Rains Because You're Sad

November 3, 2014: You're not sad when it rains; it rains because you're sad.

Xavier's Mansion

The Greenhouse



  • None

Mood Music:

Classes are over for the day and the kids are allowed to go about their chores, homework and freetime. And so are the teachers. Storm is taking this time to work on the gardens in the greenhouse that she uses as her classroom. The glass dome that is the main part of the atrium is tall enough that a full grown arbutus tree grows in the center, it's bark shedding instead of the leaves like most trees.

Storm is in the section of the greenhouse that is dedicated to orchids, misting them and speaking softly to them. Her barefeet pad on the tile floor as she walks, brushed by the hem of her dress.

With a pair of shears in hand, Piotr Rasputin steps into the greenhouse with just a stitch of a smile. His lips hitch up on one side, exposing a deep dimple and he treads towards the woman for whom he's playing the ever-important role of TA. His throat clears. "Ororo." Carefully, he turns the shears in his hand and offers the handles towards Storm. "Thought these might be useful."

With another flicker of a grin, he absently takes a step backwards and looks at one of the orchids. "Incredible to see things grow," he notes.

Turning when she hears the clearing of his throat, Ororo arches a brow as he holds the shears up. "Hallow'een is over, Piotr. If you are trying to re-create the scene from Psycho, I would need to be in a shower." It's hard to tell when Storm is joking, that Mona Lisa smile of hers could mean just about anything. She holds out her hand for the shears and then turns to the orchids.

Ororo goes back to tending the delicate blooms. "They are lovely, aren't they? So colourful, but terribly tempermental. That is why I keep them away from the area I hold class. The students would not mean to, but they would likely cause the orchids to stop blooming."

There's a faint nod at the question and Piotr treads a few steps closer to the orchids. "I haven't seen one of these in at least a year," so much of his world had died. Plants were a rarer and rarer occurrence. Temperamental plants? Even moreso.

There's a faint hue of pink in his cheeks and he manages a small chuckle. "No plans to off anyone with gardening shears." And then awkwardly he tacks on, "Er. Or. At all." Because clearly not.

Storm's own smile is soft and pleasant. While most people tend towards a frown when their face is neutral, Ororo's own features seem to want to smile. It's like there is always a laugh just behind the surface. She looks to the plants, leaning back after she has misted them. "I am sorry that you have not been able to see them in so long, but also pleased that you do get to see them again. Tell me, what happened in your dimension to cause such strife and destruction."

When Piotr gets flummoxed by her old movie reference, she winces softly. Holding up a hand as she shakes her head, Storm tries to explain. "I would never imagine that you would. It was just a flippant comment and I apologize if I offended."

Piotr's jaw tenses and his shoulders tighten at the mention of his version of earth. In many respects conversations around it make him feel alien. But he manages a soft smile while scratching the back of his head. "It was complicated. But everything got destroyed. Everyone. Human, metahuman, mutant — all of the above." He exhales audibly and then notes, "Because of SHIELD." He sucks on the inside of his cheek.

His lips turn upwards and then falter at the last with a hint of self-deprecation. "I," he flushes. "I'm not offended, I just feel like I have to clarify because everyone thinks I'm some kind of terrorist…"

Ororo gestures to the tables and chairs where she holds her classes. "Piotr, if you do not wish to talk about this, all you must do is say the word. However, know that I ask this to make certain that your reality does not repeat itself here. If I am not informed, how can I help to make sure it does not occur?" She sits down, gesturing to the chair across from her. Glass tables and cast iron garden chairs. Not the most comfortable, but it fits the atmosphere of the room.

"SHIELD? That does not make sense to me. Our Red team actually has worked *with* SHEILD in some matters." Her brow knits as she thinks about it. She shakes her head when Piotr tries to explain. "Piotr, *you* are not a terrorist. The Piotr native to this dimension is, but he and you are not the same person. In fact, you are so remarkably different that you are more like twin brothers then the same person."

"The Professor is spending some time," Piotr taps his temple with his index finger, "but you're not wrong. I'm still processing and," he sighs while his body slumps downwards with the weight of memory and responsibility. "It started with registration. Moved to compliance monitored by SHIELD through a program known as…" his eyebrows draw together into a scowl "…the Sentinels. They were designed to hunt down and capture metahumans." His lips purse. "But they couldn't be controlled. Eventually they began to annihilate everything." He emits a soft sigh. "I drew them if you ever wanted to see — " not that he carries the picture around.

There's a faint flush of his cheeks at the notion of not being a terrorist. "I don't want to concern anyone. I wouldn't hurt anyone if I could help it. Defending the innocent is very different than engaging in a fight, mind…"

Storm arches a brow at the mention of registration. As the school's history teacher, she knows exactly what sort of things develop when people are asked to register for being who they are. "So SHIELD asked us to register? They did not realize or did not care that the same thing was done by the Nazis? The very people that SHIELD was created to fight against."

Ororo leans in, resting a hand on Piotr's. While she may not be outwardly emotional, she does seem to use a lot of physical contact to convey her emotions. "Piotr, do I appear the least bit concerned about you being a terrorist? If I thought for a moment that you were capable of what your doppelganger here seems to be, I would not allow you near the children. Ever." There is a slight touch of threat to those words, implying what she would do to keep him away from said children.

"SHIELD felt they were protecting everyone else," Piotr answers as he sandwiches her hand between both of his. "They thought that in making us register they were thwarting a threat. But creating threats by — " his eyes blink owlishly and his head shakes. "It's just not that simple." There's a gentleness to his touch, not normally expected from a man so large. "The Professor cleared me, but I don't want anyone to be uneasy because of the other Piotr."

With a flicker of a smile he nods, "As I would expect. Being given access to the children, I think is the ultimate sign of trust. But I still need to earn it. My doppelgänger is… well." He shrugs. "I feel badly for Yana."

Ororo can only close her eyes and shake her head, resting her other hand on Piotr's. "That is exactly what the Nazi's said when they wanted the jews and homosexuals to register. That they were doing it for the protection of all. I find it difficult to believe that SHIELD would repeat such a terrible mistake." She can't help but smirk then. "Clearly, none of the people involved in this took my history classes. I would have failed them."

"Yes, poor Illyana. She regarded her brother so highly. Saving her life the way he had, she put him on a pedestal. He was her hero. She would not let it show, but when the truth came out about him, she was upset. It is almost a blessing that she has someone here to live up to the brother that she always dreamed her Piotr to be." Ororo makes no effort to pull her hands away from his, but it seems more of a gesture of friendship, a gesture of a person that just likes the feeling of closeness.

There's a chuckle at the notion of the history class. "Well," Piotr starts quietly, "I don't think it's that easy. SHIELD became rather defensive. The Brotherhood spent a lot of energy trying to fight them the moment registration started. My eldest brother went with them. He left this place." His lips twist to the side. "Evidently in this time line he died some time ago. But as a hero. It's relieving to know Mikhail lived honourably."

"How did he save her life? I admit I'm sketchy on the details there." His lips press together lightly. He does flush, however, at the comment about living up to Yana's image of Piotr. "I have no idea if I can, but I will endeavour to help and protect her as best I can." His cheeks hue a deeper red at the continued contact.

Finally, Ororo pulls her hands away. Not out of any attempt to distance herself from Piotr but just because her need for human contact has been filled. She leans her elbows on the glass and iron table, her hands cupping the elbows. "It is part of the human condition to fight things that we do not like. As often as I may say that if one disagrees with a law they should try to change the law rather then go against it, the amount of speeding tickets given out annually proves that that we just do not seem to be able to do what is smart."

When asked about Illyana, Ororo looks surprised. "You do not know? Is your world that different? The combine, at the farm. It nearly ran her over. You… he got between her and the thresher, taking on his metal form. That never happened in your world? What about her time in Limbo?"

There's a small shake of Piotr's head at the mention of the combine. "Yana was scarcely a toddler when our parents died. We became the property of the Russian government. She could never remember their…" his eyes turn downwards. "Well. They tested the strength and measure of our abilities. The Professor and his X-Men," his expression neutrals, "rescued us. To my knowledge, Yana had no memories before our time at Xavier's."

He sucks on the inside of his cheek and shakes his head. "She had no time in Limbo in my world. She's explained it to me here. We travelled through it once — " he chews on his bottom lip.

"So many differences between our worlds. It is no surprise that you are so different from our Piotr. You are older then our Piotr too. You are almost of an age with myself." She sighs softly. "Different dimensions always intrigue me. One little thing can change everything."

"I don't really understand how any of that is possible," Piotr says evenly. "I don't know how we are different ages, both of us between our two worlds. I don't know how differences work…" His lips purse lightly. There's a flicker of a smile, a brief flash of teeth, as Piotr's face flushes again. "I… I. Had a giant crush on you in my world when I took your class." His chin drops sheepishly. "Sorry."

Storm's face is a mixture of confusion and eagerness at something new. "I do not understand it either, but it is fascinating. I suppose we would have to ask a dimensional hopper for more details. Perhaps I can encourage the class to do a research project on it for extra credit." Her blue eyes twinkle with mischief at her suggestion of getting her students to do all the hard work for her.

It's now Ororo's turn to flush as he tells her about his crush. She blinks, uncertain what to say or how to react. She sits up straighter, still puzzling out how to react so as not to offend. "I… I am flattered, Piotr. But then again, I am not that world's Ororo, just as you are not this world's Piotr."

"Smart," Piotr grins, "let the students do the heavy lifting." He chuckles lightly and he shakes his head once. "I did not intend to make you uncomfortable. It was just a note. I'm sure you — " no, don't finish the thought. He shakes his head, washing away the thought as best he can. "Sorry," he offers apologetically. "I know you're different from the Ms. Munroe," because that's what he had to call her, "that I knew."

Realizing that her uncertainty about the revelation has upset the new Piotr, a pang of sympathy goes out to him. She reaches out to take one of his hands in both of hers. "Piotr, you are in a strange land with people that seem familiar but are at the same time total strangers. I am flattered that you would think of me in that regard and I am certain that your Ms. Munroe thought you were terribly sweet. But, as I mentioned to you before, I have difficulties not letting my emotions influence the local weather. Knowing that your own Ms. Munroe had overcome those is promising for me. That said, I could never allow myself to invest my emotions in a relationship no matter how much I may want to. Think of what that would do to the local weather patterns."

Giving his hands a squeeze, Ororo dips her head down to hide the look in her eyes. Overhead, rain starts to fall, pattering on the glass above.

The contact has Piotr's lips turning up into another uncomfortable smile. He shakes his head, "Please Ororo, I was merely sharing," he chuckles uncomfortably again and grants her hand a small squeeze. "I don't meant to — I…" He manages a smaller smile. "Forgive me. Please. I wouldn't want to make you remotely uncomfortable or unsettled. I wouldn't want that for anyone." He shoots her another small smile and allows his chin to drop to his chest as he's let down easy before he makes a 'true' move.

Well, that has to sting a little. "Oh… I.. I see." Storm pulls her hands way, clearing her throat and her hands reaching down to smooth her dress over her thighs. "Of course you were. I am sorry. I should not have presumed so much. I… sometimes having been worshipped as a Goddess causes me to be a little full of myself." The ambiance around the table in the greenhouse is uncomfortable and awkward, the rain falling more heavily above. Ororo clears her throat and pushes her chair back as she stands. "I really should get to those tests from today. As much as I would like them to, they do not mark themselves."

"Sorry," Piotr apologizes again. "You're extremely attractive, I wasn't — I'm not…" his eyes clamp shut and he pinches the bridge of his nose. "I just was in…" he cheeks hue a faint pink. "I was in a serious relationship for years. And. She died," his eyebrows draw together. "And I'm not… so you don't need to…" his head shakes and he sighs. "I'm sorry. I… I can go." He holds out his palm. "You. Plants." Her passion. He remembers.

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