Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: White Queen, implied Namor/White Queen, past Cyclops/White Queen
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Bingo: Free Space (Ocean)
Warning(s): Spoilers, Cannon Character Deaths, Non-Con
Word Count: 1,337
Date Written: 16 June 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
There are nights when she likes to come down to the water’s edge, like tonight. She’s well aware of the old adage that standing against the ocean ought to make a person feel small and unimportant in this giant world, but it doesn’t do that to her. She can sit against the waves, feel them rush against her bare flesh, close her eyes, and remember. She can remember being wanted still. She can remember being made to feel like a Queen.
Emma closes her eyes and leans back, her body bare in the moonlight. There’s nothing to making a man want her even now with the few who cross her path these days. She lives way out here and by herself for a reason. She’s tired of the fight, tired of the struggle, tired of the endless war. Even more so, she’s tired of being made to feel like she’s the villain.
She sighs, tears straining to be released from behind her closed lids. She didn’t mean for things to happen the way they did. Scott Summers was the first man she’d ever truly loved, the first man who had ever really loved her. Her courtship with Sebastian had been about power and survival. She could have loved Sean easily had the Irishman ever looked in her direction, but he’d never seen her as more than an alley at the best of times and an enemy at the worst. He never would have loved her without some telepathic coercion, and although that was what had originally lured Scott into her bed, he had come to love her, before it was all done, of his own free will.
Perhaps that was, at least in part, because she had helped him to become the man he’d always wanted to be but had also always feared becoming. She hated that they had killed Xavier. The Phoenix was only partially to blame for what had happened there with the old man, and considering her part still revulsed her. Charles had been the first to believe that she could change, and by the end, he’d been the only one who had believed it. She had tried. God knows she had tried, but as Kitty Pryde had too often reminded her, a cheetah didn’t change her spots.
Looking back, Emma can easily see every mistake she made -- and that her heart was in the right place every time. She had wanted to craft this world into a better place for their people. She had wanted to help mutants be able to protect themselves. She had never wanted another child to endure what she had had to go through, being forced into an insane asylum by the very parents who had been supposed to protect her, losing her brother to hatred, and eventually becoming a killer herself just to survive. She had offered the kids a better way, and she had gotten far too many of them killed along the way.
She can still hear their voices on nights like tonight. She can still hears Catseye’s little mews. She can still hear their screams as they were killed. She can still hear Jennifer’s and Marie’s screams, even though she wasn’t present at the time of their deaths. She can still hear Everett, for whose death she was present. At one time, she had almost convinced herself that she was not to blame for the Hellions’ murders, that she could not possibly have saved them as she had been in a coma at the time Selene had struck them down, but she had been there when Everett had been killed by her own sister. She had been there, and she had failed to protect the child.
A scream erupts from her on this shore where there’s no one else to hear her cry, something she suddenly realizes she’s been doing for sometime now. She had come down here to feel better, but as always, the ghosts nipping at her mind had gotten the better of her. She doesn’t dare open her eyes now. She doesn’t want to see the blood she’ll imagine on her hands if she does.
The water washes over her legs, soothing and cool to the touch. The tide’s coming in, and it reaches further up her naked body. Its prodding fingers remind her of another life she had touched, and a life she could have had so easily if she had only left Scott behind. Perhaps she should have. Perhaps he, or even Xavier, might still be alive if she had gone with Namor, but instead she had turned him down, flirted with him when they had needed his power, and had ultimately brought him into the whole tangled mess with the Phoenix. She hasn’t seen him since, but she has felt him on many a night.
She can feel him through the water tonight as she sobs. She should stand, or even walk on her knees to get away from the water, to get away from his touch, but she is not yet able to move. She’s too caught up in the past, and as she feels the water going further up her bare thighs, she knows she is worthless. She has no right to send a King away.
The ocean roars, waves slapping against each other. Her blue eyes open, and she watches the water move through her tears. He knows she is here. Moreover, he knows why she is here. She came seeking a reminder of the power she once had, of the strength she had once possessed before she had been reduced yet again to what she had started as far back in the beginning, nothing. She has nothing. She has money, yes, and some of her fortune left, but that means nothing except for a means to survive. She is nothing but the shell of the strong and powerful woman she once was. Worst of all, she can offer nothing.
Her mind flashes back to when both Scott and Logan asked her to join them. Scott had always understood her far better than anybody else had, so the decision had been easy, even though they’d not been together at the time. He had known she had always wanted to be a teacher. He had known that teaching was an integral part of her, the only good part that had been left even then. She had went with him yet again to try to help the younger generation, and yet again, she had failed miserably.
The waves are whispering now, taunting her. She listens, cocking her head to one side, and then releases another sob as she hears what they are saying. “Who are you?” they call. “Who are you to have turned away our King’s power?”
“I am nobody,” she whispers as a wave begins to grow taller and taller before her.
“That’s right!” it roars. “You are nobody!” It cascades over her, and Emma doesn’t even try to move. The water, which had felt so good before, is now suddenly chilled as it throws herself against and into her every crevice. She came for a sense of power, but all she’s been reminded of is the fact that she has none left. She cries as the waves slap her again and again, but she does not move for this is the least of the punishments she deserves.
She does not move, and she does not hear the voices crying further up the shore. Girls turn away as guys stand and watch in shock. Everett finally turns his sorrowful gaze away. “You never deserved this,” he whispers, but she does not hear him. If she knew he was there, she would think he wanted only vengeance for her failure to protect him, but in death comes a certain knowledge. Her students, her students who she loved and lost, understand her now better than they ever did before. They understand her, and the spirits wail for her as she, in turn, cries for them all night long.