Title: Musings on a Woodland Nymph, Part 2 of 2
Pairing: Toad/Storm POV
Rating: PG-13 for stalking & violence
Note: Part 2 takes place a few days after Magneto &
the Brotherhood have been defeated in 'X-Men, the
<< >> Indicates character thought.
Summary: Toad attempts to touch salvation.
Musings on a Woodland Nymph Pt. 2
by Alyx Alexandre (alyx68@...
Storm smelled it even before she opened her eyes.
There. In the shadows. She began to summon her powers.
"Wait," a voice said.
She didn't and thunder rumbled in the sky.
"Please," the voice said a bit louder.
Storm sat up. "Who are you?" She had an idea but she
didn't think he could be so bold. Or alive.
"It's just me, Toad."
Storm wasn't so much pissed, as she was annoyed. She
thought she had disposed of him. "Get out of my room!
I will give you two seconds to be gone or I will not
be as gentle this time!" she commanded.
"Please, not yet. I'm not done." Toad said, still
resting on his haunches.
Storm rose from her bed and reached for her robe. She
was ready to call her teammates but she really didn't
have a strong sense of danger from him. Not yet. "Done
"Looking at you," Toad replied with a slight tremor in
his voice. His eyes widened a bit. He hadn't meant to
say that. Not at all. He wasn't in the habit of
wearing his emotions on his sleeve. He usually hid his
feelings behind smart-assed remarks or silence. He had
secretly come to the Mansion to see her several times
before but this was the first time he had seen her
since the fight at the Statue of Liberty. This was
also the first time she ever woke up during one of his
nocturnal visits. Damn.
"Looking at me?" Storm sputtered indignantly as she
walked towards him. "Get out of my room, you pervert,
before I blast you again!" Storm lifted her hands to
the heavens and her blue eyes started to turn pale
"No, no - not that," Toad said. He rose to his feet
and stepped out of the darkness with his palms up in a
placating gesture. "No more thunder shocks. Well, at
least not as hard as the last one you gave me. Not
again," he said with a small grin. "You know how to
rip into a man."
"You are not a man, you are a slimy toad. And a sick
one at that." Storm said icily, not backing down. She
was in control here. Thunder rumbled even louder than
"No, I'm Toad, trained in the Wu Shu style of Kung
Fu." He stopped a few feet from where she was
How could she forget? That fight ranked among the most
unforgettable that she'd had in her career as part of
the X-Men. He had come out of nowhere and dispatched
Jean, Scott and herself single-handedly in less than
10 seconds. He used her like a punching bag. He had
even kicked her down an elevator shaft before she
She decided to hold off a bit. "What do you want?"
"I'm sorry, you know," he said to her, almost shyly.
Storm wished she were telepathic. She really would
have liked to know why he was here in the Mansion,
obviously trespassing not to mention invading her
privacy, after all that had happened.
"Sorry for what?"
"For the fight - kicking you around the way I did. I
didn't mean it."
Storm looked at him like he had grown another head,
"You didn't mean it? You didn't mean it?" Her voice
started to rise and the static electricity in the room
gradually increased. "You attacked me & my teammates
and you didn't mean it?"
"Well it's not as though you can't take a punch.
You're an X-Man, right? You're strong and all that."
He had the nerve to smile at her.
"You got me though, right on the tongue," he
continued. "I had never gotten shocked before.
Actually, that was a bit exciting."
Storm sighed. Men. They were all alike, weren't they?
Speaking of which... "Why did you touch me like that?"
She hadn't forgotten the feel of his fingers where he
had stroked her cheek and what he said to her that
night. Even now, days later, she still felt his touch
like a gentle breeze. The skin on her cheek tingled
whenever she thought of the incident. Jean had caught
her blushing more than once and teased her about it.
"Ah, well," Toad began, "Um, I don't know?" Toad knew
very well why he touched her the way he did.
Their thoughts drifted back to that night at the
Statue of Liberty when the Brotherhood & the X-Men had
Toad swooped down and knocked the wind out of her with
a well-placed kick.
She crashed to the ground and lay there stunned. <<Get
up 'Ro>> she encouraged herself but she was
uncoordinated and seeing double. Then suddenly, with a
thump that thing landed in front of her and brought
his face close to hers.
He crouched over her and for a strange moment there
was a pause in their fight. Everything receded into
the background except for him and her. Mystique,
Creed, Eric, the Plan, the other X-Men, were as
distant as the moon. He looked at her a bit concerned.
Maybe he overdid it? He *had* hit her pretty hard.
In that instant, she thought he was going to kiss her.
But instead he did something that was even more
intimate: he caressed her.
He whispered to her as a lover would, "Such pretty
skin. So smooth, so perfect. I guess some Mutants are
just born lucky," he murmured. Yep, it was as silky as
it looked. Her skin was creamy soft under his rough
fingers. Her makeup was perfectly applied. <<She put
on makeup before coming here?>> He smiled at her
vanity. He could also smell her perfume. Ah.
A mixture of emotions ran through Storm that ranging
from disgust to disbelief. Disgust because of who he
was and what he stood for. Disbelief because the tone
of his voice was clearly that of adoration. She was no
stranger to being worshipped but to be worshipped in
the middle of a fight by her attacker was beyond
Storm was also angry because it had been a long time -
too long - since she was touched like that. Longer
than she cared to admit. Being an X-Man and her duties
to her students hardly left time for herself, much
less romance. The crush emotions made her sad, but she
suppressed them, remembering her duty. She was angry
at his boldness and at herself that she hadn't gotten
the upper hand in this battle yet. She would soon
teach him why her nom de guerre was Storm.
From the first time Toad saw her picture, he needed to
touch her and that caress was the most honest gesture
that he could manage at the moment. She was as close
to a nymph or fairy that he would ever get in his
life. If he could only touch her then maybe, just
maybe he could recapture some of the innocence that he
had lost along the way. An innocence that he had
struggled to keep, *knowing* even at a young age, its
value. An innocence that had been taken from him too
<<Time to bring this fight to a close.>> He kicked her
again and she fell down the elevator shaft. He removed
the metal bar prop with a flourish, shutting the
doors. Too bad he couldn't seal them closed.
Hopefully, she would remain there unconscious and
undetected until this was all over. Unfortunately, it
didn't take long for him to realize that it would take
a whole lot more than that to keep Storm down.
"Don't you people ever die?" he roared for the benefit
of Magneto who was surely monitoring his progress via
the com unit clipped to his jacket. He started back
towards the elevator where he had left her. <<Damn it,
why don't you stay there? Don't you understand? Creed
will kill you!>>
The doors opened and she floated up in a corona of
light & pure energy.
The next thing he knew he was hurled outside by a
steady gust of wind. He could actually *feel* her in
the punishing winds whirling past him. He clung to the
rail by his tongue wondering how the hell he was going
to get out of this mess.
She came towards him slowly in a luminous wave, her
arms upraised. She moved as though she had all the
time in the world. He couldn't take his eyes off her.
He had never seen anything quite so majestic.
She spoke but all he heard was the command in her
voice and the answer of thunder and lighting. His
tongue felt her power first then the lightning hit him
He screamed in agony & release. Then everything went
He smiled as he remembered the first time he saw her
in person. It was at the train station when Eric sent
them to get the girl. He had scrambled up the wall on
the lookout for her long white hair, hoping to see her
at last but also wishing that she wouldn't be there,
safe from harm. But Creed got to her first and tried
to choke the life out of her. That was when he got his
first glimpse of her power. Her eyes turned white and
a bolt of lightning hit Creed, sending him flying. His
heart hammered in his chest and his entire being
buzzed with excitement. Seeing her for the first time
and witnessing her power gave him an adrenaline rush
like nothing else.
Being here in her loft tonight gave him a charge like
the first time at the train station even though at
present she wasn't doing anything more spectacular
than looking at him with her arms folded across her
Toad admired an orchid that he didn't remember seeing
before, giving himself time to gather his courage
before asking her directly, "You're a wood nymph,
aren't you? Y'know, a fairy." He was surprised when
she began to laugh.
"A what?" Storm had been called many things in her
life: a Goddess, a weather witch, a wind rider but a
wood nymph? That was too funny and she laughed out
loud. <<I wonder how long he had floated in the Hudson
River?>> She sat on her purple velvet chaise lounge
and motioned for him to sit as well.
Toad settled on the plush seat and watched her. He
couldn't believe he had made her laugh so pretty, like
twinkling wind chimes. He couldn't believe he was in
her room having a conversation with her. At least she
wasn't laughing at him and it didn't seem like she was
going to shock him either. His tongue was still
Storm wiped tears from the corner of her eyes. "A wood
nymph. That is so cute!" She realized with dismay
that she couldn't remember the last time she had a
good laugh but here she was laughing with Toad, of all
people, at three o'clock in the morning. That sobered
her up a lot.
"A wood nymph. Is that what you think I am?"
"Why?" Storm crossed her legs and leaned back on a
He hesitated. He wanted to make her understand what he
was about to say. He had never been eloquent. When he
was lying, the words rolled off of his tongue. But to
speak the truth - to bare his soul - to this beauty,
he struggled for words.
Storm waited patiently. He was getting to the reason
why he dared break & enter the Mansion and into her
room knowing what she and the X-Men could do to him.
He looked around her room. "Look at the way you live.
If you weren't here you would be living in a cabin in
the woods surrounded by living energy. Just like me,"
he added shyly. "I'm not a city person and I don't
care much for crowds. I can tell by how well you take
care of your plants and flowers what kind of lady you
are. The vibe in this room is incredible and your
nature powers are magical, like a fairy."
He paused for a moment and continued, "When I was a
little boy I saw fairies playing in my backyard. That
moment was the single most pure thing that ever
happened to me. I never saw them again after that day
even though I looked & looked. Until I saw you I
thought I would never see one again. You may not think
you're a fairy but you are to me."
Storm understood very well what he was trying to say.
People needed a belief system to make sense of their
world. Worshipped as a Goddess by many, she was no
stranger to being the focus of such intense emotion.
She understood better than most that this heartfelt
passion, while not rational, was genuine. She
respected that and didn't attempt to convince him
otherwise. Modest as always in the face of personal
emotional tribute, she accepted his declaration
"Thank you," she said simply.
"You're welcome," Toad replied with an overwhelming
feeling of gratitude.
They sat in silence for a bit lost in their own
"Anyway, I'm leaving. I came to say goodbye. Actually,
I'm going on vacation. I think I deserve it. Eric's in
jail, Creed went to Canada to do something or the
other and Mystique seems to enjoy being a Senator."
Storm raised an eyebrow. She couldn't imagine the
X-Men disbanding like that if they lost a battle -
even a major one.
Toad answered like he read her mind. "The Brotherhood
will always be around, make no mistake about it but
for now we're on hold. At least until Eric breaks out
of jail - and he will. They can't keep him there.
He'll find a way." Toad said this almost as though he
was trying to convince himself.
"Eric took me in when I had no one and no one would
have me. He found me like Xavier found you. I don't
agree with everything Eric does but he was there for
me at my lowest point, so I'm loyal to him."
This was as close to an explanation or apology as he
was going to give and Storm knew it. Storm nodded
because she understood even if she didn't agree with
his choice. All Mutants were connected on some level
because of humanity's inability to accept their rapid
evolution. Because of the hatred and hostility
directed at them, Mutants learned quickly not to be
picky about where love, affection, and acceptance came
from. You took it where you found it. What if Magneto
had found her first? It was not the first time she had
such thoughts. "So, what are you going to do?"
"I think I'll go to Florida. See the Everglades,
maybe. I hear the weather is great this time of year."
Storm laughed again then stopped. They looked at each
other solemnly, accepting their unusual bond but
silently acknowledging the unspoken: they were on
opposite sides of the war and always would be.
She reached over and pulled on the silver hoop earring
in his ear and unhooked it. "A little souvenir for me,
yes?" she said with a smile.
Her touch broke his shyness and he took a chance.
Quickly, he clasped Storm around her slender waist and
drew her to him. He clutched her silky shiny hair,
enjoying its fullness. He looked into her big blue
He whispered, "You are so beautiful. I wish I could
take you with me." He kissed her, soft and slow at
first, then more passionately. The kiss went on
forever. Storm had never been frenched like that in
all her life! After he broke the kiss, he continued to
hold her close, savoring the feel of her soft body
pressed against his.
"Goddess," Storm murmured, her arms wrapped around his
Toad smiled in her hair and deeply inhaled her scent.
He wished he could stay with her always but some
fantasies were better enjoyed as such and nothing
more. He was thankful to her for giving him back a
part of himself that he thought was lost forever.
Because just for a moment, he held a princess in his
arms who kissed him and he was no longer a toad.
End Pt. 2 of 2
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