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Ring of Fire

Title: Ring of Fire
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: X-Men
Character/Pairing: RoLo (Ororo/Logan)
Rating: PG=13/T
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Bingo: Longing, Midnight, New Beginnings, Black and White and tv_universe Inspiration Falls Part 2: havers' post
Warning(s): Cannon Character Deaths
Word Count: 1,912
Date Written: 20 September 2016
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.




"Logan!"

"You wanted to see me, 'Ro." It's not a question, but still, the way he says it as though his absence is yet again caused by their busy lives strikes her. She reaches out with both the magic and the mutant power inside her, and lightning starts striking the earth. Thunder rumbles in the distance as she causes a bright blue ring of lightning to spin around them.

Standing on his tip toes as he always had to do to reach her when she wasn't leaning down to meet him, he kisses the top of her head, right where her ivory mohawk flips over. "You know you can't do this," he murmurs into her ear, but his arms are holding every bit as tightly to her as she is to him.

"I can," she whispers back, tears and fresh rain falling on the ground in this midnight hour, "for a little while." But not for long enough. The words are unspoken but whisper between them nonetheless. She can not hold to him for as long as she would like. The wind howls her mournful cry but doesn't touch the lovers in their private circle of lightning that looks like blue fire as it dances in the earth.

This night is supposed to be about magic. It's supposed to be about reuniting with the loved ones who have gone on to the next realm. It's supposed to be about new beginnings and let go of the old. But she can't. She doesn't have the power to move on any more than she has the power to keep him here longer than this one night.

"I've called to you many times," she whispers, her voice etched with her intense longing. He hasn't answered her, hasn't sent her a sign at all until tonight.

"I know. I . . . I tried to answer."

"Did you?" she asks, gazing into her eyes. She notes the difference in their skin, her dark hand laying on his white, stubbled cheek. If she thought about it, she might find it amazing that his stubble still grows though he's been gone from this world for almost a year. Instead, she's too busy gazing at their black and white skin as the knowledge that this world of hatred to which they've dedicated their lives to saving was always determined to pull them apart.

"Of course," he's the answering the question she already asked him, but she doesn't hear him. She's far too lost in thought.

"Why do we do it?" she asks, blinking and gazing once more into his soulful eyes. Her thunder roars for her.

"Why do we do what, darlin'?" he asks as though he doesn't already know. He's always understood the quandaries she's faced, often before she herself has.

"Why do we let them tear us apart?" she answers. There. If he wanted to hear her say the words aloud, well, she's said them now.

"You know why, Stormy," he says, caressing his cheek and running his thumb gently over her sad lips.

"No, I don't," she nearly whimpers as her storm weeps.

"Yes, you do," he insists. "Of course you do. You were the one who always reminded me. You were the one who kept giving me strength and hope to fight the odds despite everything they did."

"My hope died," she whispers, and his heart aches even more, "with you." Lightning clashes beyond their ring.

"You can't let it," he tells her though he wishes he could say otherwise. His fingers stroke through her pure white hair.

"I didn't want to let it!" she cries. "I didn't want to let you go! I didn't want to lose you! I love you, Logan!"

"I know, darlin'," he whispers as she collapses into his arms, sobbing. "I know." He strokes her as the lightning keeps burning all around them. He lets her cry and cry, though he knows their time is shortening. When her elegant shoulders finally stop shaking violently, he adds, "But they need you, 'Roro."

He pulls away from her and lifts her beautiful, sorrowful face with a finger crooked underneath her smooth chin. He gazes steadfastly into her eyes whose blue now looks like a churning ocean and wishes he had the power to remove them. He knows he doesn't, though, and he knows, too, that he's the reason they're there. And the reason they're here tonight.

"Stormy, darlin', you gotta listen to me. They need you, love."

"But I need you!" Thunder roars like a lioness raging to be released from her cage. The wind screams.

"You got me, darlin'." He squeezes her hard, takes one of her hands in his, and entwines their fingers together. He looks back into her eyes. "You know that."

"No, I don't! I don't feel you any more! I don't feel -- "

"You don't feel, 'cause you ain't lettin' yerself feel, baby. I'm still with you. I've been with you every step o' the way, and there ain't nothing -- not death or life or anythin' else -- that's gonna take me from yer side again." He growls. He'd rip apart anything that tried, but even his mightiest berserk rage can't solve their predicament now.

"But I don't see you, Logan! I don't feel you! I don't hear you!"

"You do now, an' it's not just 'cause it's Halloween night. You've got the power, Stormy. You've always had it." He touches the spot on her chest underneath which her heart beats as wild as the storm whirling around their little circle. As he does so, he can't resist also stroking her soft breast. God, how he's missed this woman! "It's right in there. Always has been. And so am I."

"But it's not the same!"

"'Course it's not, darlin'. Mutatis mutandis. Everything changes."

"But why does that have to include us?"

"Because we're better'n th' people who did this to us. You taught me that, darlin'. I ain't forgot it. Don't you forget it either."

He brings her closer, holds her tighter in the eye of the storm. He kisses her lips long and deep, then her cheek, and finally nibbles her ear, but while he's nibbling, he whispers, "An' this ol' Wolverine hasn't given up tryin' to claw my way back to you."

She blinks and looks at him in such awed surprise that he can't seem to help the chuckle pouring from his lips. "You haven't?" she breathes, and the wind slows just a little.

He grins. "'Course not, darlin'. A woman like you? Any man'd've to be stupid not to fight with everythin' he's got through Heaven an' Hell to get back to you. Kurt made it back. Jean did, too. I'm not gonna give up, Stormy, an' you can't, too, okay?"

He gazes imploringly up into her beautiful eyes. God, how her beauty makes him ache! He's never known a woman more beautiful than his Goddess, and he knows he could search all the worlds and all the galaxies and never once come up with a woman who looked half as good as his Stormy.

He runs his fingers through her hair again before bringing her hand to his mouth and kissing her chocolate knuckles. He knows she's right of course. The world was determined to tear them apart. If they didn't see two mutants, they saw a beautiful, black woman loving a white man twice her age. They never would have left them alone, but that doesn't matter. When he gets back, he won't leave them alone. He'll keep fighting with her at his side until he's carved a place in the world that's big enough for him to love her in it forever.

"Won't do me any good," he tells her, "to fight to get back to you if you're already gone when I get back here. So you've gotta promise me you'll keep fightin' an' you'll keep lovin'. Ya won't let the hate win. Chuck would've hated for us to do that." He chuckles at the irony of his own words. "Hey, he hasn't made it back already, has he?"

She shakes her head. "No," she whispers, and perhaps that's part of why she's so lost. She lost the only man who was ever a father to her, and she lost the man she loves.

"That's fine. Who knows?" he asks with a hint of danger and the tips of his deadly fangs showing in his smile. "I might just bring the old man home with me."

"Logan!" For a moment, the storm stops. For a moment, to Ororo, the whole world seems to stop as she stares into her beloved's eyes. "You're not serious, are you?" His grin grows as she wonders if that hasn't been his plan this whole time.

He rakes his fingers through her short hair again. "Maybe. You know I'm crazy." His grin widens again. "Crazy about you."

"Logan!"

"Hey," he shrugs, "it's lame, but it's true. Now don't go arguin' with me, little darlin', an' give me yer word. Our time here is almost up."

"I'm not ready to let you go!" she cries, forgetting momentarily about his plan.

"Nor I you, darlin'," he agrees, caressing her cheek once more, "but we ain't got the means to fight this, not yet any way. I need you to be ready fer me when I do get back."

"I'll be ready," she promises, suddenly believing as she watches the determination flaring in his eyes. She's never once seen him fail at anything to which he's set his mind.

His grin is now firmly in place. "That's a good Queen," he teases.

"I'm not a Queen any more," she whispers, wondering if he's forgotten how terribly things fell apart the last time she tried to lead a people.

"You're always be my Queen, darlin', an' my love." Before she can argue, or say anything else, he kisses her again. His hands roam her body freely, pulling her closer and caressing every inch of her through the slim fabric of her silver dress. His tongue dives into her mouth and meets hers, and as they kiss, for a little while, Ororo once again feels whole.

But then, suddenly, he's gone, the wind whisking away from her despite her control of it. Thunder roars again, and the rain increases. But then she remembers. She recalls his plan and remembers the look of determination he roar. Tears still flow down her regal cheeks, but she holds her head up high. The storm ceases, and the earth beneath her bare feet becomes gentle once more.

She touches the place above her heart where he touched, and though she knows he is gone from her for now, she feels him beside her as she turns toward their school. He's right, of course. She can't give up. There are children still looking to her for guidance. There are young mutants, and old too, still seeking a refuge that isn't fueled by hatred. There's the Dream Professor Xavier started and they've always continued, the dream for which she'll keep striving as long as there is breath left in her body.

"Come back to us, Logan," she whispers into the fluttering breeze as she walks, head held high, back into their school. "Come home to me."

And just before she shuts the door on the new year beginning, she swears she can hear him answer, "I'm comin', darlin'," and she smiles as the moonlight outside glows once more.

The End

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