Disclaimer: The X-Men characters, and all other recognizable characters are copyright to Marvel Entertainment Group. This work of FanFiction is not meant to infringe on that copyright or defame Marvel Comics or the X-Men and related characters in any way.

Copyright: This work of FanFiction and the original characters described within are the intellectual property of K-NICE and her IRL persona. No copying, distributing or editing of this material is permitted without the express permission of the creator, K-Nice, under United States copyright law. Relax, I won't sue you. I'll just ask my Cousin Tony to choke you with his dreds.

This is for Harlen Quinselle--You asked for it just as I started writing it so I knew I had to finish it! and soon!

K-Nice 1999


Nightmares: Storm


Does it show?

She closes the door to her attic sanctuary, thoughts buzzing frantically through her head.

When she walks into the room on a cushion of air, do they focus on the silver-white strands shimmering behind her or the whisper of silk over her limbs?

Sighing, she slips out of the soft white muumuu, letting it fall to the floor before she kicks it to the side. Her bra and panties land near a planter as she floats through the room, peeling of the layers that hide her from the world.

Her mirror shows the reflection of a woman with creamy brown skin and a full mane of white hair.

She is proud of her skin. She stays out of the sun to keep her complexion even. In her drawer there is her daily regime of Vitamin E and Cocoa Butter, to keep it smooth and light.

She yanks her hand through, biting her lip to stifle a sob. She has always been tenderheaded, since the time she was a small girl and her mother would braid her long hair using a fine tooth comb and a wire brush.

She pinches the skin of her thighs. Her hips are too wide. None of the other girls are so ample, she is sure. She lets her fingers dig into her flesh in frustration, stopping short of drawing blood.

When they look at her, do they just see the shell--the skin, the hair, the words?

Beautiful though she is, there is only so much she can stand of looking at her own form. Not bothering with underwear, she pulls on a worn pair of jeans from the back of her closet. She ties an old t-shirt of Bobby's beneath her breasts.

Do they look deeper, into the mind of a Goddess?

No, she has them fooled. Straddling a chair, she pulls a pack of cigarettes from her jeans pocket. She sparks the lighter she pocketed while getting gas one day. Savoring the acrid stench of the tobacco, she cradles her addiction in slow, smooth drags.

She frowns at the others for smoking without a twang of conscience. It is a nasty habit.

She can't give it up. It is the only thing keeping the weight off.

They can't tell, can they? When they look at her? Do they see "big lips, big hips?"

Of course not. She hides it so well.

On her knees, she runs her fingers along the hardwood floor under her bed. Her nails click against the catch and she slides away part of a board. Digging blindly she pulls out her two closest companions.

They saw her through her horrid existence in Cairo. Sure, she had enjoyed her time as a thief and excelled at it. The memories of the other things she had to do to gain Achmed's approval was what sent into their warm embrace time after time.

Those memories, of his dry, brittle hands against her childishly chubby body, pushed her toward straight, smooth lines.

They comforted her after Forge rejected her as too fat, too ugly . . . and perhaps too dark . . . to be his bride. Not that she wanted to marry him. That would have meant keeping up appearances 24 hours a day.

He would have denied her the simple comfort of her friends, Aqua Vitae and Mary Jane.

She often wonders if it shows on the outside, if others are privy to her secrets.

She up-ends the bottle over her mouth, and fervently hopes not. The liquor is neither smooth nor flavorful. It is, however, potent. Rocking back and forth in the chair, she manages to swill down several more mouthfuls before she can take no more.

Several quiet seconds pass as she hums a rhyme she learned from her old tribe in Kenya. She had been thin then, all straight, pubescent lines, but the sun had baked her to a dusty charred shade she would never again tolerate. They were prepared to stone her as an evil spirit when her tears of fear called down a thunderstorm upon them.

Yes, those were the days.

She levers herself from the chair and begins to rifle through her desk. Tossing aside pictures of Kitty, sketches by Colossus, notes from Professor, she finds a small box of pills. She really did need to flush her system.

A match strike and the joint is lit. She pushes the stink of sulfur away with a gentle zephyr.

Taking a drag she leans back on the bed, tapping the package of diuretics against her thigh. With each strike she feels her thighs wiggle and quiver.

She is getting fat. It happened every so often, usually after Betsy buys some new outfit or someone describes her started with her black skin and ending with her white hair.

She deals with it.

In private.

It wouldn't do for the leader of the X-Men to have poor body image.

It wouldn't do for the Nature Goddess to stumble around on big hips either.

One more drag for courage, because her famed backbone is just a rumor, and she walks into her private bath.

The Windrider presents another offering to her porcelain god.

They can not be allowed to see her like this.

It mustn't show.


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