Reggie sighed and did his tie and eyed himself appreciatively in the
mirror. Although he wasn’t quite sure why he was dressing for the funerals
because he hadn’t know Willow, and Oliver wasn’t a friend.
‘Didn’t even know the Sheila,’ he grumbled to himself. He looked around the elegant room he had spent the night in. It was nice enough but the fact that he knew the guy who owned the joint was related to Oliver didn’t thrill him any.
He picked up the hanky in his pocket, and eyed a completed ensemble now. They had given him clothing and when he missed breakfast, somebody had brought him a tray. He sighed not able to shake the bad feeling.
Aubrey rushed about the room looking
for another tissue because she had spent a box already. She couldn’t believe
somebody as young as Willow was dead, she had been her friend after all.
There was small knock on the door and a quick entrance before she could get to the doorknob. Josh walked in smiling.
"You look great." Josh’s expression changed when he took closer look. "We could do something about those red eyes though." He sighed at her sorrow stricken face, "Can I do anything?"
Aubrey looked at him and sat down with a sigh. "Are you made of stone?" she laughed. "Guys seem to deal with things better."
"Yeah, I guess." He mumbled hoping she didn’t notice that he had turned away with teary eyes. "Or maybe guys keep busier than females." He joked weakly.
Aubrey laughed and jumped up to punch him in the shoulder when she noticed his unshed tears. She was overcome with another emotion that made her tears fall faster.
"Oh, Josh." She sobbed and threw herself into her brother’s arms. Both siblings knew their arms were filled with love then.
Khaki was put with another girl for the night and she was taken with the mutant with the streak in her hair. Khaki sat on the bed kicking her feet happily watching Rogue rush about in the room. She watched her spray perfume and carefully applying her make up.
"Why do you wear that?" Khaki
sighed. "You don’t need it."
Rogue shot her a dazzling smile. "Unlike you, I need a little with mah looks."
"You think I am pretty?"
Khaki jumped up to the mirror and looked at her reflection and groaned. What did she see that Khaki didn’t? "It’s just me."
Rogue laughed, "Khaki, you are naturally pretty. I wish I had that sparkly look that you do." Khaki shrugged. Rogue looked at the younger mutant, with her perfect skin and tiny sparkles dancing about her face made Khaki’s almond eyes and shiny hair jump out at people. "Why do you have those sparkles all over you?" Rogue asked with a smile.
"I don’t know. It just wouldn’t wash off after they made me sleep." Khaki looked in the mirror again. She didn’t see anybody else with sparkles.
"Sleep? You mean when they experimented on you?" Rogue narrowed her eyes at Khaki a little confused. The girl simply shrugged and looked out the window at where they were preparing for the service.
"Rogue, Willow died right?"
"How did she die?"
Rogue joined her at the window and sighed.
Sassy looked at herself ready for the funeral and wiped a tear. She laughed and the stubble showing through her stockings already.
‘Guess you can’t take the coyote out of the mutant.’ She thought of her lost friend and sat on the bed. She had wanted to protect younger girl but they had separated. Why didn’t she know all the details? These people seemed to take good care of them. She threw herself against the bed and looked at the ceiling torn.
Kodiak laughed at the suit the blue guy had loaned him. He studied his image in the mirror.
‘Too big’ he laughed to himself, and looked at the cuffs that came past his thumbs. He took a breath and searched for a needle and thread. He smiled as he produced one from a kit found in the dresser.
He began to thread the needle carefully and let his mind wander. He caught a quick glimpse of himself in the full length mirror. His look didn’t give away what he was thinking, and he was glad.
‘I want answers.’ He growled as he began to push the threaded needle through the fabric.
Hank could hear Alex’s sobs from the bathroom, and his heart went to her. He knew her siblings didn’t share her feelings of loss like she did. She was a very forgiving person, and that was one of the reasons he loved her.
She came to his room in tears and he
held her until she fell asleep. When she woke she began to cry again.
He knocked on the door gently. "Alex, I retrieved your clothing and things from your domicile." He called gently.
He heard a giggle through the sobs, and the doors opened. A smiling, red eyed Alex stared at him a little amused. "Domicile?"
He smiled back, "Go to see you smile." He handed her the dress still on the hanger. "For awhile I thought I might need to call Betty Ford," he joked weakly.
She rolled her eyes and kissed him quickly disappearing back into the bathroom with a slam of the door. Beast groaned and hesitated to tell her that he needed to use the bathroom.
Justice marched into Jordan’s room with a dainty dress for his little angel. He smiled when he saw her still in her bed. She did remind him of an angel. She stirred slightly and he remembered how late they had been up, and decided to let her sleep.
He was glad he had got up early and dressed so he could take the time to help her get ready. He looked at her child hands and her small body, and remembered the incredible mind she had. ‘Was she like me? Was she like Chloe?’ He had been denied knowing it. Denied feeding her the first bottle. Denied her first smile. Denied telling her not to talk back. He knew she needed him now but he felt more than denied of so many things.
His father’s funeral, the man who wanted Justice like him. He was to mourn the man he wanted to hit. He watched Jordan sleep, and remembered, ‘Hate isn’t our way. Hate breeds hate. Violence breeds violence.’ He smiled at the words his mother had taught them once. What had made him think of them? Tears stung his eyes when he thought of not knowing she was his daughter all these years. Years he couldn’t replace, years he that had been a void in his life without her. ‘Dad? Why?’
Allyson came from the bathroom to see Logan putting on the same suit he had donned for their wedding. He wrestled with the tie and began to pull at it aggravated.
"Do you own another suit, honey?" Ally said quietly. Logan grunted, and she walked to him slowly taking his tie in her hands. Slowly she worked out the knots he had spun. She was choked up but refused to let her tears grab her.
"You look handsome." She mustered a smile for him.
Logan wasn’t fooled, "Hey, it’s me." He grabbed her hands gently. Ally’s face fell completely, and she buried her head against his chest.
"He was your old man, Al," he pulled her tight to let her know he was there, "Don’t feel like you are going to go against Hayley by mourning." He sighed, "Alex will need you today but I’m here for you."
She made no sound but hugged him back. Logan ran his hands over her soft curls and caught a glimpse of his knuckles entwined in her hair. He thought about his claws and how he had wanted to bury them into Adams, he wanted to spare the others this pain. He squeezed her again and wished it had been him. He owed them that.
Gambit woke up with Hayley’s raven locks sprawled across his chest. He untangled his arm from under her body, and brushed the hair from her face. He smiled at the still slumbering person on his chest.
With her eyes closed and even breathing she looked like an angel to him. Her lips were slightly parted as if she would speak but she only stirred slightly and snuggled against him a little tighter. He watched her amused as she held him like a giant teddy bear. He smiled at her and realized she had a much softer side. He forgot she could be vulnerable.
The birds outside called his attention to the window and the sight of the daylight made him jump. His head spun to look at the time. ‘AH!’ he yelled in his own head, they were late. He turned to shake Hayley but she looked so content that he hugged her instead. She moved to comply his grasp but didn’t wake. He laughed a little but he felt for her being so tired. He groaned as he pulled the covers off of her exposing a breast. He covered it gingerly and laughed, ‘Aint, I the gen’leman.’
He gave in and shook her, "Hayley!" She moaned and moved her knee up his leg quickly connecting with his crotch. He groaned and shook her harder. ‘Even asleep she don’ make dis easy,’ He needed a cigarette. He began to push her off of him gently and her eyes flew open.
"Mom?" she called softly.
Remy’s eyes open wide a little shocked. He hadn’t expected her to call for a parent, and considering she was burying her father today made him wonder.
"No, it’s Gambit." He said untwining their bodies.
She blinked and recognized him finally. He was surprised when she reached up and touched his mouth gently, and then smiled at him. She started to put her head back on his chest as she drew the cover back to her shoulders, but Remy grabbed her elbow.
"No," he said gesturing to the clock. "We overlsep’,"
Hayley’s eyes flew open quickly, "The funeral." She gasped.
Gambit watched her run into the bathroom leaving him to grab a cigarette. The Adams fellow, he had never met him but he wanted to kill him for what he did to Rayne and Hayley. Hayley didn’t have to say it but he knew she had some ghosts with her father. He took a thoughtful puff on the cigarette and looked to the bathroom door. Could the passion they held silent be enough? He wanted answers and he only knew of one other he could talk to.
‘Why Rayne? She didn’ do not’in. She was innocen’,’ he decided. He wondered once again, what Adams had done to make Hayley so cold?
Eric sat with his children as he oversaw the goings on in the lab. He watched Deanna and Amber safely from behind a two way mirror. He was sure Deanna knew he was there watching as a voyeur would but the glass wasn’t there for her, it was there for the person on the table.
Amber stood with arms folded and her head held high as she stood to the side. She kept her cocky stare at Deanna.
"Perhaps, Wolf needs some persuasive treatment." He eased back into his chair thoughtfully.
Wanda, or as she was better known as the Scarlet Witch looked at Magneto, "What are you planning?"
Magneto’s gaze fell upon Pietro his son, also known as Quicksilver, "Sometimes honey does work better than vinegar."
Quicksilver and Wanda exchanged a glance. "The funeral is today." Pietro stated flatly. It was obviously on everyone’s mind.
"Yes, closure for my old friend’s" Magneto said with an emotionless face and a straight monotone voice.
"Are we bringing her?" Wanda motioned to Amber in the labs.
"Yes and I want her leash very short." Eric snarled. Sidney had done his job well. "I have other hand held controls for you both." He indicated to the devices that sat on the table in front of them. "Strap them to you, and watch her closely."
"If she is such a liability why are we bringing her?" Quicksilver asked.
"She is a strong mutant, and I don’t want her behind." Magneto eyed the lovely young lady. He was worried she would see her brother and remember things but she should be easy enough to control. He would have put her against the X-men before, if he had her before. An evil smile crept to his face.
‘Poor Oliver.’ Eric thought. ‘Did you know you would be relenting your children as well as your grand children?’ Magneto stood slowly and noticed his children were watching him curiously.
"Where are you going?" Wanda stood as well.
"We will need flowers for a funeral after all." He smiled evilly.
Quicksilver raised his eyebrows. It was interesting to see a mastermind at work.
"My son." Eric coo-ed. "I do need you to do something."
Quicksilver got to his feet and Magneto wrapped his arm around his shoulders, leading him from the room. Eric smiled to himself because he knew his son would do what he wanted.
‘Rest in Peace, Oliver,’ Eric thought, ‘It won’t last for long.’
Xavier took a deep breath as he faced his reflection. Everyone expected him to be strong, to be the leader. The truth was he was shaken that his brother was dead and that he couldn’t reach Hayley on a personal level yet. She almost seemed to blame him.
He was as ready as would ever be for the funerals. It was a solemn occasion for him. He knew most were attending out of obligation for Willow’s funeral, and he was afraid some would be attending Oliver’s to make sure the monster was buried. They only saw Oliver’s monster side, and they had never seen his kinder persona. He knew Alex, Ally and Justice would remember the kinder man but he worried Hayley would be burying the demon she had always known.
Xavier shook his head at the memory of losing touch with his brother. He had changed a lot after his wife’s death. He felt by not staying with his brother, he had a controlling role in his brother’s insane treatment of life. He knew it wasn’t true but he still had the nagging thoughts. He thought of all the people he had known.
It was tiring, all the skeletons in the closets, all of the funerals he had attended, all of the relations that had been lost and the task of helping the mutants now. The fight between mutants and the rest of the world seemed to lie on his shoulders and it was going to be a long battle. He believed in what he was doing. He sighed and felt exhausted all of the sudden.
He closed his eyes and meditated. He refused to appear weak or vulnerable to anyone. Everyone expected him to be strong and to be the leader after all.
Allyson stood in the hall waiting for Logan to emerge from the room. The twins were at her feet tugging on her leg. She sighed at the thought of the third one that would be joining them shortly.
Logan was tearing the room apart looking for a shoe, and Amber and Michael now squirmed in their dressy clothing. Ally could see a dark haired figure emerge a couple rooms down as another joined them, and Amber ran towards them.
Gambit could feel the foreign object hit his leg and he turned around to see the toddler smiling up at him. He grabbed Hayley’s arm and pointed to the little girl.
"Dey got me!" he joked smiling back at the child.
A corner of Hayley’s mouth turned up when she spied Amber, and when Gambit reached down and picked her niece up she began to frown. Amber began to flirt with the red-eyed man until Hayley held her hands out for the child.
"That’s my other niece, Amber," Hayley said quickly and took the child from him.
Gambit wasn’t quite ready to relent his hold on Amber and gave Hayley the baby with a sigh. Hayley couldn’t explain it but she didn’t want Gambit getting cozy with the idea of being around the younger members of her family. She didn’t want him to feel like he was to take a parental role in her child’s life. Maybe she didn’t want him to feel obligated to her by the unborn child she carried, or maybe she was afraid it would create a permanent tie.
She shook her head with a sigh, and caught the sight of Ally coming towards them with Michael’s hand in hers.
"Sorry," Ally apologized quickly. Gambit smiled at her, and Ally’s heart leapt for Hayley. He really didn’t seem to mind Amber’s little attack, and a lot of mutants were too busy to see past the end of their own nose. She really thought her sister had done well this time. Then she noticed Hayley’s look and hoped this would be a momentary problem.
"S’okay," Gambit laughed a little at the little girl as she was passed to her mother’s arms.
"Dey both yo’rs?" Gambit asked as eyes grew wider at the size of them. Ally gave him a little smile and nodded. Hayley began to wander off slowly and Gambit began to follow her with a sigh. Remy shook his head slightly but could feel a hand on his shoulder and turned an expectant look on Ally.
"Be patient," She said quickly but her eyes stayed on her sister as she walked away. "She had it the hardest." Then she sighed, and looked at the twins tugging on her.
Remy turned around completely to face her, "Dey hur’ her non?"
"Yes," Ally shrugged, "In a way." Ally looked at her feet unable to meet his eye. She knew the truth that many of them had avoided. Hayley had been the rebel, and in turn she was punished more than other. Ally was also afraid of her pregnancy reminding her of the hard road she had traveled.
Remy swallowed hard, and remembered his own troubled up bringing. He remembered his sister’s troubled past as well and was scared to ask Ally specifics. Clearly by her actions it wasn’t something that was discussed.
Remy took a deep breath as he narrowed his eyes, "De poppa o’ her chile," he looked at the little boy who grew closer to him. "Cyclops? He hurt her non?"
Ally laughed a little, "Scott? No," She let Amber begin to tumble out of her arms, "She," she began but her conversation was cut short, when Logan picked Amber up before she touched the ground.
Both children eyed him appreciatively and grabbed him around the neck as he knelt down to Michael. Logan balanced Amber in one arm and held Michael’s chubby hand.
"There’s the guy," Logan smiled at his son, and then he met Gambit’s curious face. "Isn’t there some place you need to be Gumbo?"
Ally turned to him a little upset at his direct nature, "Logan." She scolded, but Gambit smiled.
"Da’s all righ’ chere. Ah have ta talk ta Hayley fo‘ a minut‘, den go see Rayne." Remy looked over his shoulder to where Hayley wandered to then looked back to meet Logan’s watchful eye. Gambit knew he would be the same with his family, protective. He tossed them a roguish smile and ran down the hall.
Logan looked at Ally with a question playing on his lips but she offered no answer.
"We’ll be late," She said, oblivious to his glower.
He pointed a finger at her, "I don’t like him."
She laughed and he had to smile too. He loved her laugh.
"Funny thing is, I think he seems wonderful," She smiled taking Michael’s other hand.
"He’s a womanizer, Al."
"You weren’t?" She challenged him, "Besides, things aren’t always what they appear." She looked out at the window where people were gathering and took a deep breath.
It would indeed, be along day.