Title: Cloudgazing
Author: Jordanna Morgan (librarie@jordanna.net)
Archive Rights: Please request the author’s consent.
Rating/Warnings: G.
Characters: Nightcrawler and Storm.
Setting: General.
Summary: Kurt Wagner indulges in a beautiful spring day outdoors.
Disclaimer: Marvel and Fox create the characters that sell. I’m simply playing with them.
Notes: Merely a quiet little piece of Kurt/Ororo fluff, written for Valentine’s Day.

 

Cloudgazing

For Kurt Wagner, to lie in the sun on a warm spring day was really a splendid privilege.

The grassy hillside was a quiet place on the grounds of the Xavier School, far removed from the mansion and untended by any deliberate effort at groundskeeping. Here and there, sunny dandelions bobbed in a faint breeze that rustled the long grass. Birdsongs came only distantly from the woods beyond the hill, but still there was life here: a ladybug sat prettily on the nearest dandelion, and a column of little black ants was on the march a few feet away, and every so often a butterfly would dance through the air.

Kurt stretched lazily and swished his tail through the grass, enjoying the crisp coolness of it—almost as much as he enjoyed the warmth of the sun. Today he was wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt, the better to soak its rays into his dark blue skin.

Such simple, open indolence was a luxury he had not always been able to afford. Rarely in his life had he found a place where he could expose his skin to the sunlight without fear; a place where he did not have to hide in the shadows, lest he frighten others. Even when he had traveled with the kindly people of the Munich Circus, moments of privacy were elusive among the bustling tents. There were always curious onlookers or stray children wandering about, compelling him to take refuge beneath the obscurity of cloaks and hoods.

Yet here it was different. In this place he was accepted wholeheartedly, by those who knew what it was—and also what it was not—to be unlike other people. From the very beginning, they had looked upon him without judgment, and seen a man instead of a demon.

That acceptance was a precious gift, and Kurt took every opportunity now to enjoy it.

He stretched again, and paused with one arm half-raised, studying it absently. For a long time, he had almost forgotten the real hue of his skin. He was accustomed to seeing it near-black in concealing darkness, or washed out and tainted by artificial light; yet in the pure glow of the sun, it was a rich, vibrant blue. He earnestly liked the color. Although he regretted the way many people reacted to him, he felt no shame in himself, and he was perfectly at ease with his body. It was healthy and strong and gifted with wonderful abilities, and its uniqueness was a reminder to him of God’s boundless creativity—teaching him not to judge others by the flesh, just as he did not wish to be judged himself.

Letting his arm drop onto his stomach, he gazed up at the sky. It was a much lighter and brighter but equally vivid shade of blue. Although the day was golden with sunlight, the atmosphere was populated with clouds: not rolling gray clouds heavy with rain, but soft, white, cotton-like clouds that drifted freely on the wind. Kurt smiled suddenly, thinking back to the few times in his boyhood when he had been able to admire such a sight.

Wolkenbilder, he had called them then. Picture-clouds.

His smile widened a little as he narrowed his yellow eyes and gazed intently at the airborne puffs of vapor. Yes, there, that one; a fish, perhaps. A very little fish in a very big ocean of sky, looking for a reef to hide itself in.

There was a large one, to the east—with ears like that, it could only be a rabbit. The one high above the trees was an elephant, and the one much lower in the sky could be a camel, if one put a little imagination into it. Its legs were somewhat bulbous, and its head wasn’t quite right, but it certainly had two well-proportioned humps.

And that one, just above him… that was a sailboat, trailing a misty wake behind it as it sailed across the sky. A very pretty sailboat indeed, with uncannily smooth and distinct lines. Even as Kurt gazed at it, its outline seemed to become even sharper and clearer, its sails billowing as they filled with the breeze…

With a slight start and the sudden awareness of a presence, Kurt twisted his neck to look around—and he saw Ororo Munroe standing on the crest of the hill above him. Her eyes were as white and luminous as the moon, and both of her hands were raised, moving with deliberate grace like the conductor of a symphony. Or like a sculptor. Or perhaps both, as she directed the winds to do her bidding, to sweep away bits of water vapor from the edges of the clouds and smooth the shape left behind.

Kurt glanced again at the sailboat-cloud, almost as perfect in its form as a painted portrait. Then he sat halfway up and turned to look at Ororo, smiling broadly.

Her eyes were still veiled with whiteness as they met his, but her smile was equally warm. She moved down the slope of the hill and sat beside him, without a word; and as she laid back in the grass, her slim fingers continued their mysterious tracings in the air.

Now Kurt wasn’t sure what he wanted to watch more: the extraordinary performance of the clouds, or her lovely and mesmerizing hands.

A second cloud loomed up into the form of another ship, this one taking on altogether swifter and fiercer lines: a pirate galleon, banners flying proudly. Kurt grinned in delight and glanced sideways at Ororo. She was focused intently on her atmospheric sorcery, but the corners of her mouth were turned up in a crooked, playful smile.

With a faint sigh of pleasure, Kurt leaned back and folded his arms over his chest, fixing his gaze on the artful display in the sky. The sun was still bright and warm on his skin—but it could no longer compare to the warmth that filled his heart.


© 2009 Jordanna Morgan - send feedback