Ready To Fall
Everything in that moment had completely and utterly stopped. Alex couldn’t help but look at both adults as if she was going to be hit by a train, her mind going blank. Alex felt hands on her shoulders, trying to shake her out of the moment she was in, but she couldn’t comprehend the shouting, everything sounded like it was so damn far away. Alex remembered in that moment when she was a child, how she looked up to her father as a hero, someone who could never be hurt or someone who surely couldn’t die. She felt the moisture in her eyes, but couldn’t move her hand to wipe them away, her chest constricting so painfully that her breaths came out in short bursts. The man that she didn’t know came into her line of vision, but he was horribly blurry to the amount of tears that her body was producing. Alex saw his mouth move, but didn’t hear anything, all she could hear and see was the memories of a time when she was a normal kid playing with her father as she started falling forward.
Ororo felt ashamed that she had said anything at all. The plan was to gently tell her what happened in the time that Alex was away and ease into the conversation with her father. Ororo felt horrible after she shouted at Logan about how they almost lost their precious Professor, and immediately looked at Alex for her reaction; what she saw nearly broke her heart. Alex’s dull blue eyes had nearly popped out of her head and her mouth was open as if she wanted to scream, her entire body trembled from head to toe. She looked like she had just been told that the world had ended, and Ororo knew that’s exactly how she felt at that moment. Grabbing her shoulders and yelling out things in concern as an attempt to bring her back from whatever part of her mind she was trying to escape to, Ororo felt herself going into hysterics for the second time in one week. Not getting a reaction from the young woman, Ororo was starting to panic when she felt Logan push her aside.
“Hey! Kid! Can you her me?! Focus on me, look at me kid!” Logan had one of his hands on her shoulder, and the other was holding her jaw in place so he could look directly into Alex’s eyes. But whatever he tried to do, it was as if she was a lifeless zombie. Attempting to shake her like Ororo had done, he was getting irritated that he had to deal with this and let out a growl in the back of his throat.
“Logan stop! She’s in shock! And if I know Alex like I think I do, she’s trying to shut out the pain and confusion.” Looking at Ororo as if she was crazy, Logan was going to respond when all of a sudden; the young mutant had gone limp and lifeless in his hands. Acting on instinct, Logan had wrapped his arms around her slim waist, and picked her up bridal style. He saw that her eyes were glazed over as if she was in a place far away that they couldn’t reach.
“Crap. What happened?” Logan looked down at the young woman in his arms, and felt his irritation slowly be replaced by guilt and sadness when he noticed that she looked similar to the Professor, and couldn’t shake the feeling no matter how hard he tried.
“She fainted, Logan, that’s what happened…” Looking thoughtful for a minute, Ororo contemplated on what to do next, and the answer practically hit her in the face. Get Alex back home, where she belonged. “We need to get back to the mansion and fast.”
Feeling like he was treated like a child when Ororo had said the obvious, he had no time to retort back a cunning reply when all of a sudden; she had pivoted on her heel and started walking towards the doors. Sighing, Logan looked back down at the Professor’s daughter and started following his fellow X-Men with a scoff and thought to him self: when did I become a pack mule? Walking down the streets of Mexico City, Logan smelled a sense of calmness and hatred in the air, and wondered how that combination came about. Logan saw and felt the weird looks he was getting for carrying a girl in his arms, and shrugged them off, he had more important things to think about and thought about how he got dragged into this.
Ororo had walked with a purpose to where they had landed the X-jet, and couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen now. She knew that Alex was not going to take the next few days in stride, and knew the student body was going to ask questions, many questions, about the girl. Most of the newer students at the institute didn’t know about Alex, or that she even exists, but the older students did, and that was a comforting thought. But she couldn’t help but think, was it a mistake to not include Alex in what had happened with Stryker, Jean, and Magneto? Was it a bad idea to not tell Alex that her father had almost died trying to save Jean, but was stabilized enough to be in a coma for the past three months? Guilt had been gnawing at Ororo for God knows how long, and it had been intensified when she had gotten a mysterious call from someone named Phil Coulson that their little Alex was in the hospital after an explosion that had happened earlier that week.
God please, don’t let us lose her too. Those were the first thoughts she had when she had practically ran to the X-jet to fly out to Mexico as fast as she could, completely forgetting the other students that were attending the Institute. It wasn’t until Hank and Logan stood in her way when all rationality came back to her and she took a minute to stop and think.
Ororo was doing some paper work in Charles Xavier’s office when she drifted in her memories, only to be brought back by the shrill ring of the phone. Looking at the caller I.D., Ororo immediately thought that the number was from the government when ‘Unknown’ had flashed across the screen.
“Good morning, this is Ororo Iqadi T'Challa. Thank you for calling the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, how can I help you?” Picking up the receiver, Ororo answered the phone as she always did, but hesitated when she said Xavier in the calling. Ororo wasn’t in any mood to interact with other people, and this supposed government official was no different.
“Yes, hello Ms. T’Challa, my name is Phil Coulson and I was told that you could help with mutant affairs.” The person on the other end of the call had a monotone voice, but held a bit of concern and excitement in his tone. Sitting up much straighter in the chair, she was in the mood to speak now.
“Yes, we can. May I ask what the problem is?” Ororo was completely curious, she would’ve known if something majorly drastic had happened in the mutant community because Hank would’ve barged through the door, but he hadn’t at any time recently. I wonder which mutant did what to get put on the government’s radar. Rolling her eyes in a very un-Ororo like manner, she couldn’t help but feel a little exasperated. Don’t the mutant community watch the news? Surely they would’ve known what had happened at Alcatraz Island by now right?
“Yes, it appears that one of your mutants was involved in a bomb accident that had blown up one of the Polanco Twin Towers in Mexico City, and it would be imperative that you should come by and retrieve her from Hospital Trinidad.” It was at that moment that Hank had barged through the doors out of breath, and it was a second later that Ororo knew which mutant was in that hospital. A million and one thoughts went through her mind as she saw the panicked face that Hank was wearing and came back to Earth when the voice on the other end had asked if she was all right. No I’m not all right! Clearing her throat, Ororo tried to voice the question that she was dying to know.
“Is— is she all r—right?” Feeling the tears swelling in her eyes but refused to let them fall, Ororo couldn’t help but feel the world crashing piece by piece around her. First Jean goes AWOL, then Scott goes his own way, the Professor is in a coma, and now Alex is in the hospital? What else could possibly go wrong? Ororo felt two strong furry hands holding her shoulders keeping her up right and sent a thanking smile towards Hank, getting a grave nod in return.
“She’s stable for the most part. A sprained ankle, a few bruised ribs, a large gash on the back of her head, and the doctors believe that her spinal cord may have been damaged but nothing too life threatening.” This time, Ororo let the tears fall whole-heartedly and were immediately wrapped in her blue friend’s arms, her body racking with tears. Letting the phone be taken from her numb hands, Ororo let Hank deal with the man on the phone and could distinctly hear him say that we would leave as soon as we can. Trying her best to compose herself, Ororo felt her throat go dry and her head was swimming with everything that had happened in the past two years. Ororo had to be the one to get their little Alex back, she just had to.
Sitting up straight, Ororo looked directly into Hanks eyes and silently asked him the question she knew he knew she wanted to ask. Giving her an exasperated sigh, Ororo knew that Hank wasn’t going to let her go, and she jumped to her feet in alarm.
“Now wait a second Ororo. We need to think about this rationally before we cause a scene—“ But Hank never got to finish his sentence when a bolt of lightning had struck the ground just outside of the window of the room they were in.
“I don’t care about causing a scene Hank! Alex, our little Alex, is in the hospital; this is the first time in weeks that we have gotten any information on her and the first thing we get is a call telling us that she’s injured and in the hospital! I’m going Hank and you can’t stop me!” Stomping from the room, Ororo made a mad dash through the throngs of students that had come out of their classes to investigate about the struck of lightning. As soon as she was about to go through the door that led to the hanger that resided the X-jet, a hand had grabbed her elbow and spun her around to come face to face with Logan. Glaring at the man and feeling her eyes go white; Ororo had tried to yank her arm free when his grip had tightened. Standing behind him was the rest of the members of the X-Men with worried faces and Hank had just arrived on the scene.
“And where do you think you’re going?” Logan was not in the best of moods that morning, after his class had tried to play a little prank on him for being the new professor, he couldn’t help but feel annoyed at everything. He really needed a beer, or something that wasn’t so nutritious in the mansion’s kitchen.
“Let go of me Logan.” The surrounding air had dropped a few degrees thanks to Ororo’s powers, but Logan refused to let go of the woman’s arm. He would rather deal with an angry Storm then go back to his class full of little devils. Logan felt a hand on his shoulder, and looked behind him to see Hank’s grave and sad face.
“What’s up Doc?” Raising his one eyebrow at the oversized furby, Logan felt his hand be zapped from the woman he was stubbornly holding onto. Not even flinching in the slightest, he looked back and forth between the oldest members of the X-Men. Hank raised his arm in a shooing gestured at the other members and they scurried along, not wanting to be in the middle of a fight. Ironic since we have fights every other month. Looking back at the other two, he realized that they were glaring at each other with Ororo’s eyes still stark white. O..k? What the hell is up with these two? Stepping in-between the ferocity of the two, Logan could smell the sense of fear and anxiety coming from Ororo, and tiredness coming from Hank.
“I’ll say it again. What’s up doc?” Never receiving an answer, Ororo had stormed off towards the hanger and was about to stop her when Hank called his name.
“We’ve received word that Alex Xavier is injured and is currently in Hospital Trinidad in Mexico City. Ororo will be leaving very shortly, and I was hoping you go with her.” Giving the fury doctor a hard look, he distinctly remembered learning about the Professor’s daughter when he first got to the mansion, but that was nearly two years ago.
“She all right?” Even though he didn’t exactly know who she was, Logan felt some type of worry gnaw at his heartstrings. Just because she’s the Professor’s kid; Logan tried to convince himself.
“She’s sustained some injures in a bomb accident and Ororo is scared to death. I’m asking again if you would go with her.” Giving him another hard look, Logan was thinking about the possibilities. If I go with Ororo, I get to leave this devil infested place for a few days…but if I don’t….. Trying not to physically shudder in front of the doctor, Logan gave him a curt nod and walked through the door that Ororo had gone through a few minutes prior. Logan could hear the X-jet’s engines revving to life, and quickly jogged through the hanger before it could take off and leave him. Sitting next to Ororo in the pilot’s chair, Logan said the only thing he could think of to calm his friend’s nerves.
“If she’s anything like the Professor, she’ll be fine.” However, Logan wasn’t expecting a reply.
“If only you knew.”
It had taken a few hours, to arrive in Mexico City, but both Logan and Ororo had seen the damage from the air at what was before the Polanco Twin Towers. Once landing, they were greeted by the Mexican’s secret service and were escorted to meet the President. They were told how things were taken care of and how the mutant communities were settling down. It was a bit hard for Ororo and Logan to understand, but luckily the President had thought ahead and asked for a translator to be present. Logan was the one who had asked how Alex ended the strife between them, and the President had laughed in their faces. They were surprised to know that people in black suits came out of nowhere and took care of the entire problem and then they just disappeared. Both Ororo and Logan were a bit flabbergasted but relieved nonetheless, glad that they didn’t had to fight. The President had told them that Alex was waiting for him at the AGN, and would escort them himself; Ororo and Logan had agreed.
Seeing Alex sitting there at the AGN had been the happiest moment of Ororo’s life, but now she just couldn’t wait to get the girl home in her own room. Getting seated at the pilot’s chair on the X-jet, Ororo immediately started the engine and was setting the mansion’s direct coordinates. She could hear Logan strapping in the unconscious girl, and saw him sit in the chair next to her. Having her eyes trained forward as the jet rose into the sky, Ororo could feel Logan’s gaze penetrating into the side of her head. A few minutes had gone by and his gaze never wavered, until finally she had enough.
“What Logan.” Finally turning to one of her close male friends, she could clearly see the calculating gaze he was giving her, and it unnerved her to no end.
“Is she really that important to you?” Ororo could see the years that she had spent with the young woman, playing and learning together as if they were actual family. Whenever Alex had a problem, she had always gone to her; and no matter how busy or annoyed she was, Ororo always gave time to the curious young mutant. Ororo really had no way to respond to Logan’s question, so she kept her mouth shut, knowing that she was going to start crying again.
“So if you’re not going to answer my question, at least tell me why she fainted?” How the hell am I going to answer that? Ororo really had no answer to Logan’s question, and tried her very best to piece together something that would quench his thirst.
“The Professor and Alex have a…. close and complicated relationship. Alex grew up without a mother and the Professor had tried to shield her away from the complexities and harshness of the world, but that didn’t end so well. One day when Alex was really little, she was attacked from a rogue mutant and the Professor was there before anything really bad could happen. Ever since then, Alex always saw her father as someone who was invincible, a type of superhero.” Thinking back on it, Ororo couldn’t help but smile when she remembered Alex followed her father through the institute like a lost puppy.
“Oh please. No one is invincible.” After giving him a point stare that Ororo was silently hinting at the fact that he was practically invincible, Logan saw her silent meaning.
“The point is, she is and always will be a daddy’s little girl and that won’t change. Finding out that something had happened to her father, and she wasn’t there to do anything about it, I think it hurt her more than anything. I just hope she can cope with everything once she wakes up.” Ororo began nibbling at her lower lip out of nervousness.
“So why was she here in Mexico then?”
“She wanted to get away from everything for a while. Her and Scott had a bit of a falling out, and Jean was caught in the middle. Not only that, but everyone always saw her as the Professor’s shadow and everyone had high expectations for her. Alex wanted to stand on her own two feet, and Mexico was her only option and she left with the Professor’s consent.” Ororo knew now that wasn’t the best option after all.
“She is so much like the Professor...If anyone can pull through this, it would be his kin.” Stealing a glance at Logan, she noticed that he was gripping the edge of his sit and she could see that his metal claws were just itching to come out. Looking back towards the sky, Ororo couldn’t help but silently agree.
“I hope you’re right Logan… I hope you’re right.”