Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > Comfort at Heart

The Morning After

by slickboy444 0 reviews

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Storm,Wolverine - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2007-12-22 - Updated: 2007-12-22 - 4665 words - Complete

Comfort At Heart
Chapter 2: The Morning After


Logan and Ororo slept well into the morning. After the drama last night, they needed it. They slept past sunrise and past breakfast. They didn’t toss and turn. They just laid together in bed peacefully, enjoying the first decent rest they had in recent memory.

Eventually they woke. Logan was the first. He was somewhat surprised to see that the sun was up before him. Usually he always woke up before sunrise. Being such a light sleeper from years of nightmares, he could never manage a whole lot of rest. He almost forgot what it felt like to wake up so refreshed. And it was all because he had a beautiful woman in his arms.

For a moment he just laid there and looked at her. She was even more beautiful in the morning sunlight. Her ebony skin was smooth and warm, a far cry from the cold emptiness he usually felt when he woke up. Logan may never have been good with words or emotions, but there was no denying that he felt something when he held this woman.

Logan didn’t know how long he stared. He just lay there gently stroking her long white hair, admiring her peaceful form. Eventually, she woke up too and was equally happy to see his burly form snuggled up to hers.

“Morning darlin’,” he greeted her.

“Good morning Logan,” she said groggily.

“Sleep well?”

“Yes, thanks to you,” she said with a warm smile.

Logan smiled back. He wasn’t used to smiling, but then again he wasn’t used to having a goddess in his arms.

“I really appreciate what you did last night,” she told him, “I can’t tell you how much it means to me.”

“Me neither,” said Logan, gently stroking her hair, “I don’t usually sleep this late. Hell, I don’t usually sleep.”

“Guess we both helped each other in that regard.”

“Guess so.”

Ororo smiled again and planted a soft kiss on his burly cheek. It was deeper and more affectionate than the previous night. It could have just been the grogginess, but that look in her eyes said otherwise. Logan could have stared all day at those eyes, but they had to get back to the real world sooner or later. One thing was clear though. Last night was special and things may never be the same between them.


Life at the Xavier Institute still carried on as usual after Apocalypse. It was summer now and many students were shifting into vacation mode. School was out and that meant more activity every day of the week. That meant more lazy teenagers lofting about with little to do outside of training and combined with mutant powers that was always a bad mix.

Professor Charles Xavier had ways of keeping everybody busy. He stepped up Danger Room sessions and began new workout programs for both the regulars and New Mutants. Scott and Jean, who were now graduates, joined the upper ranks teachers and got to work with Logan, Ororo, and Hank as equals rather than students. They were young, but ambitious. Yet they still had so much to learn.

Logan and Ororo went about their usual routines. They put on their administrative demeanor and helped hold together this rag tag school of mutant misfits. They silently agreed that the details of last night should stay between the two of them. But some were able to recognize a change in their poise despite their best efforts.

“Storm! You’re finally up!” chirped Kitty Pryde as Ororo put together a late breakfast.

“Good morning to you too, Kitty,” she greeted, “You’re sounding quite chipper.”

“That’s because I was worried,” she said, sitting down next to her at the table, “You slept in for a change. You never sleep in.”

“I was just tired, I suppose,” said Ororo, picking at her eggs.

“I’ll bet. You’ve sure looked the part all week. Is everything okay?”

Ororo cast the young teen a distant glance. She knew like everybody else what she had been through and couldn’t help but bring it up, even when it was still a difficult subject.

“I mean besides…well, you know,” she stammered nervously.

“It’s getting better,” sighed Ororo, turning back to her eggs, “A good night sleep sure helps.”

“Glad to hear,” smiled Kitty, “But if you get a chance, drop by the others because they were worried too.”

“I’ll do that. Thanks Kitty,” smiled Ororo.

“Sure thing,” she said in a chipper tone, “I’m just glad to see some life in your eyes again.”

Ororo watched as Kitty ran off. It was sobering to find out that so many were concerned for her although she could hardly blame them given how she had been acting lately. Ironically, these were the same students she so often worried about. Hopefully she could still be the teacher they needed her to be, even if it was impossible to go back to her old self.


The usual chaos and commotion of the Danger Room was a welcome release for Logan. Now fully rested and rejuvenated, he attacked the deadly obstacles with vigor he hadn’t shown in months. Morning sessions were common for some of the regulars, namely the ones who took training more seriously. Without school, they joined Logan in his daily ritual of ripping the Danger Room to shreds. This morning Scott, Jean, and Rogue fought with him in a high level sentinel scenario and as always it was a spectacle.

“Cyke, Jeannie I need cover! I’m goin’ in for the kill!” proclaimed Logan, “Stripes, watch my back!”

“Right behind ya, Wolverine!” replied Rogue over the chaos.

The maneuver went smoothly. The sentinel was already falling apart as a result of numerous optic blasts, telekinetic bursts, and adamantium claw swipes. They had already blown one arm off and its left leg was in shambles. Sparks and flames were flying everywhere, yet the mechanical monstrosity kept on fighting.

Rogue drew the sentinel’s attention with a few grenades while Logan leapt onto the remaining arm and clawed his way up. Scott and Jean coordinated their efforts, maintaining a constant barrage of optic blasts and telekinesis to pin the massive figure down while Logan did what he was best at.

“You’re all clear, Logan! Go for the head!” yelled Cyclops.

After a skillful and arduous climb, Logan reached the top and relentlessly plunged his claws into the brain of the sentinel. He sliced through the armor shell with ease, his feral rage driving him as he ripped apart the interior components. The sentinel tried to brush him off, but it was too late. The lights in its eyes went dark and the entire metal humanoid fell lifelessly to the ground.

“Sentinel destroyed. Objective cleared,” announced the Danger Room computer.

“And hardly a scratch to show for it,” commented Jean, “We must be getting pretty good at this.”

“Careful, Jean,” warned Rogue, “Our luck could easily turn the second we start gettin’ cocky.”

“Lighten up, Stripes,” said Logan as he leapt down from the lifeless sentinel, “We got the job done. Let’s just leave it there.”

“Look who’s talking,” laughed Scott, “In all the years we’ve been doing these sessions I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say something that positive, Wolverine.”

“Yeah, come to think of it you do seem a little less grumpy than usual,” said Jean, “Any reason for that?”

Logan ignored their curious gazes. After living and training with him for so long, it was no surprise they would pick up on his subtleties. Only in this instance he didn’t mind as much. But the effect Ororo had on him last night was still sinking in. He would rather not drop any more hints.

“We’re done here,” he said, taking off his mask and making his leave, “Tell Hank to beef up the next level. We’ll keep running this simulation until Chuck finishes the next round of programs.”

Scott, Jean, and Rogue watched him leave with further intrigue. Rather than shoot back with some gruff comment or intimidating response, he just turned around and left. That alone said there was something to their observations. It was just a matter of what.

“Wow, he didn’t even tell us to shut up,” said Scott.

“I know. You think something’s up?” wondered Jean.

“You’re the psychic, Jean. You tell us,” said Rogue.

“Just because I’m psychic doesn’t mean I can sense everything,” replied Jean, “And with Logan it’s always complicated.”

“Very true,” Scott agreed, “But that only makes you wonder more, doesn’t it?”

Scott had a point. The three of them knew Logan very well. He taught and trained Scott and Jean for years after they first arrived at the institute. He also developed a close bond with Rogue after he helped her gain control over her powers that time they went haywire. There was always a sense of mystery surrounding Logan’s persona, but changes never came without reason. And for it to change Logan, it had to be significant.


Later that day Ororo met up with Professor Xavier in his office for a counseling session. She had been sitting down with him every day since it happened, trying to work out the issues she struggled with. It wasn’t just for her. The Professor had been affected too. But having been in the minds of many deranged individuals, he managed better than her. What he lacked in his physical abilities, he made up for in his mental strength.

They started with the usual, going over how she was holding up. And for the first time she didn’t get overly emotional or stressed. In fact, she actually smiled. The Professor was sure happy to see such improvement. However, she made certain to keep the details to herself.

“Well you certainly seem to be doing better, Ororo,” said Xavier with a kind smile, “I must say I was worried.”

“Yes, me too,” said Ororo, who was sitting across from Xavier’s desk, “I know I’ve been a mess since it happened, but I think I’m finally getting a handle of myself.”

“I think so too,” he replied, reaching across the desk and taking her hand, “Never forget how much you mean to this institute. You’ve done a lot to help over the years. I suppose it’s only proper we return the favor.”

Ororo squeezed the Professor’s hand and smiled. It felt good to finally be making progress. She had been down and out for so long she was overdue for some light in her life. Her thoughts drifted back towards Logan and how he helped turn things around. It all seemed to come back to him and she couldn’t help but feel strong about it. But she would save that issue for another day.

“So are you still on to visit your sister this weekend?” inquired Xavier.

“Of course,” said Ororo, “But I don’t think I’ll stay the night. I feel the best possible medicine for me is right here.”


After her session Ororo went out for some fresh air. The warm summer weather had set in and many of the residents were already out enjoying it. Some found relief from the heat in the pool while others played a game of football. With everything that she was dealing with, Ororo hadn’t had a lot of time to do much gardening and this was the perfect time to catch up.

She did some work out back with the help of Jubilee and Amara, who were frequent assistants. They helped plant and tend to the plants lining the back yard near the pool, which had grown barren without her care. But with her skills it was sure to be vibrant in no time.

“Where do these go, Ms Munroe?” asked Jubilee, holding two pots of bulbs.

“Put them near the edge,” said Ororo, “When they bloom they’ll make a fine centerpiece.”

“You’re the expert,” she shrugged, “I’ll just be glad to get some color back here.”

“Tell me about it,” said Amara in agreement, “I never knew how dull the back yard could be without the flowers.”

“Well in just a few weeks they should be back in bloom.”

The fresh scent of soil, fertilizer, and plants were a welcome sensation for the weather goddess. She missed this, getting her hands dirty and planting the seeds of new life. It seemed fitting after being a bringer of death and carnage. By bringing new life to the Earth, she was making up for what she had done.

She watched with pride as Jubilee and Amara planted the last row of bulbs and flowers. At times they got splashed and teased by the others in the pool. It was all in good fun and Ororo even laughed. Even though the end of the world had almost killed them all, they still had the same spirit she had grown so fond of.

“Okay Storm, I think they’re ready for your ‘special’ touch,” said Jubilee, wiping her hands clean of dirt.

“I think so too. Stand back, and let nature take it from here.”

Jubilee and Amara did as she said while Ororo stepped up and did what she did best. Closing her eyes and raising her arms, she summoned her powers and formed a couple of storm clouds over the soil. And with grace worthy of her goddess title, she summoned a gentle rain to nourish the plants. It was a majestic sight that had grown rare since Apocalypse and some of the onlookers from the pool were happy to see it again.

While Ororo did her thing, Jubilee and Amara gathered up the supplies. The former goddess kept her focus, making sure she applied just the right amount of moisture. But as she guided the winds with her powers, her attention drifted to the roof where two male figures were working on the institute satellite dishes. They were Scott and Logan and they were shirtless. And despite her focus, she couldn’t help but stare.

Even though she slept in his arms last night, she never got a chance to admire Logan’s manly physique. She had seen him shirtless before, but it never affected her like this. It was not lost upon her that Logan was an attractive man. He had this feral aura to him that was undeniably alluring. And yet she never fully appreciated it until now.

She was so lost in her thoughts she didn’t realize what she was doing with her powers and a small burst of thunder erupted from the clouds.

“Uh Storm? Storm!” exclaimed Jubilee.

“Huh? What?” she said, snapping back to reality.

“I think that’s enough,” said the younger mutant.

Ororo looked at the clouds and saw some lightning mixing with the thunder. Before it could get any worse she stopped it. Jubilee and Amara gave her a strange look. Normally she wasn’t one to lose control over her powers. She was probably the most controlled of anybody at the mansion so it was embarrassing, but she managed to write it off.

“Sorry, it’s been a while,” she said.

“More like you got distracted,” smirked Jubilee, “Something on your mind, Ms Monroe?”

Ororo stole one last glance of Logan up on the roof, smiling to herself before she turned back to the two curious girls before her.

“No, I’m fine,” she assured them, “Come, let’s get some drinks.”

Jubilee and Amara shrugged it off and followed Ororo inside. But unknown to her, Logan noticed her glances from below and found himself distracted as well. It was an odd reversal or roles because he and Scott had been in this same predicament before and it was he who scolded him for sneaking glances at Jean. Now he was getting a taste of what it was like to have emotions distract him.

“This new dish should help handle all the bandwidth Beast has been soaking up,” said Scott as he connected a few more wires, “How’s it looking on your end, Logan?”

“Huh? Oh yeah, right,” stammered Logan, “Looks like we’re good.”

“Right,” said Scott with an amused grin.

He took one last look at the alignment. Much to his surprise Logan got it wrong. Shaking his head in frustration, Scott corrected it to make sure the angle was precise. This way they wouldn’t get any complaints from Hank. It still came as a surprise. Logan was usually the most focused person he knew. It took a lot to get him distracted and he did a poor job of hiding it.

“Are you okay, Logan? You’ve been acting strange all day,” said Scott.

“Huh? What are you talkin’ about, one-eye?”

“You’re calm, you’re distracted, and for some reason you’re not as grumpy. That tells me something’s different. Anything you want to talk about?”

“Nothing you need to know, bub,” said Logan, gathering up the tools and walking away.

“You sure about that?”

“Positive,” he grunted.

Logan didn’t give Scott a chance to ask any more questions. The last thing he needed was somebody calling him out. So what if he was acting different? That didn’t mean it was serious. He and Ororo were just a little closer now, nothing more. At least that’s what he kept telling himself.


That night Logan was up late again doing his usual rounds. Most everybody had turned in and the mansion was quiet. It was the most peaceful time of day if not the only time. Logan double checked every room, making sure everybody was safe and in bed. He planned to turn in soon as well, but first he helped himself to a few beers in the kitchen.

It had been a strange day. One night in Ororo’s and his world had been changed. He felt better and fought better. There were times he got a little distracted, the roof incident being the best example, but if that’s the price for a little happiness then it was worth it.

Slugging back another beer, Logan looked over at the clock and saw it was past one. He wasn’t that tired, but it couldn’t hurt to get some extra rest. Even with a healing factor, he couldn’t escape his need for rest. It was just going to be hard going back to sleeping alone after last night. But just one more beer couldn’t hurt.

“Hey, I had a feeling you were still up.”

Logan turned to see Ororo standing behind him. She was wearing a purple nighty that just happened to be as visually pleasing as the one she wore last night, if not more so. But he shut out that part of his brain and collected himself.

“Ro? Thought you’d be asleep by now,” he said.

“Usually I am, but tonight I’m in the mood for a late night snack. Want to toss me one of those beers?”

Logan gave her a strange look. He could understand the late night snack, but not the beer. But Ororo didn’t seem too worked up about it and just laughed at his reaction.

“What? You think you’re the only one who enjoys beer?”

“No, I just never figured you as much of a drinker,” replied Logan.

“There’s a lot of things people don’t know about me,” she quipped, “Now are you gonna toss me one or not?”

Shaking his head, Logan grabbed a second beer and tossed to her. Upon opening it she pulled up a stool and sat next to Logan at the kitchen table. He watched with mild intrigue as she took a few gulps. Judging by the way she drank this wasn’t the first time, but it had definitely been a while.

For a while they sat in silence and drank their beers. They hadn’t spoken since this morning when they woke up together. Some interesting moments had transpired since then, not to mention some interesting feelings. So far they hadn’t dwelled on it too much, but they couldn’t avoid it now.

“So are we gonna talk about it?” said Logan upon finishing his beer.

“I don’t know. Has it been as strange for you as it has for me?” asked Ororo, staring down at her beer in a daze.

“Depends…” he said, crushing his beer can and tossing it aside, “If you’ve been thinking about it as much as I have I’d say so.”

Ororo fell silent again. Throughout the day last night had never been far from her thoughts. She gave up trying to rationalize it, chalking it up to being in an overly emotional state. But being near him again brought some of those feelings back, hinting that there was more to it than that.

“Logan…” she began, “I was in a bad shape last night. I was tired, upset, and everything else in between. But the thing is…it all got better the second you came barging in.”

“Funny, usually that’s the point where I get yelled at,” he smirked.

“I’m serious, Logan,” said Ororo, looking at him with sky blue eyes, “After what happened to me, I honestly don’t know how to feel about anything anymore. And…well, I might have felt something last night I shouldn’t have.”

Now it was Logan’s turn to be silent. He was no good at emotions and this was an emotional issue. With nothing to go on, he reverted to instinct as he so often did and reached across the table and took her hand.

“What did you feel?” he asked warily.

Ororo diverted her gaze briefly, but clung to his grasp.

“Just…things you don’t usually feel for a friend. Deep things that are strong, but leave you with a lot of confusion.”

“Like it’s wrong in some ways, but right in others,” surmised Logan.

The weather goddess looked back at her friend with intrigue. His tough expression was always hard to read, but she saw the same confusion in his eyes.

“So you’ve felt it too,” she said, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.

“Would I want to talk about it if I didn’t?” he replied.

“That complicates things, you know? If one of us feels something that can be written off. But if we both feel it…”

Ororo’s words trailed off. She wasn’t sure where else to go with this. She and Logan may have been different on some levels, but neither of them was good with emotions. Logan couldn’t recall having these feelings before, even if his memory was fragmented. Ororo wasn’t sure if she ever felt them. But they were present and undeniably strong.

Ororo pulled away and finished her beer. She was reluctant to continue, not wanting to risk complicating the matter any further. Another silence fell over them. They were both at a loss. They had known each other for years and it had never been this awkward. It all came back to that fateful night.

“You don’t regret last night, do you?” asked Logan reluctantly.

“Of course not,” said Ororo without hesitation, “I just don’t know where this leaves us. Are we still friends? Or are we something else?”

“Can’t say I’ve got an answer to that, darlin’,” sighed Logan, “But wherever we are, I don’t want it to end with us drifting apart.”

“Me neither. But say last night wasn’t just a one-time thing. What if it gets serious?”

“And what if the world explodes tomorrow? What if we all wake up with green skin and webbed feet? What if Magneto walks through the door in five minutes wearin’ a dress?” quipped Logan, “I don’t claim to know a whole lot about this either, but getting worked up on the what-ifs never helps.”

Ororo laughed somewhat. It was a strange way of making a point, but it worked.

“So then where do we go from here?”

“I don’t know that either. Whatever happens between us will happen. Just remember you mean a lot to me Ro. You always have and you always will.”

“I know. You mean a lot to me too,” she said warmly.

“Then all we can do is live for the moment. I can’t tell you how or when, but I can be by your side every step of the way.”

Ororo smiled affectionately at his comforting words. It was humorous in some ways watching the focused, determined Wolverine stumble with words as he tried to sort out his feelings. Yet he knew just what to say even when he sounded so uncertain.

She reached across the table and took his hand again. He smiled at her gesture, enjoying the warm feeling of her hand in his. Through all the confusion, it felt right. They didn’t need words to express it. Everything seemed to come together with a simple touch. And in the spirit of living for the moment, Ororo had another one of her fateful ideas.

“Logan, I know last night was a strange experience for the both of us and we still have a lot we have to work out. But I was hoping we could…well, do it again tonight.”

Logan looked surprised by such a request, but his smiled never waned.

“Again, huh?” he asked, “You know one time can be a fluke. But more then one…that runs the risk of it becoming regular.”

“I wouldn’t mind,” smiled Ororo, “Being with you when I sleep makes me feel warm and safe. And I’d like to have that feeling again. But if you’re uncomfortable at this point in time I understand.”

“As if sleeping with a beautiful woman in my arms could ever be uncomfortable,” laughed Logan, causing Ororo to blush, “Darlin, if that’s where you want to take it from here, so be it.”

“Thank you, Logan. That’s so uncharacteristically sweet and polite.”

“Hey, keep you’re voice down. The kids find out I have a soft spot I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“Your secret’s safe with me,” assured the former goddess.

She gave his hand a firm squeeze to seal the deal. That was all the assurance Logan needed. It was a new feeling being this open with someone and he had to admit it was kind of nice. But he couldn’t go on thinking too many sappy thoughts. He still had a reputation to uphold.

After finishing her beer, Ororo threw her can away and led Logan up to her room. The bed was every bit as soft and comfortable as the previous night. Together they slipped under the warm sheets, getting comfortable and staying close every step of the way. They ended up in a position similar to the one they were in last night with Ororo snuggled up to his body while Logan had his arms protectively draped over her.

There was less hesitation and uncertainty. The first time felt strange, but the second time felt right. Being so close to one another was no longer so conflicting. It was a feeling they could definitely get used to. Once they were situated and comfortable, Ororo looked up and smiled. Logan smiled back, gently stroking her lower back just as he had last night. And like last night they shared a soft kiss, this time with the assurance that it meant something deeper.

“Goodnight, Logan,” said Ororo as she sank into his embrace.

“Night, darlin’,” said Logan, “Sleep tight.”


Up next: Things progress and feelings evolve.
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