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Chapter 1


Written by wingy
Last updated: 04/28/2008 10:13:00 PM

Chapter 1

The King of Hearts. Somehow, at the moment, it seemed more than a card, more than just one of fifty-two parts. It was a whole, a singular thing. And from Remy, it was even more than that.

It was a love letter, with no words, no signature, no addressee.

Just the sentiment, tangible only for the people that knew both parties. All of them felt it, felt the heartbreaking sense of loss. For the one they’d all felt was invulnerable to death. She’d always seemed so full of life, so inexplicably there for everyone, no matter what their troubles.

But not now. There was no plot, no headstone, no body. Nothing to touch, to see and grieve over.

There was only the King of Hearts, tacked to the bulletin board. No one had the heart to take it down, even as it grew more worn, torn and creased around the edges, faded in the center where the same two fingers were always pressed. Always, every day.

Remy himself was faring far worse than his card. He had taken Rogue’s death hardest, walking about aimlessly, in the places she’d used to frequent. The Rec Room, where no one dared sit in her usual spot, the chair that was faded and broken in, the kitchen where she’d always had fresh coffee and muffins on weekend mornings.

He looked detached, as if he were looking at things, but not truly seeing them, like a blind ghost. The edges of his face had grown deceptively sharp, all angles and planes, no more of the charm that seemed to ooze from him. The slim face that had conveyed such quick, easy charm no longer seemed to hold any.

Like water through a sieve, his bravado and easy confidence had fled him, dissipating into nothing, stopping for no one to gather it and try to catch it, preserve it in the vain hope that all of this was a terrible lie, a mistake. For all of them, the world proved itself cruel and unforgiving. Those that had weathered even the most horrible things, the worst abuse, found they couldn’t believe it.

But the King of Hearts is always the suicide King. Always.

One day, after a length of time no one would measure, the card was gone. The King of Hearts that had weathered such emotion, shouldered all the burden of loss, was taken down, the little space it had occupied left conspicuously, curiously empty.

Less than a day later, there was a new, polished headstone in the little cemetery that, by necessity, resided at Xavier’s.

Somewhere in a heaven most of the students were sure couldn’t exist, there was a ray of singularly calming happiness, so enduring and everlasting that even the God that seemed so malicious, so uncaring and heartless to his own children, would not extinguish it.

There was a new card on the bulletin board the next morning, that no one had put up.

The Ace of Hearts is unbroken, the purest of the suit. It cannot be destroyed.


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