! Do not jump! I am here to help you!" Ororo said in her calm authoritative voice that sounded of foreign places.
"Jump?" the lady said and then she began to shake as laughter overtook her.
Ororo landed beside the woman feeling somewhat irritated to be laughed at.
"Well, we super types do have to be on call twenty-four seven I suppose," the lady said slapping her thigh.
"I know you," Ororo said a little hesitantly. "Are you not one of the old Avengers?"
"Old? Girl please!"
"I meant no offense."
"I'm just playing with you, hey, Storm, what's up?"
"I hope nothing serious. You were not thinking of . . . of jumping were you?"
Monica Rambeau, better known as Captain Marvel, Pulsar and now Photon, threw her head back and laughed again, a rich joyful sound that to Ororo grated like nails being dragged down the length of a chalkboard.
"Please, Aaron – that's Machine Man to you – he may get on my last nerve but I'm not about to take a dive now or ever besides since I'm energy itself I don't think that would work. I don't know if I'd really be able to kill myself though that's something to consider after all I'm not invulnerable per se."
"Then all is well with you and I'll leave you to enjoy – uh, if you don't mind may I ask just what is it exactly that you're doing up here?"
"Oh, just relaxing. I couldn't go to my usual spot, there's this great church tower I like to hang out at but Spidey's over there sulking or thinking, which I couldn't tell but sulking if I know my boy Spidey, and I thought, 'Monica, it's too beautiful a day not to sit back and take notice,' so here I am, just taking a breather from all the chaos that's my life as leader of a super hero team."
"So, how's the marriage thing working out for you and T'Challa the baller?"
"T'Challa the . . .the what?"
"I always thought he was one fine brother even if he does act like he's got a stick stuck up his arse as Elsa would say, no offense, Storm. I mean, he was just so moody and sneaky and all but you're married to him now so you already know how he is."
"My beloved is a wonderful man! In fact, marriage is wonderful! You should try it."
"It'll be a cold day in hell before I bind myself to some idiot who wants to control every aspect of my life but," she laughed now and shrugged, "whatever floats your boat."
"You do know he was going around checking out a bunch of other women before he asked you to marry him don't you? I mean I'm not trying to start anything but I think you should know that he asked someone else before he asked you and it wasn't way back in the day when he was hooked up with that other Monica."
"I don't see what that has to do with anything."
"Well, if you don't mind, cool."
"We were childhood sweethearts," Ororo said though her jaw was tightly clenched.
"Oh? Didn't know that. He never mentioned it or you for that matter. I thought he was deep into some other woman, forget her name – oh well, like, it so doesn't matter chica," Monica said unconsciously lapsing into her teammate Tabitha "Boom Boom" speak in her attempt to blow it off.
"Well, it has been . . . nice seeing you again," Ororo muttered.
"It's always nice seeing a fellow super sister but don't be in a rush," Monica laughed. "So, I've heard of three ways but those bodyguards – how's that working out for you? I'd send them packing if it were me. Is it weird all of you in bed together?"
"That's complete nonsense! They're his body guards not sex slaves."
"I never got that either, a man like him, nice bod and I do mean nice, and strong and he's intelligent too, but dude's got two half naked female body guards. What the hell's that about? I mean if he's not screwing them it reeks of male chauvinism and insecurity don't you think?"
"I don't think I even know you that well to be having this conversation."
"You're funny and that's good, T'Challa could use a little loosening up. How is he anyway?"
"He's wonderful. He's waiting for me at the Baxter building," Ororo said.
"I should drop by, say hey to the old panther."
"I really must be going I'm late as it is."
"Well, you don't want to be late. He was always punctual if nothing else. You know you can be honest with me what's it really like being married? The fleshy ones I'm surrounded by lately can barely hold their beer much less make a coherent sentence."
"Oh, humans, human men I mean. Aaron's getting on my last nerve. That's his way of referring to us. I've been spending far too much time with my team, I'm even starting to sound like them. We haven't been very busy lately. That can't be good, I mean sounding like them, well and that we don't have much to do. Have you ever met Machine Man?"
"I don't recall."
"Very annoying man."
"Well, my man has made me feel like a completely different person. He was of course my first love and now he's my whole life, I can't imagine living without the greatest love I've ever known."
"From what I hear you two didn't really see each other before he popped the question."
"I don't think you and I actually travel in the same circles, Monica so I don't think anyone you would know could possibly know anything about T'Challa and myself."
"If you'd ever been an Avenger you'd know Cap and Tony are gossip whores but I can tell you I never participated in their childish games. Being an Avenger meant something more to me than sitting around playing poker, drinking beer, smoking cigars and gossiping like old women. Your hubby was just as bad but I guess that was because he was spying on us all those years."
"T'Challa would never do anything that dishonorable, you're very much mistaken."
"Maybe we aren't talking about the same T'Challa."
"T'Challa's an honorable and good man and you would know that if you had spent any time with him. In fact, you'll have to come visit when we return to Wakanda. I've never been happier. You would like it, it's so different there, so advanced and the people are so happy to have me, there's no pollution, not too many villains to run into and what few there are, are second rate, nothing like the ones I was used to fighting as an X-Men, which, by the way is such a relief. I actually feel as if I'm on holiday. And what a holiday it is, just a virtual paradise, I can't say enough about it. I'm just so happy! I have a man, a title, a country to rule and everyone loves us! Life is wonderful for me!"
"You don't need to try so hard to convince me," Monica said. "So, heard from the X-Men?"
"Uh . . . not lately. I'm sure they've been very busy saving the world as usual and then my boo and I've been on a whirlwind tour visiting various dignities which has kept us pretty busy and now of course we're members of the Fantastic Four."
Monica, raised an eyebrow then squeezed a polite smile out. "I heard some of those people you were meeting with weren't exactly welcoming."
"Those few were nothing but qualified villains such as Dr. Doom."
"What was the point of visiting them then?"
"It's protocol when you're a king and queen newly married to visit other figureheads of neighboring countries whether they're evil or not. So, have you heard from the Avengers?"
"Well, not lately but you know what with the Civil War mess they're trying to clean up after and saving the world here and there and all the dinner parties those guys have to attend, they're just way too busy."
"I mean I'm finally in charge again, I've got a kick ass team, boy can they blow things up – I kid you not, and you'd think Tony "Playboy" Stark could spare a few minutes for his ex leader and colleague that son of a . . ." she muttered the last part, nothing flattering, under her breath.
"And you're Queen of Africa . . . damn!" Monica said suddenly, much louder, almost shouting.
"Wakanda. I'm Queen of Wakanda."
"Oh, yeah, right, whatever – my point is we're on top of the world you and me and our old teammates completely ignore us. I think it's jealousy. Really," she added at Ororo's look of disbelief, "I do."
"Just what team is it you're involved with now, Monica?"
"Nextwave. We're the Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, or H.A.T.E. if you will, we fight the Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction, you know saving the world from the usual Brocolli Men, Ultra Samuari, Mindless Ones, and purple underpants wearing dragons though there's only one of those, was anyway, oh, and healing America by beating people up."
Ororo and Monica exchanged mutual bewildered looks.
"I really just said that didn't I?" Monica groaned. "Okay, I know it sounds crazy but really there were these broccoli men, and I hate broccoli, and they're grown in a big ol' field, you have to see it to believe it and believe me it's nothing like anything the Avengers battle. I remember when I was leader we once went up against . . ."
"Um, excuse me I really must be going. I don't want to keep my boo waiting. He's selfish like that, if I'm out of his sight for too long he gets a little crazy. We're trying hard to sell more comic books not to mention worlds to conquer, villains to topple et cetera, et cetera."
"Don't you mean new worlds to visit?"
"That too, it's really all the same. T'Challa and I are now important in the scheme of life as we know it."
"Um, Monica . . . if you happen to run into Wolverine tell him I said hello will you?"
"Wolverine? That little nasty, wild man with no manners? He's not on my team, at least not yet, so I don't think I'll be seeing him any time soon. The Avenger's aren't very sociable any more. Tell me, is he looking for a new team to join do you know? It's always a good selling point with the higher ups if you say he's considering becoming a member of your team.
"I'm assuming that's the only reason they let him join the Avengers. After Wanda killed off Jack, Clinton and the Vision, they got stuck with a lousy line up, never called to ask if I wanted to be on the team either. Instead they got some woman in a skimpy skin tight costume for the T and A factor and did I mention I had to stop using my name because she came back? And I'm the one who's always, always there for them and they know it too. Have an emergency and I come, you don't have to ask me twice.
"And look at me, Storm I look good in my leather! But they made one hell of a mess didn't they? Splitting super folks down the middle like that, stupid Tony, wouldn't trust him to save my life, kind of makes me feel justified but not, you know, in a mean vindictive kind of vengeful way, just justified that he didn't know what he was doing and made an ass out of himself."
"O . . . kay. All righty then. Well, maybe I'll see you around. Good-bye."
"Definitely, I'll send you guys a Christmas card and some fruit cake. T'Challa always liked my fruit cake. You know I always thought he looked better with the mask on. Sexy outfit. Had fantasies about him, girl you know there aren't too many brothers in tight leather saving the world and all. Tell him I said hey. Well, I've gotta book too, the teams no good without me, I'm their leader you know just like I was for the Avengers back in the day. Those were the days all right. Well, see you around. Tell T'Challa I said hi. See ya around."
"Er . . ."
"Electromagnetic spectrum take me to light speed!" Monica shouted as she shot into the air waving to Ororo as she went.
Ororo also soared into the sky back in the direction she'd come from. Nevertheless she couldn't help but hear the strands of a peculiar little ditty before Monica disappeared into nothing but a bright beam of light.
"It's like Shakespeare
But with lots more punching
It's like Goethe
But with lots more crunching
But the boat's still floating
No it's not!
The mother(honk)ing boat is exploding!
"That woman really needs a man or a physciatrist," Ororo muttered as she headed back to her husband. "I'm going to kill, T'Challa," she added, "asking someone else to marry him before he asked me? The son of a bitch. I can't believe him! Maybe I'm the one who needs a psychiatrist."