Remember, When Falling

by Amanda Sichter

Whimsy warning. There's something about going on holidays that brings out the whimsiest in me. Don't worry, ideas for much nastier stories than this are percolating away merrily.

Warning for OTLer's. In a break from recent tradition on OTL, this story features a heterosexual relationship <*g*>. No, I don't have a problem with slash, it's just that I came back to a remarkable slew of slash stories that were posted over the Easter break (they should be <*sigh*> read by around Christmas at my current rate).

Oh, but the story itself is about as close as I get to a G rating. Okay, PG (I forgot the bad language).

Disclaimer: Marvel's. Damn shame that.

Remember, when falling . . .

Gravity acts on all objects that have mass. Under the influence of gravity objects fall at a constant acceleration of 9.8 metres per second per second. Remember that Newton's Second Law of Motion states that Force equals Mass times Acceleration.

You weigh just over 180 pounds. You are falling at a constant acceleration of 9.8 metres per second per second (make that 32 feet per second per second if you're going to work in imperial measures). Remember that you have just been thrown out of an aeroplane from quite a few thousand feet in the air. Remember that the person who threw you out of the aeroplane did not think to supply you with a parachute before so unkindly evicting you.

However you calculate that, you're going to leave a big fucking hole in the ground.

Remember that Galileo Galilei proved that two objects of differing mass fall at a constant rate due to acceleration (the said 9.8 metres per second per second). Remember that Galileo was prosecuted by the Catholic Church for heretical views and tortured for a considerable period of time.

Wonder why you remember that. Realise that it's because your brain is trying to tell you that it is really going to fucking hurt when you hit the ground.

Try not to remember that.

Remember that air resistance works against the forces of gravity (the reason why the previously mentioned parachute would be so effective at allowing you to gently coast to the ground rather than plummet in what you think will probably be a fairly spectacular manner quite a few feet into the soil). Remember that, if you can slow down enough, can reduce your terminal velocity sufficiently, someone may be able to catch you before your life ends in a brief, flat squeak.

Flatten your body. Spread hands and legs out, grip your trenchcoat between hands to increase the area exposed to air and feel the force of it nearly rip the material from between your fingers.

Remember to breathe.

Remember the last time you saw Rogue she was flying away from the aeroplane at high speed in the other direction chasing some villain.

Remember Storm was calling hail and brimstone down upon someone else and wasn't even looking in your direction.

Remember there wasn't anyone else on the plane who could fly.

Remember to pray.

* * * * *

Remember, when falling . . .

Remember Galileo's law of constant acceleration. Remember that he stated that two objects of differing mass will fall at a constant rate due to gravity.

Remember that Remy weighs approximately sixty pounds more than you do and commenced his fall from the plane at least thirty seconds before you did and that, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to fall faster than he is.

Remember that the first time he met you he saved your life.

Remember that you are a Weather Goddess and damn well fall faster than he is falling.

Force equals Mass times Acceleration.

Gravity accelerates at a rate of 9.8 metres per second per second, less the effects of air resistance.

Gravity hasn't got anything on the force of a wind conjured from still air, pushing you from behind, driving your acceleration faster and faster.

Remember to flatten your body, to lengthen your arms in front of you, to tuck in your head so that you take on the shape of a missile, cleaving air so it can't resist you, can't keep you away from Remy.

A quick glance shows that he has flattened his body out, riding air to try and slow himself, to increase his profile against the invisible forces.

A quick glance also shows that the ground is getting rather close now.

Remember that air resistance acts against the force of gravity and will slow any falling object. You are a Weather Goddess. It is within your purview to move masses of air in such a way as to increase the air acting against his fall and slow his descent.

Remember that Remy has been falling for a considerable period of time now and has almost certainly reached terminal velocity.

Remember that he rather likes the fact that he has a more than slightly handsome face and would probably prefer that it remains on the correct side of his skull.

Flatten further, use air to drive yourself forward, streamline until the wind whipping past your ears reaches a high whining pitch that almost deafens you.

Remember to judge, mutant powers combining to create an almost supernatural understanding of the forces of air and wind, and to pull out of your dive at just the right moment so that your hands snag the back of his trenchcoat and your body flattens against his.

You are now falling together. Romantic but unhelpful in terms of preventing a very terminal collision with the rapidly approaching ground.

Remember you are a Goddess.

Manipulate the air around you, catching it smoothly, sliding it beneath bodies until it creates a slide, a gentle cushion to decelerate, momentum easing until you can catch Mass and balance it squarely against Friction to create a moment of stillness.

Remember the Bernoulli Effect, essentially the flow of air over curved surfaces to create small differentials in air pressure used to lift both birds and aeroplanes, and use it to create miniature turbulences that lift you skyward once again, arms wrapped tightly around him, holding him safe.

Remember that this is called flying.

* * * * *

The knock on the door is half-expected, easily recognised.

Storm does not even bother to call out using, instead, a tendril of wind to waft the door open.

'Remy,' her voice is rich, warm with happiness and her smile dazzles him.

'Ororo,' he responds, his voice deep, complex with layers. 'I t'ought I'd come see, before you went to bed.'

'And to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?' she asks.

His smile is charming, open in a way that so few see. 'I t'ought I'd better come and say t'ank you,' Remy responds. 'T'ank you for catching me today. Saving my life.'

Her hand strokes his cheek gently. 'A debt repaid, Remy,' she says softly. 'I remembered when the Shadow King nearly took me for his Queen. I could hardly let you plummet to your death in front of me.'

His hand captures hers, imprisons it against his cheek. Something in his eyes alters, a sudden seriousness that makes Ororo catch her breath.

'Remy?' she asks. 'What is the matter?'

'I'm remembering falling,' he says, his tone almost sombre.

She is startled into a half-laugh. 'Of course, Remy,' Storm says. 'It only happened today.'

He shakes his head. 'No, it didn't,' he responds. 'It happened when I saw you change from girl to woman, 'Ro. Dat day - you were de most beautiful woman I ever saw. Have ever seen. I fell dat day, 'Ro, and I been falling ever since.'

She doesn't pretend to misunderstand his meaning - she knows exactly what he is saying and she is stunned, drowning suddenly in a sea of emotions so intense she can't even identify them. 'Remy . . . I . . . I never knew.' Her voice is shaking.

His grin is wry. 'Not really surprising,' he says. 'Didn' give you many clues, not when I was chasing Rogue so hard.'

The mention of Rogue snaps through her, brings Ororo back to herself. 'Remy . . I - what about Rogue?' she asks.

His shrug is as close as he ever gets to looking uncomfortable in his own skin. 'We tried,' he says. 'Didn' work out. Maybe cause I was always in love wit' someone else, neh? Rogue and I are over, chere.'

'Remy - what are you doing here?' She cannot work out what her emotions are, what she feels as he says he is through with Rogue. It scares her to realise that it may be - relief?

'I nearly died today,' says Remy. 'Amazing how dat improves a man's sense of perspective. An' I realised dat if I wasn' brave enough today to come up here and see what your feelings were den I didn' deserve to have you save me.' His eyes are burning with intensity now, but his hand is shaking. 'I came up here to see if dere was some possibility dat maybe one day you could fall too.'

She doesn't have words any more, drowned as they are by feelings, knowing that she may well cry if she dares to speak. So she answers in a way far more eloquent than words, leaning forward until her mouth touches his, savours it, a kiss that starts as the gentle touch of a friend and turns into something far deeper and more passionate - so much so that, when it ends, she needs to cling to him to keep her knees from buckling.

'Remy,' she whispers. 'I do believe that I am falling, too.'

He smiles, holds her close, elation washing through him, elation and more.

'Dere's somet'ing you need to remember, when falling,' he says softly.

'What's that?' she responds, as his hands whisper hungrily down the length of her back, as her heart begins to soar.

'When you're falling, and someone catches you, den together you might just be able to fly.'

The End

Gee, that was soppy, wasn't it? Sorry, but I really did have a good holiday and I *did* want to get this story written and posted before I disappear back into the world of brachiopods, cladology and lophophorates for a few months (that'll be in about 8 hours from now by my current reckoning).

Amanda [email protected]

"As with other peoples who had focused their lives upon wrongs in the past and heaven in the future, Voorstod made an everlasting hell of the present."
~Sheri S. Tepper